- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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In the end, even Jim Boeheim undervalued the sport coat.
Boeheim was hosting his annual gala, the Jim and Juli Boeheim Basket Ball (great name!). He was officiating the gala's auction, to be more precise, an auction that featured a wealth of Syracuse and Syracuse-basketball-related items. One of these items was The Jacket -- the same navy blazer Boeheim was wearing just before he earned the first real (non-exhibition) ejection of his 38-year career in Syracuse's first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 22.
And yes, The Jacket deserves proper-noun status. When you help inspire the greatest Boeheim meme of all time, your place in history is secured.
Despite this, it seems Boeheim didn't quite know how desirable The Jacket would eventually be. He taunted the bidders. He offered to wear it to the winner's house. When bidding began, Boeheim egged on the hopefuls. Little did Boeheim know -- as Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Donna Ditota found out -- winning bidder Neil Gold needed no urging.
Because opposing bids happened at the opposite end of Turning Stone's Event Center ballroom, Gold wasn't sure what kind of financial firepower he was up against.
All Gold knows is that the bidding "went on for a while." Boeheim, at one point, promised to wear the jacket to the winner's house, Gold said.
"He called me out during the bidding, saying I was the No. 1 fan," Gold said. "He goaded me a little bit. Little did he know that I was fully intending to get that."
The bidding ended on Gold's $14,000 pledge. Gold's attendance at the Duke game, where he sat directly behind the Orange bench and witnessed the SU coach strip off the very jacket he now possesses, makes the purchase more precious.
The spoils in photograph form. We can confirm that this is, in fact, a navy blue blazer:
— Stacy Loeb, MD (@LoebStacy) April 27, 2014
But wait: $14,000?! Before you get all worked up about that bonkers price, first know that Gold is a massive Syracuse fan with a horseradish empire and an entire second house devoted to Orange memorabilia. To that dude, that much money doesn't really feel like that much money.
Most important, though, is that the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation sends all gala proceeds to benefit cancer research and local children's groups. Gold's purchase was really more like a donation with a bonus. A really expensive, niche-obsession-level bonus -- one the original owner didn't really seem to understand. But a bonus all the same.