Surfin' the Net
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2003
As part of the endless parade of strange Bucs items put up for auction since the team's Super Bowl victory, a Kansas City dealer this week posted on eBay.com the 1996 Florida State Orange Bowl championship ring that once belonged to Bucs safety Dexter Jackson.
The thing is, Jackson wants it back.
The Super Bowl MVP soon will have another ring to dwarf the one he earned as a freshman for the Seminoles, but when contacted about the ring, Jackson said Thursday that it was "stolen or lost."
"Dexter would like it back," said Peter Schaffer, vice president of Denver-based All Pro Sports and Entertainment, the firm that represents Jackson. "He thought it was gone, said it was stolen or lost. He thought he would never see it again."
The 10-karat gold ring, which has a ring of cubic zirconia around the Seminoles logo, has Jackson's name on one side, and the initials "DLJ" are inscribed on the inside. The auction listing says the dealer "obtained this ring directly from a person who owns a pawn shop in Quincy," Jackson's hometown near Tallahassee, in 1998. Schaffer, who called Jackson after he learned of the auction, said his client did not sell the ring to a pawn shop.
Schaffer e-mailed the dealer running the auction and explained that the ring could be stolen property. The problem is that even though Jackson stands to earn millions as an unrestricted free agent next month, he doesn't want to pay for the ring. At least 11 people do, with bidding at $811 Thursday night with three days remaining on the auction.
"He's not going to pay $800 for his own ring," said Schaffer, who added that the dealer didn't seem interested in returning the ring.
The dealer, whose name was not given, did not respond to e-mails seeking an interview. He has sold several rings, including an unidentified player's 1996 Florida Gators national championship ring, which drew bids topping $3,500 last week.
The dealer clearly doesn't mind using Jackson's newfound celebrity to get optimum value for the ring. "Now you can own a ring once owned by the Super Bowl hero!!!" reads the auction, which later adds, "Who knows, maybe Dexter will buy it back."
Perhaps an amicable compromise can be worked out without Jackson having to pay for something that is rightfully his. Autographed mini helmets were selling regularly in the $50-60 range last week, so perhaps when Jackson's ring is returned to him, he could simply sign for it ... a few times.
A PIECE OF HISTORY: More wacky Bucs stuff is being sold, and it's a safe bet this wasn't stolen. One eBay.com seller from Minnesota has posted a handful of red and pewter confetti collected from the Bucs sideline at Qualcomm Stadium after last month's Super Bowl. The bid for the confetti was at 99 cents on Thursday.
But wait. There's more. "As a bonus, I will include a blade of grass," the listing promises.
TID-BYTES: CNNSI.com, consistently among the top three sports news sites in traffic since its launch in 1997, is now SI.com, a name that better fits its role as Sports Illustrated's official site after the CNN/SI network shut down last year. ... ESPN.com, catching on to the popularity of throwback jerseys, lists the Creamsicle orange 1996 Trent Dilfer Bucs jersey as its favorite retro jersey. In fan voting, however, Dilfer ranked third behind two slightly more well-known NFL stars, Joe Namath and Gale Sayers, but respectably ahead of Brett Favre and John Elway.
-- If you have a question or comment about the Internet or a site to suggest, e-mail staff writer Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org .