Earlier today, ESPN's Darren Rovell pointed out the fact that Jim Brown's 1964 NFL Championship ring was up for auction on the website Lelands.com. As of this post, there are four bids, with the highest bid at $33,275, which is well above the $25,000 reserve price. The auction is set to end on July 25, 2014.
My first thought upon seeing the auction was, "why in the hell would Brown ever let go of his ring?" It would seem like too valuable of a keepsake to part ways with, especially given the lack of championships the city of Cleveland has had. According to Tom Reed of the Plain Dealer, though, Brown has responded that the ring was stolen:
Just spoke to Jim Brown. He said the ring was stolen. He plans to contact an attorney w/ hopes of getting ring back before its sold.— Tom Reed (@treed1919) July 7, 2014
Just how long ago was it stolen? In the late 1960s, Brown told other media outlets. That means that he's claiming to have been without the ring for over 4 decades! Incredible. Here is where we have a conflicting story, though. The description on the auction goes completely against what Brown is telling media outlets:
The ring was obtained directly from a Brown immediate family member and sold by Lelands.com in 1998. During that original auction preview, Jim Brown himself inspected the ring and acknowledged its authenticity.
Somebody isn't telling the truth. It'll be interesting to see if Brown would have a case if he were to fight this in court. Lelands.com was supposed to issue a statement in response to Brown's claim, but they have not done so, as of this post.
Does anybody here feel like acquiring Brown's ring for a hefty price? And, if the auction stands, how much money could you see it selling for?