Who’d have guessed back in early September that Nick Foles would turn out to be the MVP of this season’s Super Bowl? We’ll hazard this guess: no one.
Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, was well-established heading into his second season, and he didn’t disappoint—at least not until a torn ACL in December ended his season. It opened the door and set the stage for Foles.
Now 29, Foles had an earlier go-round with Philadelphia, going 14-4 as a starter between 2013 and 2014. But he was peddled to the Rams in 2015 and to the Chiefs in 2016, a period during which he tossed around the idea of retiring. Thankfully for the Eagles, he didn’t quit. Now, after a Joe Montana-like playoff performance and Tom Brady-like Super Bowl, he’s the toast of the NFL.
Foles collectibles were available on eBay for a pittance just a few weeks ago. That changed on Feb. 4, the night of Super Bowl LII. Consider:
• A 2012 Panini National Treasures autographed patch card of Foles sold for $1,080. The card’s game-worn patch features the NFL’s classic shield symbol, giving it extra appeal.
• A 2012 Panini Contenders signed Playoff Ticket Foles card fetched $800. It had received a Pristine 10 grade from BGS, with the sig also drawing a 10.
• A 2012 Contenders Rookie Ticket Foles card brought $800 as well. This one also included Foles’ autograph and a Pristine 10/10 grade.
• A 2012 National Treasures Rookie auto patch card of Foles in PSA 10 Gem-Mint condition brought $700.
• A 2012 Topps Chrome signed Gold Refractor card of Foles drew $699, a signed Red Refractor card sold for $575.
When training camp opens, Wentz will reclaim his starting job. But for now, Foles is getting love from collectors who want to remember his stunning Super Bowl performance.
Speaking of the Eagles, the franchise has an intriguing history, one that features no upper-echelon stars at the level of, say, a Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas or Jerry Rice. But there are a number of memorable Hall of Famers who played for Philadelphia.
Several of them had relatively short stints with the Eagles; indeed, you may not even remember that Art Monk, James Lofton and Richard Dent all played for Philly (one season each after starring elsewhere for long stretches). Also playing for the Eagles for short spans: Mike Ditka and Terrell Owens (two years each) and Cris Carter and Ollie Matson (three seasons each).
Among the HOF inductees who are most closely associated with the Eagles is this trio of long-ago stars:
• Steve Van Buren: This legendary running back played in Philadelphia between 1944 and 1951, gaining 5,860 yards rushing (including two 1,000-yard seasons) and another 523 receiving. He also scored a total of 74 TDs (including two kick-return scores). Top Van Buren collectible: his 1948 Bowman rookie card. A Near-Mint example (PSA 8) recently brought $465 on 16 bids. It features a black-and-white posed photo of the star runner.
• Pete Pihos: Pihos was an ace receiver who played for the Eagles from 1947 through 1955. He caught 373 passes and scored 61 TDs, leading the NFL in receptions in each of his final three seasons with totals of 63, 60 and 62. For a worthy Pihos piece, we’ll again dip into Bowman’s 1948 set. A PSA 8-graded Pihos from that set brought $1,077 on 26 bids in a late-2017 auction.
• Chuck Bednarik: This versatile legend was the last of the two-way players, serving as both linebacker and center during his 14-year career (1949 through 1952). A Bednarik treasure: his 1950 Bowman rookie card. In a recent sale on eBay, a PSA 9-graded specimen of the card brought the same price as the Pihos rookie—$1,077—on 16 bids.
THE FIRST (AND THE BEST?)
An eBay seller said he unearthed in his mother’s storage locker a vintage copy of the first Super Bowl program accompanied by two ticket stubs and a player roster. What a find! The discovery netted the seller $1,075 on 25 bids. All pieces were in excellent condition except the roster, which had a piece torn off the bottom. The program, though, was in Near-Mint condition, and the stubs were “handled but not abused,” with just a crease showing on one of them and some writing on the back of the other.
As football fans know, that first Super Bowl was actually called the “World Championship Game/AFL vs. NFL.” The combatants were Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers and Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs. The Pack, behind eventual MVP Bart Starr’s precision passing, won by a 35-10 margin.
COWBOYS vs. BRONCOS
Remember the 1978 Super Bowl (XII)? That one featured Dallas QB Roger Staubach vs. former Cowboy QB Craig Morton, who experienced a rebirth in Denver. Morton’s storybook season, however, ended with a loss in that Super Bowl, 27-10, with Staubach throwing for 183 yards and a TD.
In December, an eBay seller listed a rare yellow variation of a game ticket from Super Bowl XII. PSA has graded only six examples of this ticket. The ticket is in two pieces, having been detached for entry, but its scarceness pushed it to a $2,600 price.