A tradition unlike any other– Jim Nantz goes full creepfest and gives an unsuspecting college kid who just won the National Championship his tie.
For The Win has a short article about the tradition (urgh! VOMIT!!!), which apparently began in 2006 but only got publicized after cameras recorded Nantz giving Ryan Arcidiacono his tie last year. Nantz was mostly ridiculed, so he spun it into a sponsored charity thing with Vineyard Vines, “who will manufacture ties with Nantz National Alzheimer’s Center printed on the back,” to save face and so he can continue with his ego-boosting tradition (blech!!!!).
Nantz says he’d presented ties to fans who came up and asked for autographs, sometimes to those who had their own story of a family member who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease — Nantz’s father died in 2008 after a battle with the horrifying disease, and the announcer made it his priority to do all he could to fight for a cure.
What a weird thing to do! Imagine going up to a TV broadcaster and asking for their autograph and then them handing you their tie. Uh, thanks man, but I just figured I’d get a few more Johnny Hancocks on my program and call it a day. Now I have… a silky garment from you. Hey, where’s Erin Andrews?
“I’m not comparing myself in any fashion to these names, but these are all friends of mine who I’ve watched how they handle the public: President George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, [the late] Arnold Palmer. I watched the way they interacted with people and I’ve been downright touched by their generosity. Arnold would sign an autograph with more care and attention than anyone you saw. He would pull out an umbrella pin and sometimes put it on you. The presidents, I’ve seen them give away cuff links. I’ve just seen the best at being able to make people know they’re appreciated.”
President of the United States.
Tell me which of these three you’d prefer to not receive worn clothing from.
No but for real, imagine how big your ego has to be to just casually throw yourself into the same conversation with presidents and one of the greatest golfers ever? This would be like me donating my old Macbook Pro to the Newseum because I heard Woodward graciously bestowed upon it his typewriter and Hemingway’s grandchildren handed over one of the old man’s cigar boxes. I bet Nantz dropped that line without a hint of irony.
Later, while Florida celebrated its championship, Nantz and Brewer found each other. Brewer asked Nantz if he’d mentioned his dad on the air, and the broadcaster confirmed he did. Then, he took off his tie and handed it to Brewer.
Wow. That escalated quickly.
Hey man, did you give my dad a shoutout?
Sure did, partner. Here, take my tie… and my shirt, and this pair of game-worn boxer briefs.
But I must say– I respect the hell out of Nantz spinning this into a charity deal to save face. Now it’s taboo to rip him for being a narcissistic freak because some tie company will donate the, like, $17 in gross profits to charity.
Side note: On a test show for our upcoming podcast, our yet unnamed co-host told the story about being around Nantz multiple times and how his go-to move is to ask well-wishers where they’re from, name a place in that town, and then tell them he has to go. What a guy.