The one for the thumb: Steelers collect their Super Bowl rings
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The Ring Five finally arrived in Pittsburgh last night, a sequel 26 years in the making.Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
The Steelers' Super Bowl XL ring was designed by owner Dan Rooney with help from Jerome Bettis and Ben Roethlisberger.
Click photo for larger image.
The Steelers received their Super Bowl rings during a ceremony in a Heinz Field lounge, nearly four months to the day after they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
The ring, designed by Dan Rooney with help from halfback Jerome Bettis and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, took into account their four previous Super Bowl victories from the 1970s. It contains five Vince Lombardi trophies in dazzling diamonds around the Steelers' logo on the front and features yellow gold. It contained each player's name and number on the side, the 21-10 score of the game and the numeral XL.
Roethlisberger was the first to leave, five minutes after receiving his ring just after 9 p.m. because he had a flight to catch.
"I like it a lot," he said as he climbed into an SUV and sped off. "Me and Jerome designed it."
Linebacker James Harrison, who left five minutes later, wasn't as thrilled with the ring.
"It's nice, I like it, but I thought it'd be a little more flashy," said Harrison, wearing the ring on the middle finger of his left hand. "I'll still wear it. I'll wear it for three or four months and then I'll put it away.
"I'll have a chance to go out and show it off. I'll just do a lot of talking with my hands."
Tackle Max Starks said the ring reflected the Rooneys' pride in tradition.
"It's a beautiful ring," Starks said. "It's a lot more than I expected."
Starks said he will wear his ring only for special events.
A small group of fans waited in the gold parking lot across from Gate B at Heinz Field, pleading with players to come over and "show us your ring." Finally, assistant coaches Dick LeBeau and Russ Grimm walked over and accommodated them.
The players, coaches, their families and members of the organization gathered early in the evening in a lounge at Heinz Field and, after a cocktail hour accompanied by a band, Dan Rooney gave some opening remarks.
The group was then shown a video that contained congratulations from former Steelers such as Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Merril Hoge and Mel Blount and entertainers Snoop Dogg and Hank Williams.
"Every guy busted his butt; this is the fruit of those labors," Jerome Bettis said of the final chapter to their Super Bowl season. "It's the culmination of a job well done. It's priceless. I played my whole career for that goal."
Bettis said he can't wait to wear his ring during his new job as a studio host for NBC-TV on the network's new Sunday night football program.
"Oh, I'll definitely wear it. I don't know how often, but I expect I'll wear it a lot on television. It gives you instant credibility as you're speaking about the issues. I've been through all of it, done all of it. It kind of validates your existence [as a broadcaster]. It's the culmination of what you waited a career for, what I waited a career for."
It was Bettis who convinced Dan Rooney to include the team's four previous Super Bowl victories as part of the franchise's fifth ring, and why it has five Lombardi Trophies in diamonds on the face.
"He didn't want the other championships to overshadow this one,'' Bettis said. "I wanted to let him know that it was important that the other ones be involved because we had to live under that shadow. Now instead of us being separated, we're part of that family.
"As a player walking by those four trophies every day, I wanted to include those into this. It's part of the history and we're part of it. We wanted to feel part of it."
Two sides of the ring belonging to Steelers tackle Max Starks.
First Published June 5, 2006 12:00 am