Not all noteworthy events in our illustrious team history have occurred on the field. For today’s installment of On This Day In Roughrider History we will remember one of the many off-field occurrences that are part of Saskatchewan Roughrider lore. While the subject of today’s post was neither a big event, nor anything overly significant in the grand scheme of things, I sill feel as though it deserves mention.
I’ll take you back in time one year to 2008. Riderville was still basking in the glory of being Grey Cup Champions. Merchandise was flying off the shelves at a record pace and fans were clamouring to snatch up as much Grey Cup memorabilia as they could… mainly because they knew that Grey Cup wins only come around roughly every 2nd decade.
The Riders, being the generous citizens in our community that they have been for years, decided to use this massive demand for memorabilia to benefit local charities. They began auctioning off autographed game worn memorabilia with the profits of the auctions going to charity.
It was on this day one year ago today that one of those many auctions closed… and the winning bidder got the honour of purchasing James Johnson’s game worn helmet for the low price of $2820.
This is possibly the biggest overpayment since Hamilton signed Casey Printers. Obviously the buyer was not very market savvy. I mean its common knowledge that a new football helmet will cost you between $100-200. Now having that helmet signed by a famous athlete will greatly increase its value. However, having it signed by James Johnson will actually devalue it roughly 50%. Furthermore you have to factor in that at the time of the auction James Johnson was at the apex of his career and has since plummeted like my pension fund. Today, that helmet would likely only be worth, at most, a 4th round draft pick. Which, interestingly enough, is more than James Johnson himself went for.
The buyer was no doubt hoping that this piece of memorabilia would be worth many more thousands once James Johnson established himself as the greatest defensive force of our generation… Unfortunately for the buyer, the only thing Johnson established himself as was the least talented player to ever be named Grey Cup MVP. At least he can take solace in the fact that his misguided overspending greatly benefited a local charity. I mean he would have been better off just donating the money directly and getting a tax receipt but that’s beside the point.
Misguided love for crappy players… an unfortunate part of our Roughrider heritage.