NFL changes auction procedures after AFC title game mishap

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The AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Colts remains best known for #DeflateGate, which has prompted the NFL to change the way it handles footballs. A lesser-known glitch from that same game also has prompted the league to make a change.

In a memo sent last week to all teams, the NFL informed all teams that it has changed the way it harvests game-used footballs for auction. Basically, the league office no longer will be doing the harvesting.

“NFL Auction employees will no longer carry jerseys and other game-used items with them from games,” the memo from Jeff Pash, Troy Vincent, and Anna Isaacson to all teams said in a memo that PFT has obtained. “Instead, when Auction employees are onsite, they will coordinate prior to the game with the club’s equipment manager and meet them postgame to photograph items to be provided for sale on NFL Auction. This will enable the items to be posted quickly on the Auction website to capitalize on timing and interest. In all cases, however, shipping will go directly from the club to The Hibbert Group.”

In January, former NFL employee Scott Miller removed a kicking ball from play in the first half of the AFC title game, sparking a chain of events that resulted in an erroneous ESPN report that the Patriots had tried to introduce an unapproved kicking ball into the game. Miller later was fired, as PFT reported in February.

The specific events, as chronicled in the Ted Wells report, remain unclear, but the Patriots were exonerated of any wrongdoing as to that specific portion of the investigation. Moving forward, there will be no room for confusion in matters of this nature, since NFL employees will not remove footballs or other game-used items from the game site, either during or after the contests. Instead, the teams will be sending the materials directly to the auction house that sells the items.

NFL employees will be responsible for taking photographs of items to be auctioned after the game, and then to compare the photos from the game site to photos taken by the auction house to ensure authenticity.

It still seems that the best way to ensure authenticity is to have an NFL employee physically remove the item and deliver it to the auction house. Apparently, however, there was a flaw in that process sufficiently fatal to prompt the NFL to completely abandon it.

29 responses to “NFL changes auction procedures after AFC title game mishap

  1. Love it.

    An NFL employee stealing game balls during the game is a “mishap”.

    A made up story about the same game that Tom Brady was “generally aware” that some other guys “probably” let air out of balls is a major federal case taking seven months to prosecute and over $1o million in NFL legal fees.

  2. Apparently, however, there was a flaw in that process sufficiently fatal to prompt the NFL to completely abandon it.

    Yeah, NFL officials aren’t trustworthy.

    They learned that from the head honcho himself

  3. Of course the Patriots are responsible. If the NFL was not trying to frame the Patriots they would have never found out NFL employee was stealing from the NFL.

  4. Call it what you want, but the guy who screwed up here got fired. That’s accountability. Something some people are trying desperately to avoid.

  5. Just wish the NFLPA could ” independently” investigate the NFL front office. The NFL continues to operate in international waters, with no regard of integrity and truth.

  6. Right. The specifics of the NFL employee committing a felony are covered up. The Pat’s equipment violations have to be blown into a five alarm fire. Nice work NFL. The integrity of the game is paramount.

    Get ready for more distractions from Goodell as the release of “Concussion” approaches.

  7. Very clear that Brady suspension will be vacated – the case against Brady is based on dubious data at best and the judge has been clearly on to this. Concerning the arbitration, the NFL took too many shortcuts which create legitimate arguments that due process was not followed.

    Independent of where everything lands, the best outcome to all this is the Patriots winning SuperBowl 50! Viva La Patriots!

  8. Yea the long lost fired NFL employee who was stealing footballs from the AFC Champ Game. Not investigated by “independent” Ted Well$. Also not investigated are any leaks or any duplicitous behavior by ANY league officials.

    Don’t be too happy, rival fans, this could be your team next. The NFL needs more distractions with W Smith’s movie coming out this season. COMING SOON

  9. Has the world changed so significantly that Taglibue had it easier or that Goodell is inept? Goodell seems out of his league…

    I vote: Goodell is inept. Tags lied about concussions but he had a better handle on all things Shield.

  10. I am more than generally aware the the NFL league office is a cluster…..incapable of keeping anything straight….all this for 44 mil per yr… What a bargain!!!!

  11. You can’t write this stuff. The level of incompetence is staggering. Good job tracking this guy down.

  12. Whatever the intent of the NFL ex-employee (my guess he was making some extra money on the side), he was not cheating for the benefit of the Patriots. That’s the difference folks.

  13. The NFL officials whom stole the K ball that game probably stole the Ravens K ball the week prior which is what started the ball rolling with the Ravens thinking tampers occurred.

  14. An employee steals a football and some of the footballs are a little low on air. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. The NFL just loves to shoot itself in the foot. Again and again and again. Why can’t they just play football and all shut up?

  15. One set of game balls for both teams locked away & checked every quarter. Brady told his flunkies the deflate them to his liking, keep the game balls locked away & the patsies can’t cheat!!!

  16. Mark that as another rule that can be called the Brady Rule. If he didn’t cheat in the first place this policy probably wouldn’t have been changed.

  17. ….just like its one thing to have a murderer on your team and cut him and another to have him start for 15 yrs….

  18. Mark that as another rule that can be called the Brady Rule. If he didn’t cheat in the first place this policy probably wouldn’t have been changed.

    I fail to see the connection to Brady with the theft of the K balls and the handling of auction merchandise.

    Haters gonna hate, I guess.

  19. “gabrosin says:
    Aug 31, 2015 4:44 PM
    Call it what you want, but the guy who screwed up here got fired. That’s accountability. Something some people are trying desperately to avoid.”

    Aside from your argument being just plain foolish, you forget that the NFL and ESPN (Kelly Naqi, Inside the Lines) tried to frame Patriots equipment man Jim McNally for this as well. She went to his home with a camera crew. Her husband works in the front office of the Jaguars and formally worked with the New York Jets on their stadium. When the story blew up in Naqi’s face her excuse was that she sourced it with numerous people in the NFL.

  20. What is the NFL’s procedure on players giving game balls and signed jerseys to equipment assistants to congratulate them on losing weight?

  21. Makes you miss the good old days with Rozelle and Tagliebue.

    Goodell is such a clown. Guy has being stealing game ball for who knows how long. First move is to blame the Pats.

  22. BTW, the guy that stole the kicking balls was actually the cause of the Ravens warning the Colts. Remember the email from Colts equipment manager? He stated that Ravens special teams coach said that they had kicking balls that weren’t broken in. This is because Miller was stealing the balls!

  23. smarterthanyouoryours says:
    Aug 31, 2015 5:55 PM

    Patriots deflated balls. Take accountability and serve the sentence.


    It’s bad to cheat, it’s worse to whine and try to obscure the truth.
    It’s worse to whine and have Goodell obscure the truth so Goodell can do what your team can’t do and that is beat the Patriot’s. Why has Goodell lied so much and why were 3 of 4 Colt’s balls deflated despite sitting in a warm room for almost 15 minutes of halftime? Never mind, if it makes you Patriot haters feel better to say the Patriot’s cheated, I will let you whine. With children, you have to pick your battles!

  24. The NFL has screwed this up big time but for Patriots fans to act as if they were framed or that Brady had nothing to do with breaking the rules is really taking fandom to a new level.
    Brady cheated. Is he still one of the greatest to ever play the game? Hell yeah. Should he have one or any of his titles stripped? Hell no.
    This crap hurts his integrity as a player on the field, not his legacy of what he has accomplished.
    I’m a big Colts fan and I think Tom Brady is a prick on the field, bends the rules to his favor and he bent a little too far in a game that happened to be the AFCCG. I think Peyton Manning is a prick on the field. I think he bends the rules as far as any QB ever has.
    Testing the limits, pushing standards, that’s what makes guys like Brady and Manning the greatest.

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