Knoxville couple finds Lombardi sweater at Goodwill

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The game clock was running down, a Goodwill outlet store in Asheville was closing for the night when Sean and Rikki McEvoy tried to beat the clock and find the best.

They picked up a West Point sweater from one of the crates for just 58 cents. Six months later, they realized it it belonged to one of the greatest coaches of all time: Vince Lombardi.

"It had some moth holes in it so it's like nothing we could really sell. So (I thought) I'll probably patch it up for Sean so he can wear it," said Rikki McEvoy about the sweater.

But instead she kept it in her basement, without doing any work on it.

What kept her from the alterations, "this feeling, like this sweater has a crazy energy and I'm really going to regret altering this," McEvoy said.

That night the McEvoys watched a Vince Lombardi documentary and realized they pulled a hail Mary.

"I see a picture of him wearing the same sweater and I'm like, 'Rikki, we have a sweater that is just like that.,'" Sean McEvoy said. "I was like, 'Wouldn't that be crazy if that was actually Vince Lombardi's sweater?' And she's like, 'There's a name in it.'"

Inside the sweater was a hand-written label with Lombardi's name.

"Sean cried a little," Rikki McEvoy teased.

"The minute I saw it, I knew it was the real deal. And now he's got the most famous black sweater in the country," said Chris Nerat, the consignment director at Heritage Auctions, via Skype.

According to Nerat, with all the media hype, that sweater might auction off for $30,000. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the sweater already has a bid for $17,000.

But the McEvoy's said the real touchdown moment was knowing they were holding a piece of football history.

"You know the power sweep, which was Vince Lombardi's famous play, was probably thought of when he was wearing that sweater," Sean McEvoy said.

The auction can be found on Heritage Auctions website, ha.com. Bidding ends Feb. 21.



 
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