Johnny Manziel Autographed Jersey Expected to Fetch $100K
I'm not quite sure where the whole Johnny Manziel train is headed. All indications lately seem to be that it's on course for a fiery football pile-up once Manziel finally takes the field in an actual NFL game against a team with different-colored jerseys.
There have been reports of Cleveland's brass -- personnel management and ownership -- being completely distraught over the way Manziel has handled his offseason. If you're scoring at home, Manziel has reportedly traveled to party during eight of his 11 weekends since he was drafted by the Browns in May.
That's an awesome completion percentage if you're tossing footballs to wide receivers and tight ends. That's a scary completion percentage if you've invested millions in Manziel's on-field success.
Yeah, the Manziel Experience is on the cusp of breaking badly right now.
So everyone who makes his living sopping gravy off of Manziel's plate had better get while the getting is good, which brings us to the latest wing, that some piece of signed Manziel gear is going to add to some memorabilia dealer's house.
In 2012, Manziel wore the same game-used jersey for all six Aggie home games, and somewhere along the way, he autographed it with a metallic silver Sharpie and jotted down all of his stats on the back of the shirt (presumably he did this after the season was over, but how "Johnny" would it be for him to autograph his shirt in-season and track his numbers in metallic silver pen?).
Well, an outfit called SCP Auctions has obtained the jersey and will be placing it on the auction block in the near future, as reported by ESPN.com's business reporter Darren Rovell:
"This is his only game-used jersey from his college career that has come to market," said Dan Imler, vice president of the company. Imler said that given the interest around Manziel, the auction house estimates a winning bid of about $100,000.
"It has been a long time since we've seen a player as polarizing as Johnny Football," Imler said. "He has got an electrifying personality and everyone is either rooting for or against him."
Imler said not only does he expect well-heeled Aggies fans to bid, but also collectors who want to buy the best and the most interesting items that make it into the hands of the public.
"Polarizing" sells, apparently, and Rovell is right -- there will be no shortage of wealthy Aggies lined up to purchase this jersey and then replace their family portrait with a Johnny jersey as the cornerstone of the front foyer of their home.
This needs to happen, by the way -- a rabid Aggie either owning it and using it as the requisite "first thing people see when they come into our home" or hanging it somewhere prominently in his or her master bedroom, preferably the ceiling above the bed.
Naturally, the questions abound over whether it's the actual game-used Manziel jersey, but Imler is steadfast in his contention that it is real:
Imler would not say who consigned the item, but said that the auction house has fully vetted the uniform's source and his ownership of the jersey. SCP Auctions also says it has photomatched the jersey with very specific tailoring repairs and wear that can be seen on both photos and on the jersey itself.
Manziel autographed the back of the jersey in metallic silver pen with his stats from his Heisman-winning season.
Aggies looking to set aside some of their kids' college fund can mark down August 6 through August 23. That's when the auction will take place online. The jersey was originally posted on eBay in May, with the seller hoping to get $300,000. (Sidebar: Are people fucking nuts or something?)
Since there are no actual bids for the jersey at or near $100,000, I'm going to chalk that number up to your standard memorabilia huckstering and take the UNDER on that total. (WAY under, by the way. No way they get 100 grand for a jersey. No Aggie is that delusional, and I say that knowing that there are few more delusional collectively than the Aggies.)
The message is clear, though -- autograph hounds better ride the Manziel Gravy Train right now, because this whole thing could blow sky high any minute.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.