Beckett’s Super Bowl XLII Coverage
For the past several Super Bowl Sundays it’s been fun to watch the postgame eBay action on cards from the key players of the contest, especially those guys with just a mild hobby following beforehand. Invariably some previous “no name” gets red hot after making a game winning interception, catching a few key passes, or winning the MVP award. The most recent examples include Hines Ward, Deion Branch, and Dexter Jackson – anyone remember him?
However, a few hobby superstars during that period have also been plenty hot immediately after the game - names like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady.
Chances are we’ll know which of the New England Patriots and New York Giants fit into that category by Sunday night. Heck, just spot check a few of those guys’ cards on eBay during the game and you’ll catch some hobby love based on a few key plays here and there.
Let’s look at our estimate of the best players to keep your eyes on for Sunday’s match-up. Remember that hobby fortunes are on the line here. Well that’s overstating it a bit, but hobby fun is sure to be at stake.
Potential Hobby Winners:
Tom Brady: Brady might be the obvious choice to be on this list, but we feel the current value of Brady’s best cards already have a Super Bowl win factored in. In fact, Brady’s rookie year (2000) cards have a better chance of remaining stable or even dropping some if he plays just well enough to win or even loses the game. Brady’s legacy is basically secure no matter what happens on Sunday so don’t expect a huge jump in value on the 2000 Playoff Contenders or SP Authentic RCs unless Brady has some sort of monster game. But lower priced autographs and anything under $50 featuring Brady could see a significant increase if he logs MVP Award number three.
Manning’s cards generally have more potential for large increases than Brady, but only if he wins the game and plays well in the process. He doesn’t have to be the MVP, but cannot make too many mistakes without paying the hobby price for them. His 2004 Rookie Cards have been heating up during this playoff run, but have yet to explode in value. This, in large part, has everything to do with the confidence level collectors have in Eli and the Giants to pull off what would amount to one of the great sports upsets of the past 20 years. If the miracle occurs you’ll be kicking yourself for not adding a few Eli Manning autographs to your collection sooner.
Although Randy Moss experienced one of the most historic seasons by any wide receiver, the hobby heat simply hasn’t followed. One possible reason is that Moss is on the backside of his career and collectors prefer to spend money on younger superstars. It could be that Moss’s rookie year, 1998, wasn’t full of high value glamour cards found so frequently in today’s releases. More than likely it has everything to do with collectors’ generally disliking Randy Moss. It’s doubtful that a super performance on Sunday will change that very much but Moss’ best cards are still woefully undervalued for a future hall of famer. We bet that all changes if Moss is the star of the game.
Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora:
If the Giants are to win on Sunday there’s a great chance that it’s because of defense. Strahan and Umenyiora are the names to watch there since they’ll have to pressure Brady early and often to slow down the Patriots scoring machine.
Michael Strahan is a fan favorite, a future hall of famer, and one of the most celebrated sack masters of all-time. But his cards have a miniscule following by collectors. Watch for high end graded copies of his 1993 Rookie Cards to attract the most attention along with anything signed by Strahan should he star.
Opposite Michael Strahan is perhaps the best young pass rusher in the NFL – Osi Umenyiora. He has signed cards for just one product (2003 Bowman’s Best) since his rookie season and appears on only 144 total cards so the potential is there for huge increases if Osi and the defense successfully bottle up Brady.
Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth:
The Patriots have so many offensive weapons that there’s a good chance that one of these two guys will put up huge receiving numbers. Welker has become the hobby’s hottest Patriot besides Brady this season. But there remains plenty of upside potential for his 2004 RCs which are priced at or below other guys like Julius Jones, Roy Williams, Matt Schaub, and Larry Fitzgerald. Welker is worth at least another 50% if he’s an MVP candidate.
Donte Stallworth could surprise collectors with a breakout Super Bowl performance. He’s an immensely talented receiver who has taken a hobby backseat to Welker and Moss. It’s just this type of player who can have the game of his career in the biggest game of the year. By the way, he has nearly 300 rookie year cards to choose from including value priced 2002 Playoff Contenders ($50) and Finest ($40) signed RCs.
Like Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress is not a likeable hobby character. But we’re betting collectors will overlook this if he can haul-in the game winning catch and back-up his pregame prediction. Especially if it’s one of those spectacular catches that Burress has become known for. His best cards appeared in 2000 and are currently priced at just 10% or less those cards of fellow rookie Tom Brady.
-- Dan Hitt