TAMPA – They say the Lombardi Trophy is for the owners. The championship parade — on a boat or with a GOAT — is for the fans. But the Super Bowl ring? Well, that’s for the players.
In the Bucs’ case, it’s also for the coaches, the front office and most members of the organization that helped bring a second Lombardi Trophy to Tampa Bay.
At a private ceremony held mostly outdoors Thursday night at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, the Bucs will receive their championship rings for winning Super Bowl 55.
A select group of players, including linebacker Lavonte David, had some input into the design of the ring.
But for the most part, the project landed on the desk of co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. Few will have actually seen the design until they open a box at the formal event.
“I had some input on it,” said David, who is entering his 10th season. “I’ve seen the final product of the ring already, but I didn’t get a chance to feel it and touch it. It’s going to be very beautiful. It’s exactly how we want it to be, and I’m thankful to the Glazers to allow us to have input on that. But as far as what I will wear? I don’t know. I might come dressy. I might come casual. For a moment like that, I might have to put on a suit.”
If past is prologue, the Bucs will commemorate the fact that this is the organization’s second Super Bowl victory, perhaps by doubling up on the number of diamond-encrusted Lombardi Trophies on the face of the ring.
Only 14 NFL franchises have won multiple Super Bowls like the Bucs. The 14-carat gold ring produced for the Bucs beating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37 included more than 50 diamonds. In fact, one was recently auctioned for $14,000.
“I’m ready to see it,” linebacker Devin White said. “I know it’s going to be crazy. Right after the game, I told Darcie she needs to bling them out, because I knew that she was going to be the person who designed them, because she’s the woman and women know what they’re doing when they’re dealing with jewelry.”
“… I need to go find me a suit so it can complement the ring on that special night. That’s going to be a very special night, and most definitely that’s one where I will be back on social media because I’ve got to share that ring with the world.”
Unfortunately, Bucs players and coaches may have trouble sharing it with their spouses and significant others.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the players, coaches and other members of the organization receiving rings were sent a list of protocols approved by the league and the NFL Players’ Association and may have to be seated on one side of the amphitheatre with their significant others on the other.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans, who never appeared in a playoff game until last season, says he’s not sure if he will become emotional opening the ring box Thursday.
“We’ll have to see when they present us the rings,” Evans said. “Right now, I’m saying I won’t be emotional, but when it comes, you never know, it could just hit you. It’s definitely a huge accomplishment. I’m definitely going to cherish the ring and leave it for my kids and my kids’ kids. Hopefully, I can have multiple in my lifetime.”
Of course, this is Super Bowl ring No. 7 for quarterback Tom Brady, who has been known to break out all of his previous jewelry at each ring ceremony. Frankly, he’s running out of fingers.
Nor is this the first Super Bowl ring for coach Bruce Arians, who won as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Arians said he had nothing to do with the design of the ring but had a simple request.
“My input was I want to be able to wear it,” Arians said. “I have one so big you can’t wear it. It sits in a jewelry case. I want to wear it in case I don’t have a reservation I can get a table. I trusted Darcie has all the bling-sense in the world, and she got a few players involved.
“I know it’s going to be very, very special and a special night. Hopefully, we can put it to bed then and get on with the next season.”
Arians, who is anxious to close the book on the 2020 Super Bowl 55 season, had only one request.
“I don’t want to see it until I get it,” he said.
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