SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Broncos punter Britton Colquitt always knew that he would get a Super Bowl ring someday. The only question is whether it would be bequeathed to him or bestowed upon him.
Britton; brother Dustin, the Chiefs' punter; and their father, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers, punter Craig Colquitt, are the NFL's first family of fourth downs.
Craig once sat the boys down and told them they'd each inherit one of his Super Bowl rings.
Crickets. They were watching cartoons.
Disappointed by their lack of enthusiasm, Craig retreated upstairs to make lunch. Soon, his younger boy was tugging at his shirt.
"So, Dad," Britton said. "When are you going to die?"
"Yeah, turns out he could relate to the gold and diamonds after all," said Craig, now 61.
Dustin, 33, is in line to inherit his father's ring from Pittsburgh's win over Dallas in 1979. Britton, 30, will get the ring from Pittsburgh's victory over the Los Angeles Rams the following year.
If the Broncos beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, baby brother will get his hands on his own gaudy jewelry.
"That would be pretty nice," Britton said. "It would be worth a lot more than my dad's old rings, too."
Where does dad keep his kids' heirlooms?
"With him," Britton shot back incredulously. "The most braggadocios human being you'll ever meet. He's walking around: 'Hey, are you a Steelers fan? You want to see something?'
"When we went to Pittsburgh in December, oh, my gosh, I mean, he was showing homeless people on the street."
The Colquitts are to punting what the Mannings are to passing, though the patriarch of the former had an inauspicious start — a safety on his first punt at the University of Tennessee in 1975. Craig went on to rewrite the school record book, averaging 42.5 yards per punt, a mark that was bested by three more Colquitts.
Craig's nephew, Jimmy, averaged 43.9 yards from 1981-84. Dustin averaged 42.567 from 2001-04 and Britton 42.569 from 2005-08.
Britton got his dad tickets for Sunday's game, but he didn't have to splurge for tickets for his brother, who's recovering from surgery on his left knee and isn't coming to California. Britton did have to dole out $1,800 for each of his three kids, including his newborn daughter, who won't even be 3 weeks old Sunday.
"That baby's costing him more to take her to the Super Bowl than it cost to bring her into this world," Craig said.
Maybe one day she'll inherit her father's Super Bowl ring.
"Yeah," Britton said, smiling, "hopefully one with a big Bronco head on it."