View Full Version : PSI "80's Montana" on Ebay - issues

12-22-2005, 06:34 PM
"PSI: Late 80's Joe Montana jersey"


The "1" font is wrong. The 49'ers used a "short/snub-nosed" style of "1". The PSI "1" is much longer and the geometry is incorrect. It's not the same font. Close by not the same. As well, there is an excess of white material on the ends of the sleeves for some reason.

See below:



12-22-2005, 06:37 PM
The identical issues I mentioned on the road jersey also affect a home "80's Montana" jersey that PSI is auctioning on Ebay. Currently bids have reached over $1000. The "1" is wrong and there is an issue with the sleeves. I'm wondering if both Montana jerseys came from the same source. The "1" is identical in both auction jerseys yet not identical
to any photos of Montana in the 80's.



12-22-2005, 09:07 PM

Great detailed explanation!!! This will help ALL prospective buyers wit this much detailed insight! I don't care who writes a COA, everyone must do their homework and you have done yours!!! The second photo from '87, the black and white one, appears that there is a matching amount of sleeve material compared to the one offered by PSI on EBAY, however, it does not match your breakdown of the #1. Again, thanks for taking the time to make mention of this....


12-23-2005, 11:18 AM

Is it just me or does the 8th picture (black and white) show the same amount of extra material as the one offered?



12-23-2005, 11:29 AM
Here are some photos that seem to match the Montana jersey being offered by PSI.
I think the allegations being thrown at Bernie are unfair and should be retracted by the poster. I want to know people's thoughts on this.


http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/details_pop.aspx?iid=247836&cdi=0 (http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/details_pop.aspx?iid=247836&cdi=0)

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/details_pop.aspx?iid=52635710&cdi=0 (http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/details_pop.aspx?iid=52635710&cdi=0)

http://cache.gettyimages.com/comp/53155865.jpg?x=x&dasite=GettyImages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=AB27D050201094214317F8857160B5AF0F66645C5FA4 9F1094D2604A015CF9DF
http://cache.gettyimages.com/comp/247836.jpg?x=x&dasite=GettyImages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=AB27D050201094210D5447A435DB714CEAEF869620B6 AB01
http://cache.gettyimages.com/comp/52635710.jpg?x=x&dasite=GettyImages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=AB27D05020109421599B35D9256084E88E5A8709A8C7 37AF94D2604A015CF9DF

12-23-2005, 11:58 AM
Is it just me or does the 8th picture (black and white) show the same amount of extra material as the one offered?
Hello Dave-

I have to say I agree with you. In addition, I have some concerns about the claims that the "1" is also wrong. After giving the post a careful look, my concerns are based on the following:

1) Unless I am mistaken, the images being used by Rudy are being blown up multiple times and are images that come from action photos. The PSI jersey is laying flat and is unaltered. As such, I do not think they are an appropriate comparison to use to compare the "nose" of the number "1".

2) Even if you accept the comparison, unless my eyes need to be checked (which is possible), the "1" in the 1987 photo looks like it might very well be the same as the one being offered by PSI (especially since the "1" being shown by Rudy is being pulled back due to the action shot). I am not saying whether they are or are not the same. However, given the burden of proof lies with the person contending the jersey is bad, I don't think the evidence is sufficient.

Though I have been taught a few things about jerseys, I do not consider myself an expert. Therefore, I am not the appropriate person to ask if the jersey is good. However, I will say I feel strongly that before someone posts something that can have an adverse affect on someones livelihood, I think they need to be absolutely sure and need to present better evidence than is presented here.

Christopher Cavalier
CEO - Game Used Universe

12-23-2005, 02:39 PM
I will address the issues and questions one by one to make sure I don't miss any.

CollectGU/Dave: re: the sleeves in the 8th picture: Yes I thought they may have supported the PSI jersey as well. Upon further detailed analysis,
the PSI jersey shows twice the amount of white space after the last red stripe. The 8th pic shows only a little more white space than was used in previous white stripes. More disconcerting though is that I found that the white spaces themselves are different in sizing. See my pic to see what I mean.

Eric: I have taken the photos which you say support the PSI jersey and incorporated them into my pic below. Maybe it's only me, but they don't seem to support it at all. The "1" in all of your pics is a snub-nosed font. The sleeves in your color pic don't show any excess white. What about your pics supports the PSI jersey?
Re: Allegations "thrown at Bernie".
What allegations have I thrown at Bernie exactly? I have not mentioned his name once, I have not said this jersey is fake. I have said the font is wrong, which I stand by and that the sleeves have issues. I have documented my beliefs with substantial photo evidence. I have thrown absolutely no allegations at Bernie or even at PSI. I have "thrown" 2 at this specific jersey. Having words put into my mouth by a moderator is a little surprising.

Chris: Your comments seem odd. The PSI image is not altered?
Chris, the PSI pic is 8" wide! So unless, Joe Montana wore an 8" wide jersey, the image was absolutely 'altered'. Secondly, enlarging an image, as I have done, has absolutely no effect on it's inherant proportions. Have you ever ordered 8x10's or 11x14's from a photo lab? What do you think happens there? They've simply enlarged your negatives or your 4x6's. The images are identical in their proportions. Do you think if you get a 4x6 blown up to 11x14, that the image's inherant ratios have changed at all? Of course not. Thirdly, how else could I provide an accurate and true comparison if I DIDN'T re-size all the images so that they were the same size?
Fourthly, Chris if it was "inappropriate" to ever use action photos to compare to auction photos, then we'd never be able to compare game jerseys would we? How many times have you seen an athlete take his jersey off after a game and lay it flat on the field so people could take photos? We've been comparing 'action photos' to auction photos on this site for a long time. Apparently this is the first time you've ever felt it was an inappropriate comparison.
Lastly, you say if a person "posts something that can have an adverse affect on someones livelihood..they need to be absolutely sure and need to present better evidence than is presented here". Chris this forum is filled to the brim with people "making allegations" based purely on their experience and knowledge. If I post a question about a Pete Rose Phillies jersey on Ebay, for example, and Howard replies simply saying it's bad because the font is wrong, what sort of "evidence" is that?
More than any other forum member, I repeatedly post detailed photos with my posts and this is the first time I've ever seen you say the evidence is insufficient. Can I expect you'll make the same comment when another forum member makes an assertion based solely on their experience without any photos or 'hard evidence' ?

Let me end by saying, I have nothing against Bernie. Truth be told, I actually think he seems like a nice guy. I have nothing against Joe Montana, the 49'ers, or Russell Athletic. I am also not saying this jersey is fake. What I am saying is that the "1" is the wrong font and the sleeves seem odd. Marcus Chmaj had an 80's Montana jersey on here awhile ago. Chris, here's a pic of Marcus's jersey "flat" and not "in action".




12-23-2005, 03:32 PM
I know I have butted heads with Rudy also, but it is hard to argue with his methods. Once again as a innocent witness, I feel Rudy's testimony has once again taken the lead in this case.

As usual, I don't know if the jersey in question is valid or not, I just know the evidence against points in the wrong direction.

Happy Holidays! :)

12-23-2005, 05:37 PM
Chris: Your comments seem odd.
Hello Rudy-

I think it would be a good idea to back up for a moment and look at my post in context so it is not misunderstood.

First of all, was I suggesting that images can never be blown up or action shots cannot be used to evaluate items? Absolutely not. My point was, in this case, the images used to conclude the “nose” of the number “1” had “issues” seemed inconclusive to me. For example, the blue line you drew in 1987 example seemed to be straight up and down to me while the rest of the number “1” in the picture seemed to be on a slight angle. That is what I also meant by saying it is difficult to make the comparison since one image is from an action shot and the other is laying flat. Whether or not they are different, as I said in my post, I do not know. However, to me the evidence from the images originally posted did not seem conclusive.

In fact, when I look at the first 1988 image you posted of Montana wearing a jersey (the one where he is on the phone), it looks to me like that one could very well have the larger “nose” you mention. Whether or not the exact geometric proportions can be reproduced to make the case, again I do not know. However, I didn’t feel I saw enough evidence from the images provided (especially given they are action shots) that make the matter-of-fact statement that the “#1” is wrong”. Can more evidence be provided? Certainly. I was simply stating I didn’t think there was enough evidence based on what was shown to make that determination. For example, if evidence were provided from the 49ers directly (or from an exhaustive analysis of all 49ers 1980s jerseys) that the #1 always had a “short, blunt nose” than I think that evidence would be conclusive and would be extremely beneficial to the hobby. However, I didn’t feel as though the definitive statement that “#1 is wrong” was fully supported from what I saw.

As for the sleeves (the other “issue” presented in the post), I think we have already established that the point made that “there is an excess of white material on the ends of the sleeves for some reason” has already been proven to have precedent. While your later post suggests the white space between the stripes is different (an entirely different question), that was not the “issue” raised in the initial post. Once again, I didn’t feel there was enough evidence to support the matter-of-fact statement that this was an “issue”.

That brings me to my other point. When anyone makes a post definitely stating that a jersey has “issues” what will the reader assume? I can’t speak for everyone but I know I (and I’m sure there are a number of other people out there) who will instinctively question the credibility of the item as well as the seller. That was my point that before posting something that can potentially damage the credibility of the seller I think really strong evidence needs to be provided. Can that evidence be provided…yes. Did I think it was provided in the initial post…no. Notably, I also think the post would have also had a different affect it was presented as a question rather than a statement definitively suggesting the jersey had “issues”.

Rudy, please know that I think you do a great job with the material you provide and I am all for finding out more information to help the hobby evaluate game-used material. That is one of the main reasons Game Used Universe was created. All I was suggesting was that I thought the evidence provided in the initial post didn’t appear to be sufficient to make the definitive “issues” claim. That statement, though maybe not intended, could have the potential to damage someones credibility and livelihood. As to your question as to whether or not all posts should be as responsible in this regard, I would personally say yes.

Christopher Cavalier
CEO – Game Used Universe

12-23-2005, 06:13 PM
This applies to you and everyone: I genuinely more than welcome any inquiry whatsoever to the methods of my analysis. If you think I've done something wrong graphically or simply want to know how the results were produced, I'm more than happy to provide a full explanation.

Re: your point about the lines drawn on the 87 pic. If the line is on an angle, the angle simply follows the rest of the number. It's irrelevant though. Look purely at the nose of the "1". I've cut the bottoms of the images to show simply the nose below.

Re: your point about the 1988 pic with the seeming long-nose.
Good eye as it does appear to have a long nose in that pic. Unfortunately, it seems the the "1" itself is being distorted by how the jersesy is positioned. I've attached another angle of the same pic (1988, Joe on the phone). Notice the difference.


I don't know 49'er jerseys, but I do know fonts and that's not the same font.

"As to your question as to whether or not all posts should be as responsible in this regard, I would personally say yes."

Well that's a forum precedent; to require posts that call into question the authenticity of an item to provide solid evidence. Note: solid evidence is not the same as a "fervent" opinion. Should be interesting.


12-23-2005, 11:11 PM
I must say that this forum has now become very interesting. I was curious to see how the forum would react when one of it's own experts items were questioned, AND a compelling case has been made..

12-24-2005, 01:28 AM
I must say that this forum has now become very interesting. I was curious to see how the forum would react when one of it's own experts items were questioned, AND a compelling case has been made..
Hello Dave-

That's what makes the this site so great. Everyone can learn from one another. Whether you are an "expert" or "novice", everyone can learn more through this site. In fact, I think it is a problem when the collecting community accepts whatever an "expert" or "authenticator" has to say as if it was burned into tablets on Mt. Sinai.

I think the opinion of authenticators should be one data point, among other points, that should be used in the process of evaluating items. It seems odd that I have to say this but, contrary to what some collectors believe, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. I believe no one is exempt from being able to learn from another. I know I have learned a great deal from the participants on this forum.

That being said, in today's world, I think authenticators do have a place. They can help people with informed opinions (i.e., additional data points). There are times when that can add value and that is what they are paid for. That does not mean their word is gospel and they cannot learn from others. In fact, I believe this site will inevitably help even "experts" to learn from others who participate. That is the beauty of it. The posts in this thread can apply to some unknown or an "expert".

In my opinion, different authenticators may have different approaches to authenticating items. As such, I believe the end user must know enough to understand the process and determine who they feel comfortable dealing with. Personally, I don't expect any authenticator to be perfect. But to me, it is the authenticator who demonstrates they will approach the authentication process with both knowledge and integrity, while also showing they are willing to keep learning and admit they may have been wrong in an attempt to do what is right is the one that will earn my trust.

I don't think any of the experts on this site will claim that they are perfect. However, they are extremely knowledgeable and try to share that knowledge to help the collecting community. While they are human like the rest of us, I believe what sets them apart is that they are not only knowledgeable, they are committed to trying to do the right thing.

We are in the midst of a revolution where collectors are having more access to information than ever before. Conventional wisdom may no longer hold. Collectors are asking more questions, experts are being asked to provide more information and the collecting community is benefiting from the knowledge offered through sites like this one. Personally, I am very happy to have the experts on this site be part of that movement and I think they feel privileged in helping to take the hobby to the next level as well.

Sorry for the long post. The quote above simply inspired me to share these thoughts.

Christopher Cavalier
CEO - Game Used Universe

12-24-2005, 12:39 PM

I have avoided this discussion for a number of reasons, but let me now throw some oil into the water just to play the role of Devil's Advocate.

1. The first thing that struck me odd about the two Montana jerseys and the Elway that are being auctioned by the seller is the lack of a 100% nylon flag tag attached to the Russell tail tag. When Russell switched to the "eagle head" red, white & blue logo tag in 1983, the 100% nylon flag tag was found on a majority of Russell jerseys by the mid-1980s. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule (such as it being absent on some of the early versions of this tag). However, it seemed a little unusual that all 3 jerseys lacked the 100% nylon flag tag.

2. Everyone wants to argue about the photos and fonts, but no one is pointing out that the 49ers were wearing Wilson at various times during Montana's career with the 49ers. One must match Wilson font and Russell font before drawing any firm conclusions about the font being incorrect.

3. Photo matching is great - and it is also dangerous. Case in point are the photos showing no gap on the underside of the stripes and the rebuttal photos showing the gap. It is common knowledge among many football jersey collectors that there will be gaps in the stripes on the underside of the arms on some jerseys. Sometimes it can be difficult to find photo evidence, especially on older items. Just because a photo is found without the gap doesn't mean that there weren't jerseys worn during a long career such as Montana's where the stripe pattern was different.

4. Unless it is so painfully obvious that a jersey is "bad", trying to verify authenticity without actually holding the jersey in hand is not very wise on several different levels. From personal experiences over the past 31 years, I've made this bad mistake and embarrassed myself on several occasions.

5. Words of wisdom from personal experiences to any dealer or collector out there who have contacts with equipment managers, ex-equipment managers, team personnel, agents, players, etc. Trust no one but yourself!!! These contacts for the most part are not collectors so they don't always understand the nuances (and they may not even care) of most collectors' desire to own an actual game-worn piece as opposed to a team or locker-room only jersey.

6. Repeat of #4. Don't put too much blind faith in your sources. Still perform your due dilligence to be sure everything is "right" about the jersey before marketing it.

7. There have been several excellent postings in this string indicating outstanding research methodology. However, not mentioning the Wilson/Russell issue, the 100% nylon tag, and understanding the issue on the stripe gaps points out that there is a lot more to conducting research than simply "photo-matching".

8. Peace and harmony to all during the holiday season!

Mark Hayne

12-26-2005, 03:07 AM
3. Photo matching is great - and it is also dangerous....

4. Unless it is so painfully obvious that a jersey is "bad", trying to verify authenticity without actually holding the jersey in hand is not very wise on several different levels....

Mark Hayne

Couldn't help but jump aboard and thow in my 2c worth. Mark brings up some excellent points; the two quoted above seem to merge somewhat as the focus of my opinion.

First I must point out that this is my opinion regarding the topic and should neither be construed as an endorsement of Bernie/PSI (or any other seller) nor as a criticism of the original poster (or anyone else who may choose to make a hobby out of photo matching).

The home PC, high speed Internet access and services such as Getty Images are wonderful tools of technology that have arisen as the hobby has evolved over time. Serious hobbyists and professional alike, however, both must realize that, they are just that--tools. Defined as "devices for doing work", they should not be mistaken for the work itself.

It seems that nowadays, every hack with a PC, an Internet connection and nothing better to do with his/her time has turned into and amateur authenticator. Apparently not for the purpose of profit, for they've not documented enough serious work with jerseys to have earned any credibility with the hobby at large; nor for the purpose of academic research, as their only outlet for publication would appear to be "hit and run" bashing on forums such as this (and no matter how P-C you tip-toe around it, pointing out inconsistancies in someone's item--which you have no interest in owning--by using barely relevant exemplar photos which prove nothing, qualifies as "bashing" in my book). Many such postings seem to be done solely with the arrogant, yet insecure posturing of a "look at me, I know more than you do" attitude. As Mark points out, one cannot make an authentication determination simply by looking at a photo or reading a description on a page, many nuances can only be imparted with a first-hand inspection. Despite the fact that the serious hobbyists and pros are all well aware of this, the "photo matching" junior authenticators seem to feel quite comfortable sitting in their padded desk chairs making authentication claims about items that they've only seen in a 150x300 pixel, 2-dimensional photo.

Photo matching, while possibly useful in VERY limited circumstances cannot replace a sound, broad education in your area of particular interest. While this education will indeed include the study of visual exemplars such as still photos, videos, etc., it needs also be understood that this is but a small part of the larger picture (pun intended). While photo matching may be possible for items in very recent years where nearly every sporting event is widely photo-documented (and now archived, thanks to services like Getty Images and Corbis), this is not at all practical for items of players that were worn more than 5-10 years ago. As such, its' usefulness has a very limited scope. While I would certainly not want to discourage anyone from learning and/or sharing there knowledge, there's something to be said for not putting all of your eggs into one basket.

After seeing some of the detail that has gone into some of these postings, I no longer worry so much about myself and whether or not I take this too seriously at times. I'm refreshed to know that there are others out there more disturbed than I. :eek: For those who stubbornly continue to believe that every jersey worn by every player in the last 35 years can, should and will be photo-matched, I suspect that these may be the same people who claim to be able to hear the difference in audio speaker cables. My though is that believers in either such farcical theory should not be left alone in a room with children or small animals.

Happy Holidays and
a Prosperous New Year!