Kobe Bryant Mask Auction: Market for Bizarre Memorabilia Is Absurd

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers adjusts his protective face mask during the game with the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on March 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.   The Lakers won 115-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When drummers throw their sticks after a rock show, I generally duck to avoid catching one in an eye. If an athlete ever tossed a soaked sweatband into the crowd, the very sight of the soggy "souvenir" would make me feel ill. If Michael Jordan ever auctioned off a signed pair of his gym socks, I think I'd pass.

Clearly, I've never cared much for odd memorabilia.

So when I saw that Kobe Bryant was auctioning off a signed, game-worn face mask, let's just say I turned my nose up a bit at the prospect. From Reid Cherner of USA TODAY:

After a hard foul in the All-Star Game by Heat superstar Dwyane Wade, Bryant wore a protective face mask for weeks to protect him from further damage to a nasal fracture.

Now the mask is being auctioned on eBay with all the proceeds benefiting the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation Youth Homelessness Initiative.

I think it's wonderful that the proceeds from the mask will go to a good cause. Charity auctions that include rare items are a fantastic way to raise money that can go toward doing positive work in our communities.

But this one is kind of gross.

I mean, he sweat in that thing. What if he had a runny nose? And c'mon, other sweaty dudes definitely came in contact with the mask at some point.

I don't find that appealing.

Yes, I'm sure it's been disinfected, I get that. I still don't want it, though. A rare Kobe Bryant trading card, sure, or maybe a signed copy of Sports Illustrated in which he appeared on the cover, that I would want.

But not this.

But if bizarre memorabilia is your thing, go for it. You'll be helping a good cause, and you'll be able to say you are the only owner of a Kobe Bryant game-worn face mask.

Congratulations. I think.


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