The Steelers' Super Bowl ring keeps getting bigger, and Joe Greene, who picked up his sixth last night, could not decide which he likes more.
You have six kids, you love them all equally.
"There is no best," Greene said.
The latest, which weighs in at 3.7 ounces and contains 63 diamonds that go 3.61 carats, is Greene's and the Steelers' biggest, by far, dwarfing their ring from Super Bowl XL.
Counting all the diamonds, it was another whiteout night across town in Pittsburgh.
"It is a beautiful ring," said Greene, who earned four as a Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Steelers and two more as a scout. "Beautiful, beautiful ring."
Greene is one of five club employees who have earned six rings, including Dan Rooney and scout Bill Nunn. At one time, 22 players owned four Super Bowl rings, earned over six seasons in the 1970s.
Last night, the two-ring club of modern Steelers numbered 28 members, including linebacker Larry Foote. After the Steelers granted his wish to be released so he could sign with his hometown Detroit Lions, Foote rejoined them for one final time for their ring ceremony inside Heinz Field's East Club Lounge. He skipped their White House visit May 21, but said there was no way he would miss this trip.
Homestead native Charlie Batch, who picked up his second ring, held it up next to his Super Bowl XL ring, which looked half the size of the new one.
"Everybody's in awe right now," Batch said. "When everybody opened his box, it was like 'Wow!' "
The latest ring, in keeping with a long-held tradition of championship rings, is gaudy. In keeping with Steelers tradition, it is black and gold -- 14-karat gold (and all those diamonds) on a black background.
The face contains six large, brilliant-cut diamonds, one for each Super Bowl victory. There are seven other diamonds that represent the Steelers' seven conference championships and seven others below to add up to their 14 division titles in a football design.
The face includes a red, blue and yellow stone to resemble their hypocycloid logo. On one side of each ring are six Lombardi Trophies with the 27-23 score of their victory against Arizona in the Super Bowl. On the other is the ring owner's name, the Steelers helmet logo, the NFL logo and the player's number.
"This is the defining moment," Batch said, "to put an exclamation point on last season. It signifies everything we accomplished last season."
The Steelers moved the start of their ceremony 30 minutes ahead to 6 p.m. because many of them had tickets to the Stanley Cup final game between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
The ceremony, which included dinner and a band, was supposed to last until 11 p.m.
Ben Roethlisberger was the first to emerge at 7:43 p.m., holding the large box with the large ring inside. He jumped into his Porsche and sped across town to Mellon Arena for the game.
The 28 players who received the past two Steelers Super Bowl rings:
Jeff Reed, Roethlisberger, James Farrior, Hines Ward, Batch, Bryant McFadden, Tyrone Carter, Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, Willie Parker, Troy Polamalu, Foote, Andre Frazier, Greg Warren, Chris Kemoeatu, Kendall Simmons, Chris Hoke, Marvel Smith, Max Starks, Trai Essex, Heath Miller, Nate Washington, Travis Kirschke, Aaron Smith, James Harrison, Arnold Harrison, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel.
NOTES -- Coach Mike Tomlin canceled practice yesterday and took his team bowling instead, a tradition he began last year. The Steelers have two practices left on the schedule, today and tomorrow, before they break until training camp opens July 31. ... Some good seats still can be had for Steelers home games this coming season, and they will go on sale through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 a.m. June 20. Individuals can buy up to four tickets for the regular season; there is no limit to the two home exhibition games. Most tickets are $59 to $62, but some single seats also are available up to $240.
Ed Bouchette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .