‘Deflategate’ Football to Be Sold at Auction for Starting Bid of $25,000
The infamous “deflategate” football—one of the balls the New England Patriots allegedly deflated to gain advantage during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts—will hit the auction block at Lelands, a sports and Americana memorabilia auction house, on July 18.
The famed pigskin has a starting bid of $25,000.
The ball is being sold Laura and Matt Nichols, a couple who were sitting in the front row by the end zone and were tossed the ball by wide receiver Brandon LaFell after it had been handed off by quarterback Tom Brady to runningback LeGarrette Blount, who then scored a touchdown.
“I pointed at [LaFell], he pointed at me and he handed me the ball,” Laura told ESPN. “It was all so surreal.”
The couple originally thought the ball was a backup that had been brought in for the second half after officials found the balls in the first half to be underinflated, as had been originally reported. But when the subsequent NFL report emerged, confirming that all 12 underinflated balls from the first half had simply been re-inflated for the second half, “we knew we had a Deflategate ball,” Matt told the New York Post.
Following the investigation against the Patriots, “deflategate”—also occasionally termed “ballghazi”—quickly became a part of the cultural lexicon, and the scandal resulted in both a large fine for the team and a several-game suspension for Brady, who allegedly knew about the scheme.
“I could see this ball getting six figures,” Leland’s founder Joshua Evans said. “This is one of the best conversation pieces that has ever been sold.”
The ball comes with a notarized letter explaining how it was obtained, as well as Laura’s ticket stub. It will be auctioned at Leland’s on July 18, and is currently available for online bidding.
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