What makes a "good" collectible? While things like quality and nostalgia play a big role; when it comes to collectibles scarcity often plays a major role in making collectible must-haves. Think about how many terrible retro games or no-name error printed sports cards people have purchased simply on the basis of scarcity. It is for this reason, the inexplicable desire for collectors to own rare items, that I can see that many things related to the 2020-2021 Washington Football Team (WFT) will become highly sought after and extremely expensive sports memorabilia collectibles in the years to come. But, scarcity alone will not be the only reason these future collectibles will be so highly sought after; here are a few other reasons.
As it relates to the issue of scarcity, the Washington Football Team identity will only be used for one season before it is inevitably replaced by their new permanent team identity. For that reason, it is already established that there will be a limited supply of WFT memorabilia following this 2020-20201 season. After this season there will be no more original productions of WFT gear and fans will be replacing their 2020-20201 gear with whatever is to follow. Especially when you factor in the fact that this season the team is not projected to perform in any particularly memorable way. Nobody wants to fondly remember another 4-12 season, right? So it is safe to say, after this year there won’t be a lot of WFT jerseys, shirts, and bumper stickers floating around in circulation.
Equally important to this issue of scarcity though is the historical time, place and context in which this team identity is being utilized. Due to COVID-19, aka Coronavirus; 2020 will be a year that lives on in historical infamy. In the future, many of the things like protective face masks, social distancing posters and the like will forever be coveted as memorabilia from one of the most difficult and unique years in recent human history. By adopting this team identity for this year; the WFT team identity is now wrapped up in that history. These non-descript maroon and maze uniforms will forever be wrapped in the lore of having come about directly as the result of the events of several world events and changing cultural tides in 2020.
Which leads into my next point; that being the changing racial and social sensitivities that are also unique to 2020 which also directly led to this change. The combination of all the financial uncertainty that social distancing and quarantine have brought about, combined with financial pressure from their sponsors (most notably FedEx); the team formerly known as The Redskins were strong-armed into finally relinquishing their racially insensitive moniker. Because this happened just weeks before the start of an already uncertain season the team opted to use the somewhat generic team identity for this season while they workout the legal and artistic business related to adopting a new team name. Therefore, wrapped up into this identity are many of the major issues of this year ranging from COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matters protests and more.
The third issue that will drive up the collectible value of WFT items is the uniqueness of the name itself. Soccer teams around the world generally do not have team mascots. While it is common for that sport, it is equally uncommon for American Sports NOT to have team identities. Simply put; there has never in our lifetimes been much American Sports memorabilia to own from teams that does not have an official mascot and team moniker attached to them. The fact that their team name for 2020 is simply "The Washington Football Team" is an anomaly, the likes of which drives collectors to highly covet particular collectibles. Like, the somewhat bootlegged black, Tengen Nintendo Entertainment System game cartridges; the very fact that few were made and even fewer LIKE them were made makes them extremely desired in the retro gaming scene. Likewise, because no other NFL team has simply carried the name "Football Team" will make items related to this 2020 team highly sought after in future years.
So, do yourself a favor and even if you are a fan of The Washington Football Team, pick up some team gear this year. In years to come people will discard these items as they jump on the next bandwagon of the next team name. In the years following that, as people look back to the insane year that 2020 was; people will be reminded of this unique moment in time for both America and this American sports team. At that point in time; these collectibles will become, albeit somewhat niche, highly desired collectibles for both sports fans and historians. This is because when all is said and done and life returns to normal, some might contend that in many ways, the Washington Football Team identity can be seen as one of the most "2020" things that ever happened.
Please leave me your thoughts and opinions in the comments.
I remember reading about this but we don't get a lot of info on American Football here really unless you pro actively go looking. So they were the Washington Redskins and they have dropped the Redskins part given all the crazy stuff happening this year and for the following season just Washington Football Team till they come up with something as iconic as the Redskins.
I imagine the merchandise from this year will become very collectible as it won't just be about the name but it will also represent the crazy year 2020.
In years to come I imagine there will be covid & brexit and everything else type collectors for museums etc much like the holocaust memorabilia some folk collect (I'm not talking about the red flag and symbolism nutters here just normal folk).
My wife has a Thomas Cook Teddy Bear she bout on the flight home from our first trip to Turkey. Thomas Cook went bust so I imagine the bear as long as it stays in great condition will be worth something in years to come. reply
Yeah, and you add to that that a lot of people won't buy anything from the team because they hate the owner; I think in years to come WFT stuff will be highly collectible. I'd agree about the Thomas Cook Bear too. People are going to be looking for those last bears that didn't stay on the market very long. reply