This year’s Super Bowl gave us two teams that, let’s face it, traditionally haven’t driven collectors wild.
Kurt Warner is a Hall of Fame quarterback but he spent only six years with the Rams — exactly half of his career. Two of the best running backs in NFL history, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk, both spent time with the Rams, but it wasn’t terribly long (five years and seven years, respectively) for either. Wide receivers Isaac Bruce and (going way back) Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch were huge playmakers for the Rams, but they’re not quite in the stratosphere of the Jerry Rices of the hobby.
The Rams also have given us defensive ends David “Deacon” Jones and Jack Youngblood along with defensive tackle Merlin Olsen. Then there’s guard Tom Mack and offensive tackles Bob Brown, Jackie Slater and Orlando Pace. All seven of these studs are Hall of Famers. But, alas, linemen are never given their just due in the hobby.
As such, today’s lead Ram, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, is emerging as the team’s most collectible star ever. He was the NFL’s 2017 Rookie of the Year and has only improved every season. His 2021 performance was one for the ages: 145 catches, 1,947 yards and 16 scores, plus Offensive Player of the Year honors and Super Bowl MVP.
Not surprisingly, Kupp is gaining steam in the hobby. Here are four recent eBay auction highlights that might look like total bargains in the future:
• $10,100 on 63 bids for a 2017 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Gold Vinyl card. This 1-of-1 treasure was rated PSA 10.
• $6,100 on 82 bids for a Panini 2018 autographed patch card bearing swatches of both the NFL shield and Nike’s logo. A 1-of-1 card, it’s ungraded but appears to be in top-notch condition, judging by the listing’s photo.
• $5,350 on 30 bids for a 2017 Panini Prizm Gold card. The key number here is “10”: The card is marked #10/10 and was graded PSA 10.
• $4,711 on 63 bids for a 2017 Panini Select autographed patch card. Marked 1-of-1, this ungraded card includes a patch with a Nike logo.
SUPER BOWL REDUX: BENGALS
If the Rams’ all-time roster is a little light on upper-echelon collector favorites, the Bengals’ all-time roster is outright lacking. In fact, the franchise’s most collectible player ever is arguably its current quarterback, Joe Burrow — and he’s got only two years under his belt.
The only three Bengals players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame are Anthony Munoz, Charlie Joiner and Terrell Owens. The former is one of the great offensive tackles of all time but, again, the collecting marketplace gives linemen a cold shoulder. As for Joiner, he was a top-shelf receiver for 18 years but spent only three and half seasons with Cincinnati. Owens is even less of a Bengal great: He played just one of 15 seasons for Cincinnati.
So back to Burrow: Despite an injury-shortened rookie season in 2020, he fast-tracked his way to hobby relevance by leading the Bengals to a Super Bowl berth. His regular-seasons stats in 2021 were impressive enough: 34 TD passes and 4,611 passing yards. But in the playoffs, he orchestrated upsets over the high-octane Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs before falling to the Rams.
In the meantime, the young QB’s stock has been rising, and fast. Look at Top 10 chart below: He accounts for four of the Top 10 items, with all of them selling for prices between $60,000 and $95,000.
If you, er, burrow a little deeper, you’ll find still more hefty prices, including these four:
• $40,100 on 18 bids for a 2020 Panini National Treasures card marked #72/99. The PSA 10–graded card includes both a signature and a jersey patch.
• $36,600 on 81 bids for a 2020 Panini Select Field Level Gold Prizm card. It’s marked #3/10 and graded PSA 10.
• $32,100 on 74 bids for an ungraded 2020 Panini National Treasures card.
• $25,375 on 110 bids for a 2020 Panini Flawless autographed card. Graded BGS 9.5, it carries Burrow’s autograph and a patch from his jersey.
Our Top 10 Chart of the top online auction sales through March 9:
1. $127,100 on 115 bids: 2020 Panini National Treasures Stars and Stripes Joe Burrow, #20/20, auto patch (ungraded)
2. $92,600 on 62 bids: 2020 Panini Prizms Joe Burrow Gold Vinyl, #5/5, auto (PSA 8)
3. $92,100 on 54 bids: 2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady Refractor (BGS 9)
4. $75,200 on 71 bids: 2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady Refractor (BGS 9)
5. $72,100 on 91 bids: 1976 Topps Walter Payton (PSA 10)
6. $70,000 in 2 bids: 2020 Panini National Treasures Joe Burrow, #76/99, auto patch (ungraded)
7. $67,000 on 56 bids: 2020 Panini Prizm Joe Burrow Gold, #6/10, auto (PSA 9, auto 10)
8. $63,800 on 49 bids: 2020 Panini National Treasures Joe Burrow, #17/25, auto patch (ungraded)
9. $63,100 on 86 bids: 2009-10 Topps Chrome Stephen Curry Refractor, #430/500 (BGS 9.5)
10. $55,100 on 42 bids: 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Rookie Ticket (PSA 7, auto 10)