Well the day finally arrived and the Green Bay Packers had their Super Bowl Ring ceremony. Each player, coach, staff assistant and player personnel members all received their rings. Its a beautiful ring and for the 4th time Jostens was the jeweler selected to commemorate the championship with a ring design. Its a beautiful ring and I love the 4 footballs on top signifying the 4 Super Bowl titles. One side has the block Packers logo and a Super Bowl trophy where the other side has a nice carved out Lambeau Field and the player /coaches name under two rows of diamonds. This design is easy on the eye and very modern and wearable.
This way the achievement itself seems to be focused on. It was customary to have the score of the game and that of the conference championship on most rings of the past. Lets take a look at a few of the other Packers’ rings of the past. So now Coach McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews III, , company have championship hardware to go along with Holmgren, Favre, Reggie White, LeRoy Butler, Antonio Freeman of the new guard. The old guard? Yes they get to have their names up there with Lombardi, Starr, Kramer, Hornung, Davis, Adderley, and Nitschke. It would have been nice to see the total of NFL Championships on the ring to offset when short sighted fans talk of Sixburgh, or the 5 won by Dallas and San Francisco. That they are all holding less than half of what the Packers have won. Congrats Green Bay.
Lets take a look at some of the other Packers rings…How about the 1965 NFL Championship Ring. The Packers beat the defending champion Browns in Jim Brown’s last football game and set sail on the monumental effort of winning 3 championships in a row. The field was muddy and Jim Taylor played with a heavily taped thigh for a pulled hamstring. Lambeau was a quagmire as the Packer slipped past the Browns 23-12.
In the 2 seasons before this one, the Packers had lost star halfback Paul Hornung and watched their hated rival Chicago Bears win in 1963 and the Cleveland Browns in 1964. Hornung was suspended in ’63 and was rounding into shape in ’64. Then Lombardi started to rebuild some pieces of his defense during these years and in 1965 sicc’d them on the unsuspecting NFL.
Then you have the ring for winning the first Super Bowl. War of the Worlds. First they beat the upstart Dallas Cowboys 34-27 in one of the ’60s greatest games. Bart Starr threw for 4 touchdown passes and the game came down to the 2 yard line in the old Cotton Bowl. A goal line stand held the Cowboys and on third down Don Meredith rolled right. A missed block let a blitzing Dave Robinson free to hit Meredith just as he threw. The pass was picked off by S Tom Brown in the endzone preserving the win.
Off to Los Angeles and the first Super Bowl where the Packers beat the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. A tougher game than many anticipated until Willie Wood intercepted a Len Dawson pass and took it back 50 yards. Packers score a few plays later to go up 21-10 and it was accademic from there. The singular diamond signfies the Packers status as number one in ALL of professional football.
Then came the game that has been etched into the minds of football fans everywhere. The Ice Bowl. Played in -15 degree weather and a windchill at -60, the Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 on Bart Starr’s last second touchdown plunge to give the Packers their third straight championship. This was the last time this has been accomplished. The only other time was the Packers from 1929-1931.
The best record in football belonged to the 13-1 Oakland Raiders of the AFL but they weren’t championship ready for the 9-4-1 Packers. Lombardi’s final champion was devoid of Paul Hornung & Jim Taylor. Chuck Mercein, Donny Anderson, and Ben Wilson were the runners during the playoff run. The Packers carried off Lombardi after a 33-14 triumph. This ring showcases 3 very large diamonds to commemorate their achievement winning 3 in a row. No other team has won 3 straight championships since. Its chronicled in my “Ghost of Lombardi” story the quirky, bizarre circumstances that halted 5 others trying to attempt it.
Then there was Super Bowl XXXI. Can’t you still picture Reggie White taking off with the Super Bowl trophy? One of the lasting images was the clock clicking down and that blizzard of confetti for the first time at the Super Bowl. Packer coaches and players hugging each other and you could hardly see them. Packers 35-21 over the New England Patriots.
A close game that was threatening to be closer until Desmond Howard took the kickoff back 99 yards to demoralize the Patriots. After that, the Minister of Defense recorded 3 sacks against a despearate Patriot’s team forced to pass. White delivered in his quest to bring Green Bay a championship after signing as a free agent in 1993. In the years prior, it was discussed that black players wouldnt want to go to Green Bay. His signing was not only a coup, don’t forget Keith Jackson, Eugene Robinson, Ron Cox, Andre Rison and Desmond Howard all came in the latter two years to dispell that notion. Then they went on to bring home the Lombardi after a 29 year hiatus.
For good measure lets throw in a ring from the 1962 NFL Champions and the middle of a first chance at Lombardi winning a third in a row. Alas, Hornung was suspended for gambling in 1963 and the team would have to rebuild before they put themselves in position to go for it later in the decade.
Yet this is just a tip of the iceberg for the team with the richest heritage in the NFL. THIRTEEN NFL CHAMPIONSHIPS! Most teams if you add their championships to their rivals wouldn’t come close to that staggering number. Then the 2011 edition in most pundits expert opinion are favored to return to the Super Bowl. Not like most defending champions being afforded lip service, I mean this team won the Super Bowl with a second string football team. How could this team not be picked to win it all returning those 16 players on injured reserve and then a good draft?? Well we’ll have time to get into all of that. This is a celebration of their championship heritage and the latest bauble to commemorate it.