Patriots-used deflate-gate ball sells for nearly $44K in auction

Matt and Laura Nichols (photo via Lelands.com)
Matt and Laura Nichols (photo via Lelands.com)

Remember the New England Patriots-used deflate-gate ball that was put up for auction last month?

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The auction finally came to an end on Saturday morning and the ball sold for $43,740, according to ESPN.com.

The ball was sold on behalf of Laura and Matt Nichols, who were sitting in the first row of the end zone during the Patriots’ Jan. 18 AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. Laura Nichols said she was given the ball by wideout Brandon LaFell in the third quarter after a LeGarrette Blount touchdown run.

The ball is believed to be the only one of the controversial “deflate-gate” set to make its way into the public domain.

The price for the ball, which was sold via auction house Lelands.com, could be one of the highest ever for a football.

From ESPN.com:

In August last year, a ball used in the most lopsided game in college football history (Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College 222-0 in 1916) was sold for $40,388.

Even $20,000 for a game-used football is rare. A football used in 1958 NFL championship game sold for $16,730 in February, and a game-used ball from Super Bowl XXXVI, signed by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, sold for $4,915 in December.

The Nichols’ told ESPN that they originally believed the ball was a backup that was brought in for the second half after it was discovered that the Patriots had underinflated balls. However, the Ted Wells report commissioned by the NFL confirmed that the balls were re-inflated for the second half.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games for his purported role in deflate-gate, though he appealed the decision to commissioner Roger Goodell. Additionally, the team was fined $1 million and stripped of two draft picks as a result of the scandal. 

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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