You may have heard that an eBay user is selling a jar filled with what they call sand from “Tom Brady’s exact retirement spot,” and it’s been bid up to an astonishing $99,900.00 as of this writing. But is this actually a jar of sand kissed by the butt cheeks of the greatest NFL quarterback of all time on one of the most auspicious days of his career?
It’s highly doubtful, our investigation has found.
To recap, on Feb. 1, the ageless Tom Brady (actual age: 45) announced his apparently real-this-time retirement after a lackluster final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The announcement came in the form of a video posted to Twitter and Instagram around the same time, showing Brady on a sandy beach. It looks for a second like he’s going to announce that he’s engaged to himself, but then he gets to the point right away and makes his announcement.
In short order, the video was watched by millions of people, and Miami area Brady fans were quickly able to identify the stretch of beach where Brady made the video: Surfside Beach in Surfside, Florida, on a patch of sand near the 94th street entrance.
One fan who found the spot was TikTok user @betrcaroline, who posted a video explaining that she was bitter after apparently gambling on the Buccs all season, and was going to make all her money back by selling Brady’s butt sand. She then holds up a bag of sand. There’s no word on how she plans to sell it.
It’s not abundantly clear when @betrcaroline scooped up that sand, but regardless of when the video was posted, it does seem to have been filmed the afternoon of Feb. 1, since it’s daylight, and @betrcaroline says “good afternoon” at the start of the video.
On Feb. 2, an eBay auction appeared, titled “Tom Brady’s exact retirement spot – Bottled Sand.” The auction is for “an 8oz mason jar bottled with the exact sand the GOAT Tom Brady made his retirement video on,” according to the text of the auction, which sounds much more pro-Brady than the embittered @betrcaroline. The hands in the eBay auction photos are clearly not @betrcaroline’s.
One photo on the eBay auction includes the Feb 1 New York Times. This is a famous method for dating photos during kidnappings and other situations where proof is needed that someone is still alive. Since newspapers don’t magically vanish after one day, the newspaper proves only that the photo was taken on Feb 1 or any time after that.
@betrcaroline’s TikTok post and the eBay auction both blew up online and started getting a lot of publicity. An article in The Daily Mail on February 4 attributes that eBay auction to @betrcaroline, who sometimes shortens her name to Carol, saying “Carol helps prove the authenticity of her jar of sand by photographing it in front of Brady’s retirement video backdrop,” and that “She also includes a copy of the February 1 edition of The New York Times to prove that the photos are recent.”
But a second @betrcaroline TikTok video about the sand seems to refute this. @betrcaroline says in the video that she plans to put her bagged sand on eBay for the relatively low starting price of $100. Her Feb. 1 video showed her holding what she calls, “the real sand from the day of, and not this fake shit that they’re putting up because the wind blew.”
“It’s probably not even the real sand,” she says.
Mashable has asked @betrcaroline for a link to the correct eBay auction, and for the exact time she scooped up her sand, but as of this writing, she had not replied.
But assuming she really did get there on Feb. 1 hours after Brady had posted the video, is @betrcaroline’s sand the actual sand from the video, with possible fibers from Tom Brady’s khakis mixed in?
That’s pretty doubtful.
On the night of January 31 — mere hours before the retirement video was posted — Tom Brady was in Los Angeles to attend the premiere of 80 for Brady, the movie he just produced starring Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, and Rita Moreno. Here’s a video of him taking photos on the red carpet:
Assuming Brady didn’t sit through the film screening, is it possible he hopped on a private jet immediately, caught forty winks on the plane, rushed to Surfside Beach at what would be 5:12 a.m. Los Angeles time, and then made and posted the video?
Yes, it’s certainly possible. But is it more likely than Brady being asleep in his Los Angeles mansion at 5:12 a.m., and having his handlers post a prerecorded video of his retirement announcement taken days earlier when he was in Florida, and posting it in time to coincide with the release of his movie, meaning the actual sand he sat on was scattered and blown out to sea ages ago? You be the judge.
There are now hundreds of eBay auctions purporting to offer Tom Brady’s butt sand from his retirement video. There are also parody auctions, like the one selling a picture of an exasperated guy reacting to the Tom Brady butt sand eBay listing, and one selling an empty jar with no Brady Sand, with the bidding starting at $25,000.
If you have all the money in the world, feel free to bid on any or all of these. They’ll get you basically the same thing: nothing. If, however, you need your money for things like food, housing, and even personal enjoyment, we can’t recommend spending it on any eBay auction involving Tom Brady and sand.