Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has called in a unit of the state Department of Public Safety to help determine the whereabouts of Tom Brady's Super Bowl LI game jersey, which the New England quarterback says was stolen from the Patriots locker room soon after the team's comeback victory over Atlanta on Sunday night.
"In Texas we place a very high value on hospitality and football," Patrick said in a statement on Monday. "Tom Brady's jersey has great historical value and is already being called 'the most valuable NFL collectable ever.' It will likely go into the Hall of Fame one day. It is important that history does not record that it was stolen in Texas. I've called Colonel Steve McCraw to ask that the Texas Rangers work with the Houston Police Department on this case."
Not to be confused with the Major League Baseball team of the same name, these Texas Rangers take lead investigative responsibility on numerous major investigations. In other words, Patrick is taking the possible theft of Brady's jersey very seriously.
"I'm a Texan and Cowboys fan first, but the unquestionable success of the Super Bowl in Houston last night was a big win for our entire state and I don't want anything to mar that victory," Patrick said. "Whoever took this jersey should turn it in. The Texas Rangers are on the trail."
Not long after Brady became the first quarterback ever to win five Super Bowls, reporters saw him searching through his bag and around his locker area, then enlisting others, including team staff and security, to help him look.
"It was right here," Brady said. "I know exactly where I put it."
Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo rounded up other players to aid in the effort.
"This is not good," Brady said as the search continued. "It was right here and now I don't have it. Not good."
Finally he reached an inevitable conclusion.
"Someone stole my game jersey," Brady told Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the locker room.
"Are you serious?" Kraft replied. "Well, you better look online."
Brady offered a similar thought about the jersey on his way to the team bus: "It is going to be on eBay soon, I guess."
1:50 p.m.: This article was updated with quotes from Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.