Bucs Fan Who Agreed to Give Tom Brady Back His 600th TD Ball Speaks Out


The Tampa Bay Times got a game-day interview with the Buccaneers fan who actually gave Tom Brady back the game ball responsible for his 600th career touchdown pass during the Bucs’ 38-3 blowout victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 7.

Byron Kennedy, a native of nearby St. Petersburg, was given the ball by Bucs star wideout Mike Evans in the second quarter when Brady and Evans had connected on a 9-yard touchdown that gave Tampa an early 21-0 lead.

The touchdown pass was Brady’s 600th of his career, a milestone never reached by any quarterback in NFL history, and clearly, Evans regretted his mistake moments after the play when he realized he had just given a random fan what could turn out to be one of the most famous football in league history.

Fans on Twitter were quick to criticize the fan for the act of goodwill, with many arguing that he potentially blew a shot at making hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, by not going the route of selling the ball for a large sum of money.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington even tweeted that some memorabilia experts were speculating that the ball could retrieve upwards of $500,000 at the very minimum if put up for auction.

TV cameras showed a member of the Buccaneers staff appearing to negotiate with the fan moments after the touchdown, with CBS announcer Tony Romo saying on-air that the back and forth went on for several minutes before the fan agreed to give the ball away.

Kennedy told the Tampa Bay Times that he initially said ‘no’ twice and that finally, he gave into the fact that Tampa was promising him some sort of gift package of signed memorabilia in gratuity, and that you ‘can’t say no to Tom Brady.’

Although it never came to this, legal battles concerning the ownership of historic game balls can sometimes turn ugly. Former Red Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, at one point was sued by the Red Sox after the first baseman who caught the final out of Boston’s curse-breaking World Series title in 2004 refused to relinquish the ball after the game ended.

Mientkiewicz even said he received death threats from Boston fans, including one fan who Mientkiewicz alleges made an extremely ominous call to the family's home phone threatening his wife’s life if Mientkiewicz didn’t give the team the ball back. Finally, he agreed to donate the ball to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Luckily, Kennedy didn’t go that route, and Brady acknowledged after the game that he and the team were planning on giving Kennedy signed helmets and jerseys.

Check out the interview above.

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