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Brady, pens in hand, begins a busy off-season

BRADYHOUSTON — Super Bowl LI was won the moment the New England Patriots called “Heads” at the end of regulation. The Patriots took the ball. Tom Brady jogged onto the field for overtime. Boom. Game over.

And now his five Super Bowls rings with the Patriots, including four MVPs, will make him untouchable in football greatness. All of those mutli-winning Super Bowl quarterbacks, notably Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, just got pushed off their pedestals.

Add to all of that greatness the DeflateGate controversy that won him a four-game suspension this very season. The result? Brady memorabilia will rule for a long time. For you collecting zealots, however, you may want to let prices cool off. Otherwise, get ready to pay a premium.

Tri-Star Sports of Houston sold a signed NFL ball online right after the Super Bowl for $1,099.99. Another retailer from a Tri-Star signing has a signed ball going for $100 higher. Stats for MVPs, championships and more will add to the cost. His legendary status may lose its luster somewhat in, oh, 30 years, when a new generation of quarterbacks redefine excellence and today’s 12-year-old worshippers tell their children, “No one was better than Brady.” Meanwhile, Steiner Sports is holding spaces on its website until it receives action photos from the game.

Brady’s signature boils down to a flourishing T, a squiggle, then nice, legible B, then a looping Y with a tail. With any luck, retirement will slow down the signature and a few more letters will creep into the autograph.

The season’s over, but pens are primed for a busy off-season.

One more thing, before he could get dressed after the game, someone had walked off with his game jersey. Someone has made that jersey the Holy Grail in football collecting. Brady told the press a day after the victory, “The jersey, I put it in my bag, then came out and it wasn’t there anywhere. It was a nice piece of memorabilia.”

Indeed it was or is. Ken Goldin put a price tag of $500,000 on it. Josh Evans of Leland’s said it could fetch seven figures in the short term. He told USA Today, “The key is that you probably have to sell it very quickly because now is the time when people are the most excited and the most fanatic about these kinds of things. Five years from now something else will happen, something else will occur and it will probably go down in value.”

A day after “Do you believe in miracles” Part II, he said he’ll take the ring. “That’s good enough for me,” he said.


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