It’s not surprising Kenyan Drake wasn’t thinking about the football itself when he scored one of the most memorable game-ending touchdowns in NFL history. Like everyone else, he was caught up in the moment.
With no time left in a Week 14 game Drake took a lateral, ran past the New England Patriots and around tight end Rob Gronkowski to score a 69-yard touchdown on the final play of the Miami Dolphins’ crazy 34-33 win. Drake was so excited, he threw the ball into the stands.
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That’s where the story of the ball itself, from a touchdown that will be remembered for a long time, started. It’s up for auction now, through the famed Steiner Sports collectibles company.
Kenyan Drake wanted the ball back
Usually, we see meaningful home run balls returned to the player. The fan who caught it might get something autographed, some tickets, whatever. It often ends up with the player getting the ball back and the fan and player taking a smiling picture together.
There aren’t many similar stories of footballs, because they often aren’t thrown into the crowd. But when Drake asked for the ball back, it seemed the story would end similarly.
“We’ve got one last home game. If they don’t have tickets already, I’ll give them tickets to the game, whatever they need,” Drake told Albert Breer of The MMQB after the game. “I’d love to have the ball back. I don’t regret throwing it, but now that I’m level-headed, I’m sitting down thinking about it, having the ball back would definitely mean a lot to me, and the team as well.”
Drake even tweeted out a video offering some cleats, gloves, a jersey or tickets.
PSA‼️ Love to have the ball back that i threw in the stands after the touchdown yesterday. For the lucky fan in possession we can make a deal that’ll be worth your while🤞🏾 pic.twitter.com/PMyvw3927t
— Kenyan Drake™ (@KDx32) December 10, 2018
But unless Drake wants to bid a lot of money on the ball, he’s probably not getting it back.
Drake TD ball should sell for a lot in auction
Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post said a Patriots fan caught the ball in the stands, then sold it on the spot to a New York Giants fan in the stands. A video of the moment showed the Patriots fan got $500 for it. He could have gotten a lot more. Steiner Sports told the Palm Beach Post that the ball should fetch more than $20,000 in the auction, which runs through Jan. 19.
Brandon Steiner, the founder of Steiner Sports, said the ball has been authenticated through witness accounts and a video where the auction seller is seen with the ball.
The ball went up for bid on Friday, and less than 24 hours later the bidding was at about $5,000.
— Steiner Sports (@steinersports) December 21, 2018
What’s the protocol in this situation? The nice thing to do would have been to return it to Drake. The fan or fans who bought it from the Patriots fan for a small sum clearly understood the business opportunity in the moment. Cleats and gloves are cool, but plenty of those can be bought with the money from the auction sale.
Perhaps you’ve wondered what you’d do if you caught a historic ball at a baseball or football game. Drake asked nicely for it back and offered some gifts in return. An auction for the ball might generate more than $20,000. So, what would you do?
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