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Keith Olbermann's Bomber Jacket Worn During the Debut Broadcast of ESPN2 in 1993
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $600
Though it is far from the most expensive, this lot is in many ways one of the most important in the entire REA auction. It is not only a fascinating modern relic of pop culture with ideal provenance, but is being offered to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause. ESPN2, which is the offspring of parent network ESPN, was initially developed to appeal to a younger demographic. To target that audience, the network embraced a more informal broadcast style and featured alternative programing, including extreme sporting events and poker. The new channel debuted on October 1, 1993, at 7:30 pm Eastern time, with the premier episode of SportsNight, hosted by Keith Olbermann, Suzy Kolber, and Mitch Albom. SportsNight was the network's equivalent of ESPN's Sportscenter,but with an edgier and more irreverent tone. Offered here is the famous (or perhaps infamous) brown-leather bomber jacket worn by Keith Olbermann during the debut episode of SportsNight (as well as worn during many additional episodes). While executives thought the SportsNight anchors should be dressed not in suit-and-tie but in more "hip" fashions, that was not why Olbermann wore the jacket. "Due to an undetected automatic Air Conditioning/automatic Light Grid snafu, the studio was so cold that I had been wearing it in rehearsals. The afternoon of the premiere the executive producer saw me in the leather jacket and said 'You should wear that on the air.' I immediately told him that was the greatest idea I had ever heard." The jacket was also worn during the debut of the 2013 show that marked Olbermann's return to ESPN and ESPN2.
Of special note, the jacket's provenance is impeccable: it has been consigned directly by Keith Olbermann! At the direction of Keith Olbermann, who is hoping this personal keepsake will find a good home and at the same time provide for a good cause, the entire auction proceeds including buyer's premium for this lot is being donated to From The Heart, a last-chance dog shelter in El Paso, which takes in all the dogs (and cats) that are to be euthanized by the other shelters (website: http://www.fthar.org). REA is honored to help spread the word about this great organization. The winning bidder for this lot will be asked to make the tax-deductible check out directly to "From The Heart." The jacket (size "Large"), manufactured by Avirex Limited, displays light wear. In Excellent condition overall.
Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $600
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