Back in '08, Neiman Marcus offered in its annual Christmas Book something called the Super Bowl XL Opus MVP Edition, which, as you can see in the photo, is a mammoth keepsake -- "the heaviest sports-related book ever published," per Amazon's description of the limited edition, not to be confused with its more valuable (in every way) counterpart.
It runs about 850 pages, stands almost 2 feet-by-2 feet, contains more than 1,400 photos from Super Bowls past and features essays and excerpts from the memoirs of sportswriters (from Red Smith to Dan Jenkins) and them who played the game (including Bart Starr and Joe Namath). Which is to say nothing of the Super Bowl Game Chart, which "not only details every play of every Super Bowl, but by cross-referencing player rosters and recording the role of each player on the field, the reader is able to track the ball and really experience the flow of the game in a way that has never been achieved before."
There were 19,600 copies made of the Super Bowl XL Opus Limited Edition, copies of which still sell for $3,000. But there were only 400 MVP Editions made, and Neimans had tried -- unsuccessfully, we learned today from Neimans' Melinda Lee -- to sell its copy for $40,000. Why so mammoth a price tag? Because those MVP Editions were, in fact, signed at a "once-in-a-lifetime gathering" by every living Super Bowl MVP up through Super Bowl XL -- including, from Your Dallas Cowboys, Chuck Howley, Roger Staubach, Randy White, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Larry Brown. (Harvey Martin, of course, died on Christmas Eve 2001.)
Those MVPs were then presented with their own personalized copies of the tome -- and it would appear that Brown no longer wants his. While I was on eBay scouting local Christmas goodies, I came across this offering: Brown's hoping to sell his copy for $24,999 or best offer -- a downright bargain. Says the seller, this copy of Super Bowl XL OPUS MVP Edition is "more rare than any of other autographed copies!!!" Two years ago, Brown also used eBay to part with his Super Bowl ring.