MISSING: Tom Brady’s game-worn Super Bowl LI jersey.
Brady’s top was last seen during the Super Bowl at Houston’s NRG Stadium Sunday night. It’s probably a size large and it is white with blue and red accents. It’s easily identifiable by the number “12” and the name “BRADY” on the back. It may show signs of wear-and-tear (Brady was sacked five times on the way to the Patriots’ overtime victory). If you see it, please approach with caution and handle with care. Who knows what it’s been through.
Thankfully, our intrepid Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is on the case. Not long after Brady’s jersey was reported missing, Patrick announced that he’d assigned the case to the vaunted Texas Rangers. Whoever made off with the jersey is probably quaking in his (or her) shoes right now. “In Texas we place a very high value on hospitality and football,” Patrick said in a statement. “Tom Brady’s jersey has great historical value and is already being called ‘the most valuable NFL collectable ever.’ It will likely go into the Hall of Fame one day. It is important that history does not record that it was stolen in Texas. I’ve called Colonel Steve McCraw to ask that the Texas Rangers work with the Houston Police Department on this case. I’m a Texans and Cowboys fan first, but the unquestionable success of the Super Bowl in Houston last night was a big win for our entire state and I don’t want anything to mar that victory. Whoever took this jersey should turn it in. The Texas Rangers are on the trail.”
There is certainly no shortage of suspects.
It’s possible an angry Atlanta Falcons fan made off with the loot, with plans to turn Brady’s top into a wearable Patty Hearst. Months from now, we may discover a disillusioned Brady jersey in a warehouse somewhere in Atlanta, painted over in red and black, mumbling “Rise up.”
It’s important to note that the Patriots have been a victim of similar Super Bowl-related thefts in the past. During a 2005 meeting between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Russian president Vladimir Putin, Kraft’s Super Bowl ring mysteriously went missing. Kraft at the time claimed he had gifted the ring to Putin, but in 2013 he came clean and accused Putin of stealing it. “I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’” Kraft said in 2013, according to the New York Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.” The ring has never been recovered, possibly emboldening the burglar who lifted Brady’s shirt. Is it possible that the KGB infiltrated the Patriots’s locker room? Yes. But is it probable that the KGB infiltrated the Patriots locker room? Also yes. Okay, probably not. But not out of the realm of possibility.
And, um, then there’s this dude:
The Rangers may want to pay close attention to that #stolehisjersey hashtag.
Poor Tom Brady, meanwhile, was noticeably shaken following the game. From USA Today:
It was 10.23 p.m. CT when Brady started to peel off his cleats and socks, and by then he was angry. He had searched through all his bags, asked teammates and security staff and equipment managers, and he still couldn’t locate his game-worn jersey.
“It was right here,” he said. “I know exactly where I put it. Not good. Not good.”
He wore a temporary scowl, and looked about as miserable as it is feasible for someone who has just masterminded the greatest comeback in football history to be.
He seemed in a slightly better mood during the post-game press conference, joking that “it’s going to be on eBay soon, I guess.” That won’t happen if the Texas Rangers have anything to say about it.