By Roxana Herrera // @rxnlzbth
There’s no denying that the owners of any professional sports team genuinely loves their team. They invest in their team, they market their team, they are proud of their team and they stand behind their team even through the darkest of times.
But since I’ve only followed one CEO, one chairman, for the past 15 years, I think it’s safe to say that Philadelphia Eagles owner, Jeffrey Lurie, takes the cake. I can prove it by how much effort he put into designing the Super Bowl LII championship rings. Read on to find out the amount of love he poured into each and every one.
In order to ensure that vital, emotional and powerful moments from the 2017 season was somehow portrayed onto the ring, Lurie listened to the players and said they wanted “something that was demonstrative and big and ‘blingy,’ I would call it,” he said. “We embraced that concept.”
After numerous meetings in which design and colors and messaging were discussed, Lurie was ready to present the Super Bowl LII championship ring to every single person on the Eagles organization Thursday night in an exclusive red-carpet party in Philadelphia. He handed the ring to each player and coach individually and you can hear the shock and excitement from them when they saw their small keepsake.
Unfamiliar with the specifics in designing such an epic ring, Lurie was understandably overwhelmed with the entire experience. “It was a fun process and it took waaaayyy more hours than I thought previously,” he said. “I thought, ‘You know, you just sort of come up with some ring, and you make many, and you have a party.’ I never really thought of the details that were required.
You go through so much during a season. What, when you’re looking back 20 years from now, do you want to have signified with that ring? What are the statements that you want to make about the team, about the season, about the kinds of players and coaches that we had? It’s kind of like, how do you want to be remembered 20 years from now?
“It was such a detailed process, from every bit of wording that was on the ring to the placement of the diamonds, to the shape, the size,” Lurie said.“Then it gets into the colors of the diamonds. Is there such a thing as Midnight Green stones? Can they be found anywhere in the world? I give Jostens (the ring manufacturer) a lot of credit because they found maybe the only source of these sapphires (South Africa).
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 15, 2018
Lurie found himself overthinking every feature of the ring.”What words are going to be on the ring? What is going to be inside the ring? How personalized is it going to be? Who gets a ring?” He wanted nothing and no one left out after such an emotional journey that was the 2017 season.
“This is our first Super Bowl, and we wanted to be as inclusive as possible. We really wanted this to go to every employee of the organization. I’ve always felt that it takes the entire organization to win a championship. Every decision we make is to try to improve the football team, so you need the business operation to be working at a maximum level to deliver the resources so that we can do everything possible on the football side. That’s why I’ve always felt that it requires everyone working together. It does take a village to win a championship. We designed the ring in a way where everyone would feel proud of it and that every employee would get one. This is for the entire organization. That’s really the philosophy.”
While it may be the first Super Bowl title won by the Eagles since this era began in 1967, Lurie chose to commemorate the previous championships as well. “One of the things that was really important to me was having the four green sapphire diamonds that signify the four World Championships the Eagles have won in franchise history. We brought home the first Super Bowl, but there were three World Championships before us. We are the stewards of the franchise now, and we wanted to put into perspective that there were three championships before us.”
On depicting the infamous Philly Special play call made by head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback (and MVP) Nick Foles, it was essential Lurie says. “I would say it is the most iconic play that I’ve ever observed in my time loving the game of football. It was incredibly bold. Many teams would have probably kicked a field goal. There was no chance we were kicking a field goal. The choice of play, however, was gigantic. And it fit the entire season of the franchise that Doug would be innovative and aggressive and have absolutely no fear about picking a play that we had practiced only a few times.”
“For the people putting the ring on,” he continues. “I want them to feel a sense of pride and a love for the process. Pride in that they are a World Champion and an acknowledgment that this process, the entire season, was so much hard work, resilience, love for each other, and a sense of passion for the game. Nothing got in the way of this team. Nothing from the outside, injuries … it did not matter. Very, very few teams in any sport have lost their best player at the game’s most important position and won. It’s almost unheard of.”
And the ever considerate chairman was thinking about the fans the entire time. “For the fans, I think they will react incredibly. It’s their ring, too. The wearers of the ring were the performers and the members of the organization. But you’re wearing it on behalf of Eagles fans everywhere in the world. It’s more of a trophy than a classic ring. It’s emblematic of something magical. It’s something to be really proud of.” Eagles fans who are interested in owning a replica of the ring are able to do so, as well as other Super Bowl Championship jewelry.
Below is a list with more specific details of the ring.
o The 2017 Super Bowl Championship Ring is made of pure 10-karat white gold, adorned with a total of 219 diamonds and 17 rare green sapphires.
o The Eagle head logo is displayed with 52 pavé-set diamonds, signifying a victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52.
o The Lombardi Trophy contains 16 diamonds, one for each of the team’s 16 victories in the 2017 season.
o The 13 diamonds at the base of the trophy represent a franchise-record-tying 13 wins in the regular season.
o At the top of the Lombardi Trophy, three diamonds represent the three postseason victories. A sizeable marquise-cut diamond at the top of the trophy represents the first Super Bowl Championship.
o The bezel of the ring features a waterfall of 127 diamonds, paying tribute to the “Philly Special.” The 127 diamonds represent the sum of the jersey numbers of the three players who handled the football after the snap on the fourth-and-goal play at the 1-yard line. Running back Corey Clement, No. 30, took the direct snap, flipped the football to tight end Trey Burton, No. 88, who rolled right, and threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles, No. 9, for the touchdown.
o The ring also boasts four green sapphires to represent the franchise’s 4 NFL Championships – in 1948, 1949, 1960, and now Super Bowl LII.
o To honor the great Eagles fans, the ring includes a silhouette of Lincoln Financial Field as well as the title of the fight song, “Fly, Eagles Fly,” spelled out on the outer band of the ring.
o To recall the “Underdog” theme that galvanized the team, the City of Philadelphia, and Eagles fans in the playoffs, a dog mask is inscribed on the inside of the ring for the players and coaches.
o The bottom of the inside arbor is inscribed with each player’s signature – the first time championship rings have ever featured engraved signatures.
o A spectacular championship ring, it also includes the team’s central mantra from the season, “We All We Got, We All We Need.” The word “family” sits below the Super Bowl LII logo and serves as a reminder of the team’s commitment and dedication to each other.
“It was an incredible season,” Lurie recalls, “and I wanted this ring to represent all the love and the dedication, the trust and the resilience of this football team and this organization and the fans. Wherever we were, the fans were right there with us. Our home atmosphere was unbelievable. Eagles fans took over the stadium in Dallas, in Los Angeles, and at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. This ring is for all of us and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.” And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done.
Interested in talking more about the Eagles? Follow me on Twitter @rxnlzbth