As auctions of trinkets that celebrities have touched or owned unfold, the Lelands’ month-long online auction of Tom Brady’s now-famous ‘last touched’ game ball which ended on 12 march practically exploded as expected, raising $518,000 and changing. Ordinarily, the ballpark, so to speak, for a random game ball handled by Brady would be something like a tenth of that, still a considerable amount of money. But for this regulation black Wilson NFL ball – that is to say for the seller, the buyer and for the house – the origin and the programming of the events around the object were simply too good: the GQAT “the greatest quarterback of all time”; his frenzied retirement after a spectacularly valiant attempt to unseat the eventual Super Bowl champions of the divisional playoffs; and the 55-yard TD pass in that game to Mike Evans with that ball to seal his career. After scoring, Evans threw the ball into the stands, starting the saga. These elements became where the bullet came from, and drove the thing to the far reaches of the stratosphere at auction last month. All parties to the arrangement were pleased with his terrific hammer price.
For just under 24 hours.
When, in the cold light of March 13, Brady was clearly out a week heart attack after his fateful and blindly famous retired tweet to announce that he had reconsidered. The delightful fallout of this overhaul of Brady and his family on the Buccaneers, on the NFL, and on America in general has been immense over the past few weeks, and we’ll let the athletic office analyze that for us.
But the devil is in the details. Peskily, for anyone attending the “last TD ball” auction, Brady’s redesign had an equally drastic opposite effect, that the thing was instantly and ruthlessly devalued.
In fact, although not one molecule of the object had changed, nor anything that had happened to it until it was tossed into the stands by Evans, Brady’s announcement had made a big deal out of it. different, an extreme rarity even in the rare world of auctions. Basically, whatever the now-linked fates of Brady and the Buccaneers may be this fall and winter, it’s to be expected that upon his return to the field, the quarterback will definitely score another aerial touchdown (with a fly ball). different game). And since the season is ahead of him, and since the QB in question is Brady, even this touchdown will not be the last. So far, so good. The NFL and the world at large will only welcome all of this.
In the world of high-end auctions, however, the technical provenance of the auction ball being the tool with which the world-famous quarterback scored his “last TD” had been instantly obliterated. Ergo: even if it was the same ball, it was not that ball more. Its market value has been summarily reduced to something like a tenth of its previous height (once). If this.
In other words: Cue the lawyers immediately! The anonymous buyer had yet to transfer the funds to the auction house at the time of Brady’s March 13 announcement of his return to the sport. But the buyer had, according to his attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, endeavored to cancel the sale and return the ball home since the moment Brady reversed his decision. Lichtman said: “At the time, he [Lelands’ catalog copy] was an honest description. But the way they described it, it was final.
The back and forth between the three parties lasted more than a month, ending with the announcement of the agreement to cancel the sale on April 14. Accepting the return of legendary football, lawyer Lichtman added: “Lelands did the right thing”.
For his part, following the conclusion of the agreement for the return of the ball, Lelands issued the following statement: “Following the non-retirement of Tom Brady (sic), and after discussions with the buyer and shipper, we have mutually agreed to cancel the sale of the football. The ball has not been returned to the sender, and the plan now is for Lelands to sell it privately according to the seller’s wishes. There is several parties interested in buying the football.
A loophole for this anonymous buyer, in other words. But in the topsy-turvy world of auctions, this roller coaster affair has another timely lesson, and that lesson is, for Mr. Brady, that a new auction value for his memorabilia has been set. It doesn’t matter that the sale was cancelled. It matters that someone paid half a million dollars for the football he scored his last aerial TD with (which was thought to be at the time).
Quick note to Mr. Brady, with an eye to the future: Tom, we suspect you know this, but you’re the GQAT! So whatever year you really think it might be time to retire, tell your last receiver to bring the ball back. back to the bench after his TD. That’s half a million dollars that guy would throw in the stands.