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‘Data Debates’: Tom Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Vs. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Prizm

The upcoming Super Bowl LV has everything that you want in a matchup. On one side, you have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing host to the “Big Game” in their own stadium (the first time this has occurred in NFL history) led by 43-year-old Tom Brady, who seems to be aging like fine wine.

On the other side of the ball, you have the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, led by the “Baby GOAT” and Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes.

There are so many storylines attached to this game, including whether Mahomes can win his second Lombardi Trophy in a row, and if so, will this will be an official passing of the torch? Or will Brady dip back into the fountain of youth and win his 7th (!!!!) Super Bowl, cementing his legacy as the untouchable GOAT?

This is certainly an intriguing matchup in the sports card hobby, with tons of questions to be answered. What would a win do to the value of Tom Brady’s 2000 Bowman Chrome rookie card? Is there any downside to that card if the Bucs lose, and if so, how much? How much upside does Patrick Mahomes 2017 Panini Prizm rookie have if he pulls off the win? Can Mahomes ever catch Brady and be considered the GOAT, no matter what he does, if he loses this game?

You may be asking yourself which card is the better long term play. In the most recent installment of my “Data Debates” series, in which I aim to help newcomers understand the process of evaluating supply and demand and identify which cards are overvalued vs. undervalued, I will attempt to break down that very question. 

The Case For Tom Brady
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Is there any argument that can be made at this point against Tom Brady being the “GOAT,” as he is so often called? His list of accomplishments in the sport is almost too extensive to be believed. 

• 6x Super Bowl Champion

• 10 Super Bowl Appearances

• 4x Super Bowl MVP

• 3x NFL MVP

• 2x NFL Offensive Player of the Year

• 3x First Team All-Pro

• 14x Pro Bowler

• NFL’s Winningest QB – 230 Regular Season / 33 Postseason 

• Most Career TD passes (581) 

• Best TD/Int ratio (28:2)

• Most Combined Passing Yards (91,452)

• Most Game Winning Drives (61)

• Most 4th Quarter Comebacks (48)

Off the field, Brady has been extremely relevant, hosting Saturday Night Live, and making appearances on shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy & Entourage, while also starring in Hollywood blockbusters such as Ted 2 and the Entourage movie. Keeping with the Hollywood theme, Brady formerly dated actress Bridget Moynahan, with whom he has a kid, and is currently married to supermodel Giselle Bundchen.

His list of current and former endorsements includes brands such as Stetson cologne, UGGS, Movado, Aston Martin, Glaceau Smartwater, and Simmons Bedding, while also launching and promoting his TB12 brand, which included the best selling book The TB12 Method.    

The Case For Patrick Mahomes
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From a sheer talent perspective, Patrick Mahomes might be the most impressive quarterback I have seen in my 40+ years watching the sport. In just his 4th season, his list of accomplishments may not equal Tom Brady’s, but at just 25 years old, he is certainly starting to enter the “can he surpass Brady as the GOAT?” conversation. Mahomes is 18 years younger than Brady, and while it seems unlikely that he will play until he is 43, I don’t think it’s a stretch to think he should still be able to play at a high level for at least another decade.  

• Super Bowl Champion (LIV)

• Super Bowl MVP (LIV)

• NFL MVP (2018)

• NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2018)

• First Team All Pro (2018)

• Second Team All Pro (2020)

• 3x Pro Bowler

• Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2020)

• Only 2nd player to throw for 50 touchdowns & 5000 yards in 1 season. (Peyton Manning)

In 2020, Mahomes received a huge 10-year contract extension worth $477 million including $26 million in potential bonuses, that will likely keep him in Kansas City for the remainder of his career at a whopping $500 million+, the largest contract in professional sports history at the time before being topped recently by soccer star, Lionel Messi. 

Off the field, Mahomes has a litany of endorsements from brands such as Hunts Ketchup, Oakley, Essentia Water, Hy-Vee, State Farm, DirecTV, Adidas, and Head & Shoulders. He is also on the cover of Madden NFL 2020

In 2019, Mahomes started his “15 and the Mahomies Foundation” a non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of children.”

On July 18th, 2020, Mahomes, whose father is a former Major League Baseball pitcher, became a part owner of the Kansas City Royals, saying at the time, “I’m honored to become a part-owner of the Kansas City Royals. I love this city and the people of this great town. This opportunity allows me to deepen my roots in this community, which is something I’m excited to do.”

Examining the Data
CardLadder

Tom Brady Bowman Chrome PSA 10

Pop: 1,060

Last Sold: $19,050

Market Cap: $20,193,000

Tom Brady Bowman Chrome PSA 9

Pop: 1,474

Last Sold: $6800

Market Cap: $10,023,200

Patrick Mahomes 2017 Prizm PSA 10

Pop: 852

Last Sold: $15,000

Market Cap: $12,780,000

Patrick Mahomes 2017 Prizm PSA 9

Pop: 1,784

Last Sold: $3,299

Market Cap: $5,885,416

Who is the Better Investment?
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Here’s what I find interesting about this topic. Tom Brady is the GOAT. Patrick Mahomes hopes to one day be what Tom Brady already is. However, before I dive into which one of the two is the better investment, I want to show some numbers on the rookie card of basketball’s GOAT, Michael Jordan, just for reference.

Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer PSA 10

Last sold: $720,000

Pop: 316

Market Cap: $227,520,000

Tom Brady’s market cap is $20,193,000. Patrick Mahomes’ market cap is $12,780,000. I understand that basketball is king in the hobby and Michael Jordan’s popularity and relevance are untouchable. An argument can be made that Jordan’s rookie is STILL undervalued, even at that $720,000 price.

However, does it make sense that Michael Jordan’s market cap is 10x that of Tom Brady’s? Years from now, when we discuss sports’ most dominant all-time athletes, will Tom Brady be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan? I believe he already is. If he wins the Super Bowl on Sunday, giving him 7 championships, that would be one more than Jordan ever won. 

With that said, is Tom Brady’s rookie the most undervalued card in the hobby? The population is relatively low at 1,060. If the Michael Jordan PSA 10 rookie is eventually a million-dollar card, as it seems to be trending towards, $19,050 for a Tom Brady PSA 10 rookie seems to me like an absolute bargain. It’s as safe of a card as there is in the market, in my opinion. 

As far as Patrick Mahomes goes, he is obviously a much riskier play. All of the tools seem to be in place for Mahomes to continue to thrive. However, there are many potential factors that need to break right for Mahomes to overtake Brady as the GOAT. Most importantly, will he stay healthy, and how long will he play? Football is a brutal game, and players are always just 1 hit away from something catastrophic. For instance, just a few weeks ago, Mahomes got injured during his playoff game against the Browns, a scary head/neck injury that thankfully wasn’t any worse. But what if it was?  

What this comes down to for me is how is my money better spent. If I am dropping $15,000 on a Patrick Mahomes Prizm PSA 10, with a similar population as the Brady Bowman Chrome PSA 10 only selling for $4,000 more, there are a lot of risks involved, and what’s the upside? At best, in 10 years, Mahomes will still be chasing Brady’s records. 

Here’s the kicker…. I actually like the Mahomes card at its current prices. The greatness of Mahomes is not hype. It’s very real. I feel that both cards will be worth significantly more in 10 years than they are today. I simply find the Brady card to be the safer, better investment at this time. Brady’s legacy is cemented. He has nothing left to prove. Mahomes still has a long way to go, but his prices already have multiple Super Bowls, MVPs, etc., baked in. The floor is just much lower than it is with the Brady card.

Chalk up yet another “W” for the “GOAT”. Tom Brady takes the “data debates” title in possibly my favorite card of the entire series. 

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