There’s been a lot of chatter over the past few days regarding the football that Kenyan Drake threw into the stands. As we have seen with the Public Service Announcement (PSA) he released on Monday, he regrets the decision and wants the ball back.
First, to set the scene in the stands. There is a video floating around on Twitter that shows a Patriots fan catching the ball and then selling it for what is being reported at a value of $500. In the video, you can see the edge of the recipient’s hat, face and shirt, and through photos that were sent to me afterwards with them holding the football, I can confirm (and thus 99.9% confident) that this is the party who has the football.
Understandably, they want their identities to remain private, but I will shed some information on what I know without revealing who they are.
Yes, they are aware of the PSA and other pleas for the ball. However, they aren’t ready to come forward just yet. But, here’s where it gets complicated.
This group of friends went down to Florida to visit other friends - from what I understand, they aren’t Dolphins or Patriots fans - they were simply in town and went to the game. However, the people they were with at the game are Dolphins fans.
Nonetheless, this somewhat complicates things because who wouldn’t want free Dolphins and Drake gear, in addition to free tickets to the next Dolphins home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars? If they were all Dolphins fans, I am sure this situation could have already been resolved. In the same breath, I also understand wanting to get fair value for the football, which will likely end up having a temporary showcase in the Hall of Fame. Remember, they did pay $500 for the football and I am sure that will be part of their argument.
However, there’s a twist. Someone in the group is actually related to a former assistant coach who worked for the Dolphins under Joe Philbin. So, there is a connection to the team and one that may eventually help get the football back in the hands of Drake.
The group of people said they will reach out to the appropriate parties when ready and I trust that they will. Yesterday, I reached out to several Dolphins staffers but did not hear a response.
This morning, I did hear back from some so I can confirm there are staff in the Dolphins organization who are aware of this and due to the relationship with a former assistant coach, this may help them move the process along. Additionally, I am certain that Ryan Tannehill is aware of who has the ball as well, due to his connection with this former assistant coach.
The ball is no longer in Florida, but in Connecticut. They are working to have the football evaluated and certified. The current plan for the group is to lay low for a bit until things quiet time. In due time, they will reach out to the Dolphins organization on next steps.
I will continue to update the situation on Twitter (@CannataNFL) so be sure to follow me by clicking here. For now, we can only hope that the Drake and this party come to a resolution.