For a while, it looked like the Super Bowl MVP might be another guy without a big portfolio of rookie cards. Collectors and Seahawks fans looking for Chris Matthews who went searching online during Sunday night’s game didn’t find much. Matthews, who caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, appeared in just one American-made trading card issue: 2011 Panini Gridiron Gear. He’s also got a card from JOGO during a foray into the Canadian Football League.
Chances are they’d been sitting in common boxes but sellers who happened to own them began realizing the potential windfall as the game went on and dug them out of storage. They quickly made their way to eBay where bidding began to heat up. The tide turned in the fourth quarter, though, and Matthews’ moment in the sun would be confined to the stat sheet.
His Panini cards include a regular rookie card (#243) as well as Silver (numbered to 250), Gold (# to 100) and Platinum (# to 25) versions in each of the Xs and Os subsets. Five regular cards had sold on eBay in December and January—all for $3 or less. On Sunday night, bidding on several had soared to $20-40 with auctions not set to close until Monday. Whether sellers get paid after the Patriots’ comeback remains to be seen.
Matthews was in the 2012 JOGO CFL set as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
His story is the stuff of Hollywood. Signed after two years at the University of Kentucky, Matthews was cut by the lowly Browns in their 2011 training camp, then spent two years in the CFL. He was working at a Foot Locker store when the Seahawks called last year and had to ask permission to leave work and catch a plane to Massachusetts for a tryout. He finally saw action in the 14th week of the season and his onside kick recovery against the Packers in the NFC Championship game helped push Seattle into the Super Bowl. His breakout game as a receiver came in front of 100 million who watched Sunday’s game on TV.
The numbers of Matthews cards on the market may be limited, but it would have still a better situation for buyers than last year, when Seahawks’ linebacker Malcolm Smith was named MVP. Smith didn’t appear on a card until well after the Super Bowl.