Onterrio Smith’s ‘Whizzinator’ Sold at Auction
September 1, 2009
Do you remember the Onterrio Smith scandal? You know, the one where he was caught with “The Original Whizzinator” at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and subsequently suspended by the Minnesota Vikings for the entire 2005 season? I’m sure it’s coming back to you now!
It turns out Mr. Smith left this piece of NFL history behind in a storage locker somewhere in Minnesota and it was put up for auction. And yes, there was a buyer.
It’s true what they say: One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
A sports bar owner in Mankato revealed himself Sunday as the purchaser of “The Original Whizzinator,” and he said he intends to use the device that made Onterrio Smith infamous to raise the profile of his own establishment.
“I want to be the new training camp headquarters for the Vikings,” said Matt Little, the owner of Buster’s Sports Bar & Grill in Mankato.
The Whizzinator will be encased in glass at his bar’s memorabilia section next to jerseys of two Twin Cities sports superstars, Adrian Peterson and Justin Morneau.
Little recalled his reaction when he heard the Shakopee Auction Center was going to sell the device, which Smith was caught possessing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in May 2005.
“I thought, ‘You got to be kidding me,’ ” Little said.
But Little, who had a prior engagement, was determined to take ownership of the device, recruiting a purchaser and giving him a $1,000 budget.
Little had someone place the winning bid of $750 for him Friday night at the Shakopee Auction Center.
Now Little wants to reunite the Whizzinator with its original owner.
“I got a guy who knows Onterrio, so we want to do a reunion,” he said. “How classic would that be?”
— Sean Jensen, Pioneer Press – August 31, 2009
NOTE: The makers of “The Original Whizzinator”, George Wills and Robert Catalano, are due to be sentenced in federal court on October 8, 2009. They are charged with conspiring to defraud the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the federal agency that oversees federally mandated drug testing programs. Both face up to eight years in prison and/or hefty fines for manufacturing and selling the device via their company website.
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