Your Dak autograph by a robot?
Dak Prescott is being accused of using a machine to sign his autograph for a memorabilia company instead of signing by hand.
Beckett Grading Services, which evaluates and values trading cards, has refused to verify the Dallas Cowboys quarterback’s signature in a recent card set.
Steve Grad, principal authenticator at Beckett, said his company looked at five autographed cards from collectors who received Prescott autograph redemptions from Panini’s 2016 Prizm set.
“They had a very machinelike feel,” Grad told ESPN senior writer Darren Rovell. “You could see the starts and stops.”
The lack of natural flow associated with organic signatures led to Grad’s conclusion that they were done by autopen, a machine that politicians have used to sign documents in bulk since the late 1950s.
“I immediately knew they were autopen,” Grad said. “I’ve never heard of a modern athlete doing this.”
It’s possible that Prescott never saw the cards, as blank labels to be signed and even cards themselves are often sent to marketing agents first.
When Panini sends cards or memorabilia to be signed by an athlete, it requires the athlete to sign an affidavit stating that what it is returning is genuine.
Attempts to reach Prescott, his agent Jeff Guerreiro and his marketing agent Peter Miller by Rovell, were unsuccessful.
Messages left for Panini officials also were not returned.
In May, Panini said it had discovered that some of the autographed cards of Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick Takkarist McKinley were not actually signed by him.
The company promised to send authentic autographs to customers who returned their signed McKinley cards.
‘Have a nice day’
Britt McHenry is keeping herself busy on social media since ESPN let her go in April.
The veteran NFL reporter, who suggested last week ESPN included her in its layoffs because of her conservative political views, resurfaced on Twitter on Wednesday to dispute a claim made by sportswriter John Feinstein. The former Washington Post columnist called her one of the “not so good or talented people” the network fired.
“You don’t know how I did my job, nor Andy,” McHenry replied to a Twitter comment, referring to herself and former college basketball analyst Andy Katz, who was also mentioned in Feinstein’s tweet. “I’ve seen you many times in person. Interesting you never voiced this?”
According to a report by Hannah Withiam of the New
York Post, Feinstein denied ever running into McHenry, saying he once told Katz how he felt about his work but has “NO memory” of seeing McHenry over her three years with ESPN. McHenry, who has a history of backtracking on divisive comments made on social media (such as deleting the tweet on her conservatism last week), changed course and pulled away from the spat.
“Going to take the high road here without extra commentary,” she said. “Have a nice day.”
McHenry, who remains unemployed, was notoriously suspended from ESPN for one week in 2015 after lashing out at a towing company employee in security camera footage that went viral. She has since apologized and attempted to explain her side of the incident.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott for memorabilia companies are being created by a machine, industry experts suspect.