A football used in last season’s AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts sold for $43,739.99 at auction, according to the auction house Lelands.com. Bids for the DeflateGate ball began at $25,000 and after five bids, the football’s highest bidder rose to the top.
Meanwhile, the fan who decided to sell this piece of sports history fattened their wallet. According to the provenance information guaranteed by Lelands, the game ball fell into the hands of a fan in the stadium for free after Pats quarterback Tom Brady handed the ball off to LeGarrette Blount, who ran it in for a touchdown in the third quarter. While celebrating, Blount dropped, where upon receiver Brandon LaFell picked it up and who handed it to a fan named Laura in the stands.
While the ball was used in the game, it’s unclear whether it was one of the footballs used in the first half of the game that led to the DeflateGate controversy.
After being tipped off, officials checked the air pressure of the Patriots-provided footballs and found some to be underinflated. An independent investigation by attorney Ted Wells later concluded it was “more probable than not” that the Patriots were aware their footballs were illegally deflated.
The NFL fined the team and docked them some draft picks, and also suspended Brady for four games, a decision the quarterback appealed. The NFL is currently deliberating Brady’s argument.