In a full contact sport like Football, injuries dictate success more than a sport like Baseball or Basketball, if not only because they happen so frequently. Over the last year, we have seen some major names in the league and the hobby go down with potentially career threatening injuries, something that has scared a lot of people away from the inconsequential purchases of their cards. Guys like Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Demarco Murray and Fred Jackson all had significant injuries to parts of their bodies that are vital to success in their roles. Outside of Manning, most of the other players did not have sustained success to dictate continued value if they did not come back strong, and Sunday was the shot across the bow for a lot of them.
Ill start with Manning because he was the most tenured and valuable of the group, as well as one of the players that made the biggest headlines over the summer. He played a tremendous game considering he was out of the league for a year, playing for a new team, and also going up against the Steelers. For a while his cards were sagging a bit because collectors didnt know if he would ever play again, and his one Super Bowl win trailed other QBs in his class, even his brother. Although re-injury will always be a problem, it looks like collectors are back on board.
Check out some of the post game prices:
My favorite player, and the focus of my personal collection, I was devastated when his knee was blown out. For every Wes Welker that came back normal, there are a handful of others that were never the same. Bo Jackson was one of them, and he was as freakish of an athlete as Peterson was. I sincerely hoped they wouldnt rush him back like they did, but was VERY excited to see him play as well as he did. I did like picking up his cards for next to nothing, and to tell you the truth, they are still pretty cheap. I am looking forward to seeing if he can make it through the whole season, and if the last game was any indication, outlook is positive.
Here are some recent sales:
2012 Topps Adrian Peterson Prolific Playmakers Patch Auto 1/1 – Sold for 157 prior to the season starting
Murray’s injury was the least severe, but as a rookie, who knows what could happen in the offseason rehabbing his ankle. He showed us what he was capable of last Thursday, bludgeoning the Giants’ defense with a ton of powerful runs. Murray looks to be one of thos special players that teams search for with their later draft picks, and if he stays healthy, he could be a superstar in the league for a long time to come.
2011 Topps Chrome Demarco Murray Atomic Refractor Auto BGS 10 – Ridiculous price for this
Last year was awful for Chiefs fans, losing Charles to a blown knee so early in the season. His value around the hobby dropped like a rock, as his one season of performance wasnt enough to sustain a long term value in spite of a major injury. Charles had an okay game, including a 46 yard run where he was caught at the last moment, but that isnt the full story. KC signed Peyton Hillis in the offseason, which spells a diminished role this year for Charles, and that doesnt spell “investment” for a lot of collectors.
Playing in Buffalo has always been a black hole for collectors. Although some of the older players maintain a high premium, the recent additions have not. Jackson has had GREAT years over the last couple of seasons, and he went down with an injury that prevented another good season last year. This year, he re-injured his knee in the first game, and though its not serious, he could be on the shelf for a few weeks to boot. Not a good situation. He has always been dirt cheap to pick up, and it looks like that will continue for now.
For a lot of these players, only time will tell for whether they can have continued value in the hobby, as every game they play is a potentially career ending injury waiting to happen. Having already gotten through the worst of it for these guys, doesnt necessarily mean they will have a good season for 2012. Obviously, guys like Manning and Peterson will always have SOME value for what they have already done, but the others may need a few more notches on the belt.
Invest wisely my friends, if that word can even be used in this hobby anymore.