Mac Jones was caught a little off-guard by a question that broke up conversation about the offense and OTAs during his most recent media availability.
A few days prior, 13-year-old Johnny Stone was filming a live stream while opening a pack of highly anticipated Panini Prizm Football cards. As luck would have it, the Ohio teenager managed to pull the crown jewel of the entire series, a one-of-a-kind Jones rookie card, and the reporter wanted to know if the New England Patriots quarterback had seen Stone's reaction.
"I'm glad," Mac said after hearing the story for the first time. "With trading cards and that stuff, it's all cool. I don't really follow it too much, but congratulations."
The second-year signal-caller may not have realized the significance, but the viral video left no doubt that Stone knew exactly what he had in his hands.
"One-of-one Mac Jones," Johnny is heard shouting repeatedly in the video. "One-of-one Mac Jones!"
According to Jason Howarth, Panini's vice president of marketing, Stone's reaction reminded him how proud he is to sell a product capable of inspiring that much joy.
It was especially heartwarming for Johnny's father, Chad Stone, who got his son involved in the family business, Stone Sports Club, where they buy and flip trading cards.
"To go into a hobby store, or wherever, and open up a pack of cards and pull up a card that's worth $100,000 is amazing," Jason said. "I'm super fortunate. I get to market a product that has that create that level of emotion with the consumer."
It didn't only spark strong sentiment to the Stone family, though. The Black Finite Prizm True Rookie card had many hopeful suiters.
Johnny and Chad instantly had offers for the card, and ultimately sold it for $100,000 to a private collector out of Michigan. Not long after, it sold on a secondary market for $175,000, per the Akron Beacon Journal.
"I was just looking a Patrick Mahomes 2017 Prism rookie," Jason said. "It was a gold vinyl which is essentially a gold variation. A gold background, also a 1-of-1. It sold for $534,000 this past February. So in perspective to Mac, you've got Patrick Mahomes at $534,000 and, you know, one year in, Mac is already $175,000 in the secondary market."'
For Jason and Panini, it all exemplifies the excitement over this resurgence in buying and selling sports memorabilia like trading cards.
Social media has been a crucial part of that, for reason's seen in Johnny's viral video.
"This reemergence, you've got people that are breaking out online in live streams where they're pulling out amazing cards and everyone is seeing," Jason said. "So from a case-breaking point of view, what used to be your trading card community was your local hobby store -- and it still is, but now you've got this larger community where people are watching and opening up products live from all over the world."