A Truly Dumb Purchase

The value of that ball sure deflated quickly.

Two things related to NFL quarterback Tom Brady happened yesterday, and together, they add up to hilarity. First, the football from Brady’s final touchdown pass sold at auction for over half a million dollars. The ball was thrown 55 yards to receiver Mike Evans during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ divisional playoff game against the eventual Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams, and wound up with a fan.

Because Brady had not given any indication that he would retire, and at that point, there were only rumors that he was contemplating hanging it up, Evans threw the ball into the stands. The fan who caught the ball consigned the item.

$518,000 is too much money to pay for any football, even the last touchdown pass thrown by a future Hall of Famer. But let’s accept that this price could perhaps be worth it, that some future person will be willing to pay that much or more. Even if that were true when the auction ended, it soon was not.

That’s because just a few hours after the final bid, in a beautifully comedic feat of timing, Tom Brady unretired. It’s now a virtual certainty that the ball this fan purchased will simply be one of hundreds of touchdown balls thrown by Brady, not the last in a long string. As such, it will be worth much, much less than it sold for.

The really stupid part of all of this is that the possibility that Brady would do exactly what he did and come out of retirement, was anything but remote. His stats in 2021 were not “time to retire” numbers, they were “near MVP”. But hey, fools and money.

Update (April 16, 2022): Alas, this auction was voided after Brady un-retired.