Over the past few weeks, a story surfaced that involved a friendly wager made on air between ESPN Radio’s Paul Finebaum and Auburn Tigers fan Josh Smitherman. After initially agreeing to send Smitherman to the national championship if Auburn made the title game, Finebaum has struggled to live up to his end of the bargain.
FanSided’s own Mike Dyce passed along the report yesterday that Finebaum lied about buying tickets to the game for Smitherman and he instead flipped tickets that were meant for a gift to a serviceman.
Now, with tickets and no way to get to the game, Smitherman is still attempting to talk with Finebaum about how he should go about booking his travel.
After repeated failed attempts to get in contact with Finebaum, Smitherman was finally contacted by John Hayes, who answers the phones and screens calls for The Paul Finebaum Show.
How did they recommend solving the issue? By selling one of the donated tickets on Stub Hub to cash in and earn some money.
“His guy called me at about 8 p.m. last night and told me to put the tickets on Stub Hub so I could at the least have $2,500 if they weren’t able to make it happen,” Smitherman told FanSided.com.
“That was the first time I have talked to them off-air. The first time they have contacted me. I called him back and told him I would sell one to help get me out there, if that would help them. He said he was headed into office and would call me back.”
While Finebaum did live up to part of the bargain by ensuring Smitherman had tickets, it appears that he is still attempting to find a way that will allow him to get away without digging in to his pocket to fulfill the bet.
To be fair to Finebaum, he did the right thing by donating the tickets to an Auburn fan who would appreciate them. However, he should not be attempting to have the recipient sell one of the tickets to pocket some cash when the ultimate goal of the donation was to allow an Auburn fan to enjoy being at the Rose Bowl to witness the title game.
Let’s hope that Josh Smitherman can still find a way to get to the game after having his hopes built up only to find himself in the middle of a sticky situation. If Finebaum wants to save face, he needs to finalize travel now by booking Smitherman a commercial flight and ensuring that he has a cozy seat in the Rose Bowl for the big game.
If not, there will be two donated tickets floating around and two empty seats that were meant to be filled for a good cause.
Finebaum should be better than that.