OJ Simpson famously wrote an "If I Did It" book outlining how he would have acted IF he had committed the murders. Which of course we know he never did -- because the jury said so. So good enough for him -- good enough for me. Here's my "If I Did It" version of a more recent allegedly unlawful act.
Last time I looked, nobody had found Tom Brady's "missing" Super Bowl jersey yet. And the reward was up to somewhere around $500,000.
No doubt, somebody has it somewhere. The thing just didn't get up and walk away by itself, though it remains strange that with all the TV cameras associated with an event like the Super Bowl -- even inside the locker rooms -- nobody knows anything. Mum's the word, for now.
So here's a question. What's the statue of limitations of a crime involving the alleged theft of such an item? A half a million bucks definitely means that uni top has risen into the "grand theft" category. And it might go higher. Surely, Brady wants it back, as do the Patriots and the NFL. Not to mention the "security" forces that have been so obviously hood-winked in the process. Played for fools -- as it were.
This is a tough call. Whoever knows about this caper can't attempt to cash in any time soon, or they'd surely wind up in the slammer. But if they wait for the statue to expire in however many years it takes, the jersey will likely depreciate considerably in value. I mean, how many folks would cough up six figures for, say, a Bradshaw jersey from the 70s, or a Montana from the 80s? Old news and likely not worth that much. And even if someone was willing, what good is it to them then? Put it on a wall and hope it's a conversation piece? That would last about 10 minutes, even in a room full of drunken football fanatics.
So how should the current culprit proceed?
When in doubt, get lawyered up first thing. Explain to yon mouthpiece you wish to retain them on a commission basis only. If they can't find a way to cash in -- they don't get paid. Of course they'll be curious and want to know more. One only need tell them they have an item of questionable origin that others are highly interested in laying claim to. And of course, you must remain anonymous throughout said negotiations, which should automatically come with attorney/client privilege.
Forget the $500,000. Be willing to accept much less than that. A couple hundred grand should tide you over for a bit and the lawyer's going to get his/her 33% off the top anyway. But make them do the deal in THEIR name.
Most important of all is you have to insist on any deal including complete immunity for yourself. The lawyer is not to reveal your name to any authorities until and unless they have provided written assurance that you can't, and never will be charged with any manner of crime. That means the feds, the state, any locals, the NFL, or anybody else that could possibly try to jam you up.
In the meantime, don't keep that jersey any place obvious, like in your closet, attic, or even a safety deposit box. If there's a leak, search warrants will find it and you're busted.
Much better to find one's way to the Boston/Foxborough area and stay in a motel for a month or so. How much can that cost? Maybe a couple grand? Peanuts.
One could then hide it in plain sight -- by wearing it in public. Good grief, how many #12s do the beaners walk around town with every day? Thousands of them. Nobody would ever suspect you were the dastardly villain that swiped the really "valuable" one and had the cajones to actually flaunt it openly. Perfect.
Then sit back and wait, having already told your attorney you'll contact them in a few weeks to check on whether they've been able to "seal the deal". One shot throwaway cell phones that wind up at the bottom of deep lakes -- with the Sim cards removed, just in case -- are always a good idea in such communications -- and keep the talks short. Nothing to trace.
If it's a done deal, insist on cash from your attorney, no paper trail. A shrewd (greedy) one can figure a way if they smell a handsome payoff at the end of the line. And make sure it comes in random sequenced used 20s -- Jacksons -- not a bunch of new Ben Franklins in numerical order.
But how to make the critical swap? Actually, it should be simple at that point, given you already have total immunity and nothing to worry about. Show up at the lawyer's office wearing the jersey over top of an every day shirt, but under a sweater, so as not to be too obvious going in, remove it and collect your money.
Not a bad caper. But don't dilly dally for too long before setting it in motion. The longer that now "hot" #12 stays missing, the less it will be worth.
After all, there are now 5 number twelve Super Bowl winning Patriot jerseys out there. It's not like yours is one of a kind, like the Mona Lisa, Hillary's last worn pre-pantsuit dress, or something REALLY rare and valuable like, say, a functional Kardashian brain.
Or if you just want to be rid of the damned thing, lest so many bad things that could happen when those dastardly authorities swoop in and haul you off to a dungeon somewhere, never to be heard from again, there's an easier way.
Simply box it up and Fed-Ex it to Arthur Blank, care of the Atlanta Falcons. He's their owner and let him gag on it and figure out what to do next.
After all, his team choked like chihuahuas on chicken bones in the last Super Bowl when that very same #12 jersey shredded them in the latter stages of the game.
Seems only fitting.....
Then again, another possibility has always existed. Maybe Tom Brady himself is the culprit of stealing his own jersey -- what could have been easier? -- as an elaborate practical joke. Just to sit back and watch everybody else go nuts over its "mysterious" disappearance.
Would he have committed an actual crime? Opinions would certainly vary.
But for sure, the Emperor -- High Lord and Priest of the NFL -- one Roger Goodell -- would not be amused. That whole suspension legal battle thing would likely start all over again.
And the last thing we need is to suffer through all that sort of nonsense again.
But it would have been quite the humorous caper indeed.