A New England Patriots fan has decided to sue the team’s Hall of Fame alleging that they ruined his very rare and unique piece of Tom Brady memorabilia. The fan claims that the Hall of Fame’s error cost him over $1 million.
In the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Daniel Vitale explains that he acquired an American flag that had been signed by Tom Brady. The flag itself flew at Foxboro Stadium back in 2001 when the Miami Dolphins visited the Patriots. 2001 was the season in which Brady took over as the starter in New England. The flag itself was signed by the GOAT a few years later and is believed to be the only American flag ever signed by Tom Brady.
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According to the lawsuit, Vitale reached out to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to see if it had an interest in putting the flag on display. He says it did but would only do so after Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick retired. The Pro Football Hall of Fame suggested he reach out to the Patriots to see if they had any interest in putting it on display.
This is when things apparently went south.
The Patriots Hall of Fame was happy to display the flag. And Vitale agreed to lend the Pats the flag only if it were “curated to the highest standard.” New England eventually put the flag on display. But, a few months later he was considering asking for it back given that Brady memorabilia was skyrocketing on the market.
In the suit, Vitale said “neither the lighting at [the facility] nor the glass [it] use for case displaying the flag were designed to protect autographed sports memorabilia” noting there was a significant gap in the glass.
This allowed unfiltered light and heat into the case, which in turn faded the signature on the flag.
The before-and-after photos are blatantly different:
You can certainly understand the fan’s frustration in the situation. He went from having an extremely unique piece of sports history signed by the greatest quarterback ever, to now having an American flag with a quarter of the original signature.