The Mexican journalist and suspected Super Bowl thief? Turns out Tom Brady met him in 2005

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Eric Edholm
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Here’s another weird twist in the Tom Brady Super Bowl jersey theft story, one provided — naturally — via TMZ.

Mauricio Ortega, the former editorial director of Mexican media outlet “La Prensa” who is suspected of stealing the jersey Brady wore in Super Bowl LI (plus memorabilia from past Super Bowls), is at the very least a serial selfie artist.

Check out this array of photos that Ortega is pictured in with a who’s who of Super Bowl players over more than a decade — including with Brady in 2005.

Mauricio Ortega, right, is the man suspected of stealing Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. (
Mauricio Ortega, right, is the man suspected of stealing Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. (

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Turns out that Ortega has been attending Super Bowls for years, and now he’s suspected of stealing two Brady jerseys (also the one he wore in Super Bowl XLIX) and Von Miller’s helmet from Super Bowl 50 — and who knows what else? — although it should be noted that Ortega has not been arrested or charged with anything yet.

So what we do know is that Ortega, who was employed by La Prensa since 1993, has been attending Super Bowls for at least 13 years, and he told Arturo Palafox, a sports editor for the newspaper 24 Horas, that he “had attended more than 20 of them.” (via AP News)

But we know little more beyond that. Given that in Mexico people often add the mother’s maiden name as well when mentioning someone, it clouds our search possibilities a bit.

Some Spanish-written features (hope you studied in high school) on the Brady story have revealed some other interesting details about Ortega attending Super Bowls … but not actually working as a media member, it appears:

During Super Bowl week Ortega had several items signed — which is not allowed under NFL guidelines for media members — including a book signed by Emmitt Smith and a jersey by Kurt Warner. When Ortega asked Warner to sign his game-worn jersey, Warner appeared surprised he was in possession of it according to a story he told to Palafox.

Ortega was present at several sports memorabilia auctions near ​​the NFL Experience during Super Bowl week, displaying items of his to be auctioned, including a helmet signed by all but two past Super Bowl MVPs (both via Maximo Avance).

Ortega told Mile High Card Company president and CEO Brian Drent, an auctioneer of sports memorabilia in Colorado, that he was in possession of Miller’s Super Bowl helmet and wanted to know its value. Said Drent: “I asked him, ‘How did you get it?’ And he kind of shrugged off the question.”

Via Proceso’s Beatriz Pereyra, Ortega was not even a working member of the media for the Super Bowl but was properly credentialed as such anyway.

Via AP, Ariel Velazquez, who covered Super Bowl LI for Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, said Ortega “said that he was not there to work: ‘There are people here to do that.'”

Velazquez said Ortega was upset that Marshall Faulk refused to sign a jersey Ortega presented him with. But Ortega apparently didn’t have trouble most of the time. Once a search warrant was obtained, Ortega was found to have an entire room full of sports memorabilia.

Although Ortega stepped down from his post with “La Prensa,” his author page remained live as of Tuesday afternoon, with his latest piece there dated from last Aug. 4 — an editorial decrying the Mexican gas crisis and the effect on the middle class, pointing fingers at Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as well as Donald Trump.

Via, Editorial Organization Mexicana (OEM) — the media organization under which Ortega was credentialed to cover the Super Bowl — was not even aware that Ortega was attending the events for its outlet.

Beyond that, we have little else about Ortega to go on. But we have a fascinating story about an international media member who was granted access to one of the most tightly guarded annual sporting events in the United States — and one that likely will be even more closely monitored going forward — which Ortega treated as his sports-swag grounds for more than a decade.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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