How big is High School Football in Northeast Ohio? Well, they print trading cards of high school players; that's pretty big. At one time, Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels played Quarterback for one of the biggest, most successful teams in the Buckeye State - Canton McKinley. As such, McDaniels had his own card - one that has made an unexpected return in the secondary trade market -
The card, a virtually valueless afterthought for the better part of 15 years, made a rare appearance on the secondary market earlier this month - and sold for $26, four times its current value at the time and a staggering 3,500 percent more than it was worth just nine months ago.
Hailing from the 1995 Ohio High School Big 33 set, McDaniels' first and only football card was worth just 75 cents in January before ascending to $3, and then to $5, as one of the most gifted young coaches in the NFL finalized his meteoric rise from New England assistant to the league's youngest head coach at the time of his hiring in Denver.
All he's done since then is trade away the club's franchise quarterback, engage in a highly publicized spat with franchise receiver Brandon Marshall, turn the perpetually pedestrian Kyle Orton into an MVP candidate and direct the Broncos to a shocking 6-0 start.
As a result, his card's new Beckett value as of Friday morning is $30.
"The fact that this little-known card has appreciated so substantially literally overnight is a tribute to the remarkable job McDaniels has done so far in Denver," says Dan Hitt, Beckett Media Senior Market Analyst. "Most people around the country expected 2009 to be a down year for the Broncos; instead, they're the surprise team of the league with more victories than the rest of the AFC West combined."
McDaniels' so-good so-soon success quickly has turned one of his only legitimate collectibles into a must-have memento with an upwardly mobile price tag. The hardest part for would-be collectors is waiting for copies of the relatively scarce card to surface.
How big is the Big-33 game? The annual All-Star game between players from Ohio and Pennsylvania has had at least 1 player play in every Super Bowl to date. Yeah, it's that big.
Trust me - as a card collector, I will be looking for this card.