Super Bowl XLVII is set, and I have to be honest when I say that the matchup is pretty unexpected. I was wholeheartedly expecting a Patriots and Falcons Super Bowl, but it obviously turned out much differently over the course of the day. As a result, we are going to get the first ever Harbaugh bowl game, and with it, a career defining game for a number of players. A few of these players present the most interesting story lines for the hobby, and I want to discuss what impact this game could have.
When the QB class of 2008 was sized up, Flacco and Ryan definitely led the pack. Since that time, Flacco has played in a number of key playoff games, and endured some major heartbreak as a result. This is the first time either of the top guys from this class are playing in a super bowl, and frankly, it easily could have been both. Flacco has taken his fair share of criticism over the last two years, and this could be the game that shuts everyone up. His hobby value has slowly declined as his critics have become more vocal, and that is why this game might be the only chance during his career that he can come out clean. If he wins, his value should jump significantly, even though he is not the person I expect to get the most attention.
Funny enough, I cant remember the last time a defensive player got this type of focus going into a Super Bowl. When the media gathers next week to gauge the prospects of the game, Lewis’ press conference will likely be the second most attended behind Colin Kaepernick. Because he isnt an offensive player, Lewis’ cards have not been as valuable as they should be. He is arguably the best ever to play his position, and his public persona has made him one of the most expensive defensive cards you can buy. If the Ravens end up winning, Lewis should get closer to the value I would expect him to get.
Although the retirement party being thrown for Lewis is easily the bigger story, this might end up being Moss’ last game as well. He struggled to get set up with a team during the off season this year, and yet, here he is. This is the second Super Bowl he is playing in, and it could be the one he has the best chance of winning. Although his previous trip was after a 16-0 season, the Niners match up perfectly against the Ravens defense. Moss may not play a factor, but winning a Super Bowl could be the cherry on top of his amazing career. He has had close to no autograph cards in the hobby – a la his personality’s expectations – but when he has signed, his cards have been VERY valuable for a receiver.
Talk about a second half! The guy came on like nobody I have ever seen in the second half of the year, and this is going to be his chance to prove the naysayers wrong. He got slapped with the Terrell Owens memorial primadonna award coming out of the draft, and it has damaged everything valuable about him. Since then, him and Kaepernick have shown to be an unstoppable team, and his cards have rebounded a bit. If he catches a TD, I think he might finally realize some of the value he lost during the beginning of the year in 2009.
I saved the best for last, as Kaepernick has undoubtedly captured the attention of the entire league coming into the Super Bowl. I cannot understand how this guy plays as well as he does. Harbaugh has to be a factor in his success, but Kaepernick is playing like he is fighting for his job. Its nuts. I wrote a few articles about his ridiculous play and what it has meant for his card values, and if he wins in New Orleans, all bets are off. Expect an Aaron Rodgers style jump in value, and it will hold as long as he continues to play well. I never thought Kaepernick could stand back in the pocket and throw, but yesterday was a new chapter in his story. Who knows with this kid – prices are ridiculous, but there is still a higher ceiling if he wins.
Other players to watch:
Torrey Smith – With how badly the Niners were burned by Julio Jones, Smith is a very similar type of receiver. I expect him to have a very big game. Because he is a WR on a team known for defense, his cards are cheap!
Lamichael James – He might be a bit player, but his cards could spike if he scores against the Ravens defense. Right now his cards are worth NOTHING.
Aldon Smith – For a guy that almost broke the sack record this year, Smith could have a huge game. His cards are similarly cheap and might be worth a look. Scary dude.
I am excited for the Super Bowl, and I think its going to be one of the bigger tests of what the hobby can do for players who excel in this game. I predict that San Francisco should come out ahead, but you cant count out the Ravens either. Regardless, I cant even say how depressed I am that there is only one real game left in the season. That, my friends, is hard to stomach. This has truly been an incredible season.