It’s a Big Event. VERY BIG. In fact, it’s often referred to as The Big Game. It’s so big, Roman Numerals are used to describe it every year.
When Super Bowl LV (that’s 55 for the Non-Roman Numeral Friendly) kicks off on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, it will be a rather unusual and unique Super Bowl/Big Game. For starters, only 20% of the 65,890 seats at Raymond James Stadium will be occupied by fans due to COVID-19 protocols. And the 13,000 or so fans who are in attendance to cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be required to wear face coverings at all times. So for the first time in Super Bowl history, we could see penalties issued for facemask violations both on and off the field of play.
Whether you’re a super sports fan or a more casual observer who enjoys the Super Bowl for the high-dollar commercials and high-energy parties it attracts (again…probably a bit different this year), you might not be familiar with some of the finer points regarding football and…jewelry.
That’s what we here at Zillion are here for. Enjoy!
The Lombardi Trophy
Let’s start with The Ultimate Super Bowl Hardware itself. While not technically jewelry, The Vince Lombardi Trophy is certainly valuable — both literally and symbolically. Named after legendary and innovative Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, the Lombardi Trophy (its abbreviated, more common name) is awarded to the Super Bowl-winning team every year. While you’re probably aware it features prominently in on-field celebrations and post-game parades held by the winning team, you might not know too much about the trophy itself. Again, that’s what we’re here for.
Depicting a regulation-size football in a kicking position on a three-sided stand, the Lombardi Trophy stands 22 inches, or just under two feet, tall. It only weighs seven pounds, but it’s made entirely of sterling silver. Estimates each year put the trophy’s actual cash value at around $25,000, give or take. Initially inscribed with the words “World Professional Football Championship,” the trophy was officially renamed to honor Lombardi following his death from cancer in 1970, and was first presented in its current form to the then-Baltimore Colts following their 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V — in other words, 50 years ago.
Unlike the NHL’s iconic Stanley Cup, The Lombardi Trophy is actually re-created every year. Sometimes referred to as the “Tiffany Trophy” after iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co., who spends around four months crafting the new version each year, it’s sent back to Tiffany & Co. following the on-field celebration. Once back in the shop in Cumberland, Rhode Island, the trophy is engraved with the names of the participating teams, the date, the location and the game’s final score. It’s then returned to the winning team for them to keep and proudly display forever. Smaller replicas of the trophy are also made for each member of the winning team.
You’ve probably also noticed that the Lombardi Trophy is also prominently featured in the logo design for each Super Bowl. This has been standard practice since Super Bowl XLV 10 years ago. If you’re a big football fan, you probably also know that the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have both collected six Lombardi Trophies, which puts them atop the 32-team NFL. The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have both secured the iconic trophy five times, while the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants have each won four.
Lawrence Taylor’s Earring
We’ve previously blogged about some of the dazzling jewelry owned by famous NBA players. Now, let’s take a closer look at one of the most iconic (and controversial) NFL players ever — and his own particular jewelry claim to fame. Regarded by none other than six-time Super Bowl-winning Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (who coached him as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator) as the best football player ever, regardless of position, former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor changed his position and transcended his sport so much that he became known simply as “LT” during his fantastic 13-year NFL career. Known as much for his off-field partying and brushes with the law as his on-field destruction of opposing offenses and quarterbacks, Taylor was the second player selected in the 1981 NFL Draft, and would go on to rack up 1,088 tackles and 132.5 sacks over those 13 seasons — making the Pro Bowl for 10 straight years and leading the Giants to victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV.
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Alas, the first-ballot Hall of Famer’s “bust” in Canton, Ohio does not feature the iconic diamond “LT” earring that also defined his image during his playing year. One of the earliest examples of personal branding by a star athlete, Taylor rocked the lightning-bolt-looking “LT” piece in his left ear for several seasons. In a wild 2003 interview promoting his book LT: Over the Edge, Taylor said, “LT left a long time ago. He’s left the building. I took my earring off. I don’t want my earring anymore, because I’m tired of being LT. LT is good for the comic books.” In 2017, then-Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. also sported the earring in a famous Nike-backed Twitter post. Taylor’s son Lawrence Taylor, Jr. put his father’s Super Bowl XXV ring up for auction back in 2012. The auction posting claimed the actual estimated value of the ring was somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000.
Super Bowl XLVIII Rings (Seattle Seahawks)
Which brings us to that other famous and iconic item associated with Super Bowl glory: The Super Bowl ring. Of course, it’s hard to objectively evaluate or rank Super Bowl rings. If you won a Super Bowl, you won a Super Bowl. Enough said. However…there’s also something to be said for the combination of winning your organization’s first-ever Super Bowl and rocking a ring that is, simply stated, absolutely incredible. This is the honor that NFL stars Russell Wilson, Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and all the members of the 2013 Seattle Seahawks have. The game itself was an absolute blowout, with the 13-3 Seahawks throttling Peyton Manning and the 13-3 Denver Broncos 43-8 at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.
Even more eye-opening? The solid-gold Super Bowl rings later presented to the Seahawks players. The huge win remains the lone Super Bowl victory for the Seahawks, who joined the NFL in 1976 and endured several losing seasons, and their Super Bowl rings will always and forever remain dazzling. Featuring all that gold along with 172 diamonds, 40 sapphires and one sparkling emerald green tsavorite as the “hawk’s eye,” the ring also displays the distinctive, Space Needle-dominated Seattle skyline, the Lombardi Trophy and the team’s Native American-influenced logo. Let’s just hope none of the players’ rings fell victim to anything like a home heist — which has been known to happen to an athlete or two.
Stay in the Game with Zillion
As wild and daring as he often was on and off the field, Lawrence Taylor might not have had an insurance policy for his famed “LT” earring. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up an affordable opportunity to provide some superior “defense” for your own valued jewelry.
A jewelry insurance policy from Zillion can help protect your treasured jewelry piece or pieces — both on your home turf and even when you’re out on the road. Securing this peace of mind is as easy as it is affordable, and it all starts with a free quote via our homepage. Check it out. And enjoy The Big Game!