Dan Walsh, Staff Writer, NRL.com
With NSW wrapping up the 2014 Holden State of Origin series in thrilling fashion on Wednesday night, the most important question out of Game Two is not whether a shiny new Blues dynasty is about to begin, how much XXXX it takes to drown the sorrows of an entire state or even what shape Robbie Farah's liver will be in after he told the crowd of 83,421 he will be "going for days" to mark the historic occasion.
No, the question on everybody's lips is: exactly what happened to the match ball?
Last seen hurtling through the ANZ Stadium stratosphere courtesy of a Jarryd Hayne one-armed hammer throw, one lucky member of Blatchy's Blues has presumably walked away with one of the more priceless pieces of memorabilia the game of rugby league has seen.
Just imagine what Richie Benaud and the Channel Nine cricket boys could do with this one. Sure it'd be a tough one to whack a frame around, but safe to say it's straight to the pool room with this little beauty. Slap on a scribble from the Hayne Plane himself, maybe Loz as well, and Max Markson, the ringmaster in the world of celebrity circus and a bloke who has an eye for this sort of thing, reckons you're looking $10 to $15 K up front, no questions asked.
"If it went to auction tomorrow; $10 to $15 thousand," Markson tells NRL.com.
"With all the [players'] signatures on it, probably pushing above that. Even with just Jarryd's that would push it very high.
"For a NSW rugby league fan there would be nothing bigger, and depending on where it was sold, you could expect a fair bit higher if it was at a charity auction with high-profile spenders."
So a shout out to the Blues fan who wound up with that humble bit of synthetic history. Full anonymity and full confidentiality of course; get in contact with us here at NRL.com, and we'll organise an appraisal of one of the more famous pieces of rugby league paraphernalia about.
Who knows, we might even be able to rustle up a signature or two from the victors for you. After all, these things only come around once every eight years or so!