Seahawks fan rejects $20K, will give famed football back to Kearse

SEATTLE -- It is the pass that put the Seattle Seahawks into the Super Bowl -- again. In overtime, Russell Wilson threw it to Jermaine Kearse, who threw it to... Scott Shelton?

The fan sitting in end zone seats caught the ball when Kearse heaved it into the stands in celebration. And now his life has momentarily changed.

"Everyone's going crazy. I can't believe I got this ball!" said the 32-year-old man from Monroe, whose voice is still hoarse from screaming.

"Wilson drops back. Throws a strike to Kearse," Shelton gleefully gave the play-by-play. "Pulls down the game-winning catch. He got up and chucked it into the stands. And it bounced about four times. And right into my lap. Just right into my chest. Like, just, boom! Just like that. And I jumped up into the seat and just screaming! It was just amazing! Amazing feeling! We just won the game. I got this thrown to me, by Kearse. It was, it was like a dream come true. It still is. I haven't woke up yet, you know. "

Shelton says an Everett sports memorabilia dealer has already offered him $20,000 for the football.

Kearse said Monday at a news conference that he doesn't regret throwing the ball into the stands.

"That throw," said Kearse, chuckling, "It was more so just a sigh of just frustration. Just letting a lot of frustration throughout that game out. I just tried to throw it as far as possible. It was just something that happened in the moment."

But it appears Kearse would very much like to have that football back. Shelton says he got a call around 11 a.m. on Monday.

"My phone rings, and it was Jermaine! Jermaine Kearse, you know? The Man!" Shelton said incredulously. "We were just talking about the game. He told me he wanted to trade his game helmet signed by the team and his jersey, for the ball. And then he asked me what (else) I wanted for the ball. And I said 'honestly, it would be nice to go see you guys whip New England in the Super Bowl.' So he's going to see what he can do about that. But I told him I wouldn't give it up unless it was going to him. I wouldn't want anyone else to have it."

Catching the famous football has given Shelton an emotional lift like nothing else in his life because it comes at a profoundly difficult time for the jobless father of two young children. His family says he's had a challenging life, including serious brushes with the law -- even spending time behind bars as a juvenile and facing more next month.

If Shelton does end up going to the Super Bowl, he'll need to hurry back to Western Washington because at 2 p.m. the next day, his mother says a judge will take him into custody to start serving several months in jail.

Admiring his football, Shelton is still in the moment.

"This is a cool ball, man. To think that this is the one that I watched sail. The pass is still re-playing in my mind. It's been going all night and all day - really, that really happened!" he said.