Just after Victor Cruz scored for the Giants last night against the Eagles, an NBC camera caught an excited Giants fan in the stands. My eyes were drawn the the #80 vintage jersey he had on. Wow, a McConkey fan I thought. Then, in those few seconds, my heart stopped. Not only could I tell that the jersey looked authentic, but the sewn in 'Spider 43' patch made it conclusive. That was the very jersey I wore in Super Bowl XXI!!! It was like seeing a ghost.
It was stolen in 1987, about a year after the game. Sports memorabilia was just stating to be popularized twenty four years ago. I was disappointed that I no longer had something I wore in the Super Bowl, but haven't thought much about it over the years. I'm not the type to have 'trophies' on display in our house so I never lost any sleep over the incident.
Tossing and turning in bed last night, I thought about what I would do with the jersey if it were returned to me. Maybe I'd pass it on to my daughter as a family keepsake, but most likely, I would auction it off and donate the proceeds to charity. Here are a few that are close to my heart:
The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children
SEAL-NSW Family Foundation
I'm not sure what the value is---I will check with my friend Brandon Steiner today to get an idea---but the story would have a happy ending if it went to a great cause. We should be able to get something for it, not that I was a great player or anything, but Sports Illustrated did say the flea-flicker I was involved in, was the decisive play of Super Bowl XXI. It's part of NFL and Giants history.
At this point, I hold no ill will towards anyone involved in the disappearance of of the jersey, in fact, the guy that had it on last night, was probably just a boy when it happened, so I 'm confident he wasn't involved.
If any of you amature slueths have any ideas on how to identify the guy wearing the stolen jersey, and how to recover it, I'm all ears. Thanks.