Super Bowl ring
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The Super Bowl ring is an award in the National Football League given to the winners of the league's annual championship game, the Super Bowl. Since only one Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the team (ownership) itself, the Super Bowl ring offers a collectible memento for the actual players and team members to keep for themselves to symbolize the victory.
These rings are typically made of yellow or white gold with diamonds. They usually include the team name, team logo, and Super Bowl number (usually indicated in Roman numerals). The NFL pays for the cost of 150 rings to the winning team, at roughly $5,000,000 in total, depending upon the fluctuating cost of gold and diamonds. Most rings are manufactured by memorabilia company Jostens. In 2015 (for the New England Patriots), it was reported that each ring cost $36,500, costing over $5 million, being the most expensive rings Jostens has ever produced. The winning team can typically present rings to whomever they choose, including usually, but not limited to: players (active roster or injured), coaches, trainers, executives, personnel, and general staff. Some teams have also been known to give rings to former players and coaches that were on the team at some point during the season, despite not having been on the winning roster for the Super Bowl itself. Sometimes a team will give rings to fans as part of a charity raffle. Teams can distribute any number of rings, but must pay for any over the 150-ring limit. A recent trend over the last 15–20 years has been lesser rings awarded to front office staff. These are commonly called "B" and "C" level rings and are smaller and contain fewer diamonds or contain faux diamonds. The first instance of this was the Redskins Super Bowl XVII ring when many in the front office received rings that were not solid gold and contained cubic zirconia stones (which resemble diamonds). When Tampa Bay won Super Bowl XXXVII, the players and coaches received rings with a diamond-centered Lombardi trophy. Some staff received rings with a metal Lombardi trophy and real diamonds surrounding the trophy and the "C" level ring did not contain any diamonds.
Many rings feature diamonds in the shape of the Vince Lombardi Trophy or a football. Some feature diamonds or gold in the shape of a team logo. Others illustrate the number of Super Bowls that franchise has won. Also, the rings are customized with the player's name and uniform number.
The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV ring contained more than 100 diamonds. The Packer logo, in the center of the ring, made up 13 diamonds, one for each title the team has won, dating back to 1929. In a break from tradition, this is the first super bowl ring to be made of platinum, not gold.
Value and resale
Replicas of the rings for various years are popular collectibles, along with genuine rings. Dave Meggett is known to have placed his ring for sale on eBay. Two Super Bowl rings from the 1970 Steelers sold on eBay for over $32,000 apiece in mid-2008. Patriots safety Je'Rod Cherry raffled his ring from Super Bowl XXXVI in November 2008 to benefit several charities working to help children in Africa and Asia. Tight end Shannon Sharpe, meanwhile, gave his first Super Bowl ring to his brother Sterling, who had his career cut short by injury.
In 2011, a Super Bowl ring belonging to Steve Wright, a lineman for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, sold for over $73,000 at auction. Three Super Bowl rings belonging to former Raiders' great Ray Guy brought over $96,000 at auction. In 2012, Lawrence Taylor's son sold his father's Super Bowl ring from 1990 for more than $250,000.
Most Super Bowl rings
Five Super Bowl Rings; Tim Rooney; Pro Personnel Director/Scout; Three with Pittsburgh Steelers and two with New York Giants
- Seven: One person
- Six: at least seven people
- Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II: each as an executive with Pittsburgh
- Chuck Noll: four as head coach and two as a team consultant with Pittsburgh
- Bill Nunn: each as a scout with Pittsburgh
- "Mean Joe" Greene: four as a defensive tackle, two as a special assistant for player personnel, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Conditioning coach Mike Woicik: three with Dallas and three with New England
- Bill Belichick: two as defensive coordinator of the Giants and four as head coach of New England
- Five: One player, Charles Haley, who played on 5 winning teams; and at least twelve other people
- Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., five as owner of San Francisco
- Keith Simon: five as CFO and Executive VP with San Francisco
- Bobb McKittrick: five as offensive line coach with San Francisco
- Ray Rhodes: five as an assistant coach with San Francisco
- Bill McPherson: five as defensive line coach with San Francisco
- Dick Hoak: each as a running backs coach with Pittsburgh
- Charles Haley: two with San Francisco and three with Dallas (all 5 as a player—the most rings won as a player)
- Romeo Crennel: two as a defensive coach with Giants and three as a defensive coordinator with New England
- George Seifert: three as an assistant coach and two as a head coach all with San Francisco 49ers
- Dwight Clark: two as a player and three as a member of the front office, all with San Francisco
- Pepper Johnson: two as a linebacker for the Giants and three as an assistant coach with New England
- Monsignor Peter Armstrong: five as chaplain for San Francisco
- Markus Paul: three as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Patriots, and two as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Giants
- Four: at least 38 players, many coaches and staff
- The first player to win four Super Bowl rings was tight-end Marv Fleming, who got a pair with the Green Bay Packers in 1966 and 1967, and another pair with the Miami Dolphins in 1972 and 1973.
- Twenty-two players earned four rings with the Steelers in the 1970s: Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mel Blount, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Mike Webster, Donnie Shell, L. C. Greenwood, Rocky Bleier, Gerry Mullins, Larry Brown, Mike Wagner, J.T. Thomas, Loren Toews, Jon Kolb, Sam Davis, Steve Furness, Dwight White, Randy Grossman and the previously mentioned Joe Greene (who later added two more rings). At least five coaches were with the team all four years: George Perles, Louis Riecke, Woody Widenhofer and (as noted above) Chuck Noll and Dick Hoak. The list of Steelers front office staff receiving four rings during that era includes Director of Player Personnel Dick Haley.
- Tom Flores: First person to have rings as a player (Kansas City Chiefs), assistant coach and head coach (Oakland Raiders)
- Joe Montana, Keena Turner, Jesse Sapolu, Eric Wright, Mike Wilson and Ronnie Lott each won four Super Bowl rings with the 49ers.
- Kicker Adam Vinatieri won three with the Patriots and one with the Colts. Along with Tom Brady (below), he has the most rings of any active player (as of the end of the 2015-16 season).
- Russ Grimm won three with the Washington Redskins and one with the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Ted Hendricks won one with the Baltimore Colts and three with the Raiders
- Bill Romanowski won two with the 49ers and two with the Denver Broncos
- Coach Charlie Weis won one with the Giants and three with the Patriots
- Matt Millen has four rings while playing for four different cities and three different teams, one with Oakland, one with Los Angeles, one with San Francisco, and one with Washington (only player to earn a ring with four different teams)
- Sherman Lewis won three as running backs coach with San Francisco and one as offensive coordinator with Green Bay.
- Willie Davis Won all four rings with the Green Bay Packers. Two as a player, one as a member of the team's board of directors, and one as an emeritus director. He is the only person to possess all four of Green Bay's Super Bowl rings. It should be noted that Davis also won rings as a member of the 1961, 1962 and 1965 NFL Championship Green Bay Packer teams, bringing his unofficial championship ring count to seven, as the first three were awarded prior to the creation of the Super Bowl.
- Mike Pope won all four of his Super Bowl rings as the long time Tight End coach for the New York Giants
- Ken Norton, Jr. was the first member of 3 Super Bowl-winning teams in a row as a player, and gained a 4th ring as the Linebacker coach for the 2013 Seattle Seahawks.
- Tom Brady has won four Super Bowl rings as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots. Along with the above-mentioned Vinatieri, he has the most rings of any active player (as of the end of the 2015-16 season).
- Larry Izzo won three super bowls with the New England Patriots, and one as the special teams assistant coach with the New York Giants
- Ivan Fears has won four with the New England Patriots his first as wide receivers coach and the remaining as running backs coach.
- Coach Gary Kubiak won one with the 49ers as Quarterbacks Coach, two with the Broncos as Offensive Coordinator, and one as the Head Coach of the Broncos
- Josh McDaniels has won four with the New England Patriots his first as personnel assistant, second as defensive coaching assistant, third as quarterbacks coach and fourth as offensive coordinator.
- Three: many players, coaches and staff
- Among the many figures with three are Bill Walsh, John Elway, Mike Ditka, Mike Shanahan, Art Shell, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Jay Novacek, Michael Irvin, Larry Brown, Eric Mangini, Joe Gibbs, Dave Dalby, Cliff Branch, Roger Craig, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, Mark Schlereth and Tom Coughlin.
- Twenty-two players earned three rings with the New England Patriots during the early 2000s: Troy Brown, Willie McGinest, Richard Seymour, Ty Law, Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Kevin Faulk, Matt Light, Patrick Pass, Ted Johnson, Lonie Paxton, Stephen Neal, Joe Andruzzi, David Patten, Roman Phifer, Tom Ashworth, Adrian Klemm, Je'Rod Cherry, Matt Chatham, the aforementioned Adam Vinatieri who later added a fourth ring with the Colts, and the aforementioned Tom Brady who would go on to win another Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Players with Super Bowl and Grey Cup rings
A select few have won championships in both the NFL and Canada’s equivalent Canadian Football League (CFL).
- Brandon Browner (cornerback) won a ring in 2008 with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. He then won a Super Bowl ring in 2013 with the Seattle Seahawks, although he did not play in that game due to a suspension. He went on to play against the Seahawks in the next year's Super Bowl, where he won a second ring with the 2014 New England Patriots.
- O. J. Brigance won a Grey Cup ring in 1995 with the CFL’s Baltimore Stallions and won a Super Bowl ring in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. He is the only player to win both a Grey Cup and a Super Bowl with teams from the same city.
- Harald Hasselbach won a ring in 1992 with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders and won a Super Bowl ring in 1997 with the Denver Broncos.
- Tyrone Williams won two Super Bowl rings with Dallas in 1992 and 1993, though he did not participate in either game. He then won a Grey Cup ring with the Toronto Argonauts in 1996.
- Alvin Walton (safety) won two Super Bowl rings with the NFL's Washington Redskins (1987 and 1991 seasons, but did not participate in the 1991 season Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills) and won a Grey Cup ring with the Baltimore Stallions in 1995.
- Bobby Singh (guard) is the only player to win a Grey Cup (2006 with the BC Lions), a Super Bowl (1999 with the St. Louis Rams) and the XFL Championship (2001 with the Los Angeles Xtreme).
- Barry Wilburn (cornerback) won the Grey Cup in 1994 with the BC Lions and a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1988.
- Sando, Mike (December 16, 2007). "Week 15: Winter Leaves its Mark: Playoff Picture Remains Muddled". Last Call. ESPN.
- Duncan, Jeff (September 28, 2011). "Former New Orleans Saints Player Steve Gleason Gets a Super Bowl Ring at an Emotional Party". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans.
- d'Estries, Michael (September 21, 2010). "New Orleans Saints Raffle Super Bowl Ring for Gulf Spill Charities". Mother Nature Network.
- Hunt, Michael (June 16, 2011). "Packers Marvel at Super Bowl Ring's Might". In My Opinion. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "Steelers Super Bowl Rings Sold In Online Auction". Pittsburgh: WTAE-TV. July 21, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- "Je'Rod Cherry Super Bowl XXXVI Ring Raffle". Celebrities for Charities. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
This ring is currently in the possession of a sports collector in Ottawa,Canada[dead link]
- Garber, Greg. "Super Bowl Ring 'a Symbol of Excellence'". ESPN. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- Edholm, Eric (January 26, 2011). "Lord of the Rings". Pro Football Weekly. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011.
- Delozier, Dave (February 6, 2011). "7 Super Bowl Rings for a Coloradan". Denvery: KUSA-TV. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- Varley, Teresa (February 27, 2007). "Long-Time Scout Bill Nunn Is a Man who Made a Difference" (Press release). Pittsburgh Steelers. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Bouchette, Ed (February 20, 2010). "Steelers Scout Nunn Receives Honor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- Varley, Teresa (February 12, 2009). "Greene one of few with six rings" (Press release). Pittsburgh Steelers. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Mayer, Larry (March 6, 2012). "Former Bears Safety Boasts Five Super Bowl Rings" (Press release). Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Spofford, Mike (July 2, 2011). "One man has all four rings" (Press release). Green Bay Packers. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Images of the first 45 Super Bowl Rings at ESPN.com
- Images of all of the Super Bowl Rings, photos of presentation boxes & conference rings at sports-rings.com