Bears fans are sure to feel the sting for months to come after the team’s postseason run clanked to an end with Cody Parkey’s tipped kick that bounced off an upright and again off the crossbar.
One possible salve to the Bears blues? Cold hard cash, if you happen to track down the ball that doinked its way into Chicago sports infamy.
Memorabilia expert Ken Goldin estimates the ball could fetch about $25,000 at auction, or north of $100,000 if the Philadelphia Eagles notch another Super Bowl win.
“It would become a historic collectors’ item for Philly fans if they go all the way,” Goldin, CEO of Goldin Auctions in New Jersey, said on Thursday.
“The question is what happened to that ball. Did a player grab it? Did the ref take it?”
Replays of the NBC broadcast don’t shed much light on what happened to the oblong relic.
After consecutive doinks, video shows the ball bounce back to the end zone goal line and wobble to a season-ending halt near the three-yard line. Camera crews then turned their attention to a devastated Parkey and an open-mouthed head coach Matt Nagy.
Neither Bears nor NFL reps returned messages seeking comment on what happened to the now-infamous ball.
If you happen to track down the ball — and get it certified by the NFL — you might be wise to find a buyer ASAP. Goldin estimated the $25,000 price tag would tumble by half if the Eagles don’t win the Super Bowl.
“It wouldn’t carry the same significance,” he said.
However, even if the Eagles lose, the ball could actually still be appealing to Bears fans if the Parkey ball is seen as similar to another notorious Chicago sports sphere: the baseball that fan Steve Bartman famously reached for during a 2003 National League Championship Series game at Wrigley Field, when the Cubs were five outs away from appearing in their first World Series since 1945. The Cubs went on to lose.
Restaurateur Grant DePorter forked out $106,600 — plus tax — for that ball, only to detonate it in a highly-publicized effort to help exorcise the Cubby curse.