The Patriots emerged as the victors of Super Bowl LI, which was quite a victory in itself, but even more so for quarterback Tom Brady. The win marks a record-breaking fifth quarterback Super Bowl title for Brady. He was also named Super Bowl MVP for a fourth time. It wasn’t all sunshine for Brady, though. Flying high from the win, Brady somehow misplaced his white #12 jersey in the Patriots locker room and has still been unable to find it. At this point, the general consensus is that the jersey was stolen from the locker room in Houston. It has yet to resurface, but when and if it does, it is already being called the most expensive NFL collectible ever.
This isn’t the first time a Super Bowl item has gone missing. Probably the most well-known story is the Tale of Two Billionaires, otherwise known as the most high-profile mugging ever.
In the summer of 2005, Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots received the rings set with 124 diamonds that they had won in Super Bowl XXXIX, and Kraft decided to take his ring on tour. He joined a group of executives on a trip to Russia, where they met Russian president and fellow billionaire Vladimir Putin. From here the details of the story get hazy, but at some point Kraft took off his Super Bowl ring to show Putin, who put the ring on in order to admire it properly. When Kraft asked for it back, Putin responded with whatever the Russian equivalent of “Give what back?” is, put the ring in his pocket, and left.
Kraft never did get his Super Bowl ring back, and ended up purchasing a replacement. One would imagine that he learned a very important lesson, though: never hand Putin anything you will want back.
Brady should have stapled his winning jersey to his chest because that sucker is never coming back. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has even asked the Texas Rangers to help the Houston Police look for the jersey, but there is not much hope. The jersey won’t be able to be sold through legal channels, but if it could be sold legally it would easily be the most valuable NFL collectible in history. At this point, the most someone reportedly ever paid for a football jersey was $118,230 for Johnny Unitas’s #19, which was sold at auction in 2015.
Dallas appraiser / estate jewelry buyer Patti Geolat has been following the missing jersey story with some interest, and she asks readers to weigh in on the mystery. “Who wants to place a bet with me on when it will be found? Who do you think will find it? And how much will it be worth when it’s found?”
While you’re thinking about it, make sure your appraisals for your valuables are current. Contact Judy Asa for an appointment.