Last month, the very football that was at the heart of the Deflategate scandal was put up for auction by the New England Patriots. Unsurprisingly, it fetched a whopping price for its sordid role in NFL history.
While we already know that Tom Brady is not smiling about his four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate, there is one thing that may be making him cheeky today: the very deflategate football that was used in the fiasco hauled in a staggering $43,740 at auction, according to ESPN.com.
Laura and Matt Nichols were seated in the end zone in the first row, and were given the ball by Brandon LaFell following a LeGarrette Blount touchdown run during the infamous January 18th AFC Championship game.
Sources say it's the only ball that was sold from those which were used during the game. Experts agree, it's the highest price ever paid for an NFL game ball, too.
Typically, $20,000 is the highest that a game ball will fetch on the auction market. A 1958 NFL Championship game ball got $16,730 back in February, and a game ball from Super Bowl XXXVI that was signed by Tom Brady only got $4,915 recently.
Following the Deflategate scandal, Roger Goodell fined the Patriots $1 million and docked their first round draft pick in 2016. The team also lost another draft pick and Tom Brady was suspended for four games.
Since that ruling, Brady has appealed the suspension but there has not been any word on whether or not it will be reduced or dismissed. In the aftermath, critics wide and far have been voicing their opinion, with some calling for Brady to retire, others calling for him to be removed from the NFL and docked his Super Bowl win, and yet others saying that the suspension should be removed altogether.
In the most recent addition to the saga, rumors have been swirling that the NFLPA will take the NFL to federal court to fight the suspension. Yet since Tom's appeal, it's been radio silence on both parts.
For the record, the Patriots are not fighting their penalty, and have made moves to sign a capable back-up in Matt Flynn should Brady lose his appeal.
Either way it works out, $44k for a game ball also sets a new record.