The Super Bowl ring is the icing on the cake to any team skilled enough to win the NFL championship. But along with the tradition of giving out Super Bowl rings, comes along some pretty quirky facts and history tidbits that many people may not be aware of.
The tradition of commemorative rings didn’t start until after the first Super Bowl in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers were crowned champions. Ever since then, winning teams have tried to one-up their predecessor which leads us to the extravagance seen in today’s styles.
Though it’s a common misconception only players and coaches receive a ring, only the team and coaches receive a ring but in truth, both the winning and losing team are allotted 150 Super Bowl rings to be distributed (but not limited to) active and injured players , coaches, trainers, executives, personnel, and general staff. But should a team require extra rings, the team itself has to fork over the bill.
The rings are usually made of yellow or white gold with diamonds in the shape of their logo, a football or the Lombardi Trophy. Most teams also personalize the ring with the player’s name and uniform number but the ring always has the team name, year and Super Bowl logo.
Each ring for the winner is valued around $5,000 but according to league rules, the losing team cannot spend more than half of what the winners spend. Companies like Jostens, Balfour and Tiffany’s will bid on the right to make the hardware but ultimately the choice is left to the team itself.
But not everyone sees a Super Bowl ring has something they’ll keep forever. Whether through unfortunate life circumstances or charity reasons, many players decide to sell their symbol of ultimate victory.
“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.”
Super Bowl Ring Facts:
- Vince Lombardi helped design the very first Super Bowl ring that the Packers received.
- The Chicago Bears William “The Refrigerator” Perry has the largest size ever for a Super Bowl ring coming in at a size of 25. In case your wondering, that’s about the size of a half dollar.
- The Patriots ring from Super Bowl XXXIX has the most diamonds with 124 and weighs 4.06 ounces. Also to brag on their seemingly superior football knowledge, the ring is football shaped and when sat on an edge, rocks back and forth to signify team symmetry and balance. Just go ahead and brag why don’t ‘cha. The Russians probably knew of this snobbery of the Patriots ring design when the Prime Minister of Russia had a friendly meeting with the Pat’s owner, Robert Kraft. Kraft intended to only display the ring to Putin, when he stole it mistook it as a gift and kept the ring for himself. Kraft was allowed to get another ring made while his original still sits in the Kremlin library.
- It takes about a month for the team to hammer out the design of the ring before it goes into production.
- The ring company is not allowed to make any replicas under any circumstances unless requested by the team itself. Even then, the design cannot be the exact same. There are rings that are modeled after the Super Bowl ring that people like season tickets holders could purchase but they are not allowed to sell exact replicas.
- Strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik has the most rings among players and coaches with six; three with the Steelers and three with the Patriots.
- Jostens has made the most Super Bowl rings of any manufacturer. The next most used company is Balfour with nine. Famous jeweler Tiffany’s was recently chosen to make the Saints Super Bowl ring for their 2010 championship.