This is not Detroit, it’s an auction.
The jersey worn by former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in the notorious Bountygate game is up for auction, just over 13 years after New Orleans defeated Minnesota in the NFC Championship that eventually prompted a protracted brouhaha between the league and the Saints.
The current bid is $8,000.
The auction runs for 22 more days.
The Saints won the game 31-28 in overtime. During the contest, Favre was battered and bruised by a New Orleans defense that allegedly had extra motivation from the promise of cash for knocking Favre out of the contest. Some illegal hits against Favre were called, some weren’t.
The scandal resulted in one-year suspensions for Saints coach Sean Payton and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was the alleged mastermind of the plan. The league attempted to suspend multiple players. After legal wrangling, Commissioner Roger Goodell agreed to delegate the in-house determination of the punishment to his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue. In a stunning rebuke to Goodell, Tagliabue overturned the player suspensions, reasoning that bounties were part of the cultural realities of the NFL at the time, and that singling out one team for significant punishment was not the appropriate method for changing that culture.
Regardless 0f whether the hits on Favre were part of an effort to make some side money or were motivated by a desire to, you know, advance to the Super Bowl, the Vikings nearly won. Favre threw an interception late in regulation, at a time when the Vikings were in field goal range.
The Saints then won the toss to start overtime, drove down the field, and secured the victory with a walk-off field goal. The outcome prompted the first changes to sudden-death overtime, preventing the team with the first possession in the extra session from winning with a field goal.
More recently, Favre has become embroiled in a welfare scandal in his home state of Mississippi. He has been sued but not criminally charged. His reputation, already undermined by allegations of misconduct while with the Jets — and a $50,000 fine imposed by the league for failing to cooperate with the investigation — has taken a major hit.
Thus, even though the jersey has historical significance to the sport, why would anyone at this point want to pay thousands of dollars for a Brett Favre jersey? Currently, someone is willing to fork over $8,000. It will be interesting to see how high it goes.