The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States every year, and some people have even advocated making it a national holiday. For football memorabilia collectors, the Super Bowl is also an unparalleled spectacle for sports collectibles, from programs and ticket stubs to pennants and lapel pins.

The first Super Bowl was played in 1967 between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. At the time, the contest was not known as the Super Bowl, which is why tickets to that first game, which are highly collectible today, bear the words “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” It was not until after the two leagues merged in 1970 that the Super Bowl brand was attached to the championship game.

The Packers won that first championship game 35-10, asserting the NFL’s superiority over the AFL in front of a sparse crowd. Programs from that game, as well as the second Super Bowl, in which the Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders, are the most collectible Super Bowl programs.

Super Bowl III was quite possibly the most important Super Bowl in shaping the future of the NFL. Joe Namath, the quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, who were massive underdogs in the game, brashly guaranteed victory before the game. He delivered, as his Jets beat the NFL’s big, bad Baltimore Colts 16-7. The AFL (which would become the AFC the following year when the two leagues merged) would win 10 of the next 12 Super Bowls after the Jets victory. Namath, who gained a lot of notoriety because of his guarantee, is one of the most collectible players in football history.

Over the next few decades, the Super Bowl grew to become more than just a game—it was also a national and international phenomenon. Music stars sang the national anthem before the game, and everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson to The Rolling Stones have played a short set at halftime. The most memorable halftime show was undoubtedly the one for 2004’s Super Bowl XXVII, in which Janet Jackson famously had a “wardrobe malfunction.”

On a few occasions, the Super Bowl has helped produce dynasties. Recently it was the New England Patriots; in the ’80s it was the San Francisco 49ers; and in the ’70s it was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No team, however, commands the same attention from collectors as the early ’90s dynasty of “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout the franchise’s history, the Cowboys h...

Other Super Bowl collectibles include jersey patches, pennants, jackets, and pins. Every Super Bowl has its own unique insignia, so some collectors try to accumulate items from every Super Bowl. Others acquire collectibles only when their favorite teams are in the game.

Obviously items from the first few Super Bowls are most prized, but memorabilia from particularly memorable Super Bowls are also desirable—items from Super Bowl XLII in 2008, for example, when the New York Giants upset the undefeated Patriots, are considered more collectible than similar pieces from other contests.

In recent years, Super Bowl organizers have capitalized on the allure of the game by producing scores of souvenirs—from seat cushions to mini footballs—as well as endless articles of clothing. For fans of a beloved Super Bowl champion, even these artifacts are of interest.

After a Super Bowl, a second wave of items—commemorative shirts, plaques, rings, and signs—are created to honor the victorious team. These are often must-haves for diehard fans. But a major problem with Super Bowl collectibles is that they are easily reproduced and frequently reissued, which makes both authenticating and dating an item tricky.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Football Card Gallery

Vintage Football Card Gallery

This great database of pro and collegiate football cards from the 1950s and 1960s offers scanned images of cards fo… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Clay Matthews Packers Super Bowl Game JerseySuper Bowl Xxvii (27) Dallas Cowboys 3 Patch Lot Football 3 Patches -Seattle Seahawks Nike Super Bowl 48 Xlviii Silver Storm Lockup Fan Gloves Xl $$Vintage 1971 Baltimore Colts Super Bowl Iv PennantThe 1976 Oakland Raiders Superbowl Team (nfl)Ray Lewis Autographed Super Bowl Xxxv Game Football W/sb 35 Mvp InscriptionSeattle Seahawks Nike Super Bowl 48 Xlviii Silver Storm Lockup Gloves Mens Xl $Mint Super Bowl Vii 7 1973 Ticket With StubTom Brady 3x Super Bowl Champ Autographed New England Patriots Mini-helmet * MhmSeattle Seahawks Super Bowl Xlviii (48) 32" Embroidered Wool Heritage Banner NflRay Lewis Autographed Baltimore Ravens Mini Helmet W/super Bowl Xxxv Mvp InscNfl 2014 Super Bowl Xlviii 48 Champions Seattle Seahawks 5 Pin Set Limited EdtSuper Bowl White Montee Ball Autograph Denver Broncos Mini Helmet Coa PhotoSeattle Seahawks Fox Sports Nfl Robot Super Bowl Champions Xlviii Limited New.Super Bowl Iii Program New York Jets Baltimore Colts Namath Mvp January 12, 1969Super Bowl Vi Full Ticket - Psa GradedFull Size Aarron Rodgers Autograph Super Bowl Stat Helmet Greenbay PackersNew Era Seattle Seahawks Sport Knit Hat Beanie Russell Wilson Superbowl 48 EdTroy Aikman Signed Football Nfl Official Wilson Super Bowl Xxvii ( 27 ) CowboysJostens 10k White Gold Baltimore Ravens 2012 Super Bowl Championship Mens Ring 2012 National Treasures Super Bowl Signatures Marshall Faulk Auto Serial # 8/10 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xxxi Champs Multi-signed Mini Helmet Psa/dnaPeyton Manning Super Bowl Xlviii Jersey2007 Ud Premier Tom Brady Stitchings Super Bowl Commemorative Patch #27/75Eli Manning 2x Super Bowl Champion Autographed New York Giants Mini-helmet * MhmWalter Payton #34 Chicago Bears Throwback Jersey Size M Medium Superbowl PatchTwo Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Limited Chrome 7 By 3.5 Inches Decal StickerTen 1980 Super Bowl Xiv Unused Press Tickets/stubs Rose Bowl~rams Vs SteelersRussell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Nike Jersey, Size Xl 48, W/ Superbowl Patch2001 New England Patriots Brady Super Bowl World Championship Champions Ring1991 Packers Super Bowl Ii #43 Ray Nitschke Hof Packers Signed Auto Psa/dnaSuper Bowl Xlvii New Orleans Replica Mini Football Helmet New In PackageSeattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Jacket In A Small, Medium Or LargeSan Diego Charger 1994/95 Super Bowl Team Signed HelmetBrett Favre Autographed 20x24 Photo W/coa Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Framed!!!New Sz Lg Nike On Field Super Bowl Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Jersey $150New Sz Xxl Mens Nike Therma Fit Denver Broncos Super Bowl Hoodie $80 RetailNfl 2014 Super Bowl Xlviii 48 Champions Seattle Seahawks 5 Pin Set Limited EdtNew Sz Xl Mens Nike Therma Fit Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Hoodie $80 RetailKam Chancellor Xl Super Bowl JerseyJames Harrison Autographed Mini Helmet/pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Champion1986 Super Bowl Xx Ticket Stub Chicago Bears New England PatriotsPeyton Manning Indianapolis Colts Bobble Head Super Bowl Xli Champs Mvp TrophyTom Brady Superbowl Bobblehead Xxxvii 38 Forever Collectibles Patriots NflNike Super Bowl Xlviii Hoodie Sweatshirt, Therma-fit, Charcoal, Size Large, Nwt2014 Official Nfl Super Bowl Xlviii (48) Bud Light Beer Banner Huge Sign Nylon(2) Final Score Pin Nfl 2014 Super Bowl Xlviii 48 Champions Seattle Seahawks Autographed New York Giants Super Bowl Xlii 42 Team Signed Steiner Coa 05/52Nfl Seattle Seahawks Superbowl Football Sports Real Glass Bar Neon Light Sign1996 Emmitt Smith Collectors Edge Cowboybilia Auto Autograph Super Bowl Xxx /500Super Bowl Xiv Pittsburgh Steelers Ticket Stub AuthenticTom Rathman 2008 Topps Nfl Dynasties Super Bowl Xxvi Auto Sp #/500 49ers2012 Panini Absolute Football Rookie Jersey Of Russell Wilson!!!! Superbowl Mvp.Aaron Rodgers Hand Signed Autograph 8x10 Photo Packers Nfl Mvp Super Bowl W CoaNike Nfl Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch Superbowl Xlviii TeeAuthentic Nfl Nike Superbowl 1/4 Zip Player Dri-fit Jacket Navy Size SmallDenver Broncos Super Bowl Xxxiii Champions Official Nfl Locker Room Cap / HatRare Super Bowl Xx I I I Flip 1/2 Pound Triple Set. The Highland Mint.Topps 2011 Jerry Rice Super Bowl Ring Card 83/137Nfl 2014 Super Bowl Xlviii 48 Champions Seattle Seahawks 5 Pin Set Limited Edt