TAMPA — Even for the ring master like Tom Brady, this was historic.
He may have personally captured a seventh Lombardi Trophy in February, but it was the first won by an NFL team in its home stadium when the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium.
To commemorate that accomplishment, Bucs players, coaches and staff received a one-of-a-kind championship ring during a private ceremony Thursday night at the MidFloirda Credit Union Amphitheatre.
It includes an original twist-off top that reveals a hand-engraved, three-dimensional replica of Raymond James Stadium in honor of the Bucs’ historic Super Bowl win on their home field.
The Bucs had several players speak at the event before opening a boxes containing their rings. Among them were coach Bruce Arians, Mike Evans, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, Devin White, Ali Marpet and Brady, who came on last.
Much of the ceremony was streamed live by Donovan Smith and others on Instagram.
Brady talked about his search for a new team and how grateful he was to the Glazer family that owns the team, the coaching staff and his teammates.
“We stepped up at the biggest moments,” Brady said. “... They can’t take this ring away from us.”
Brady related a story from a former Michigan football coach.
“He said, ‘You know what? I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of many championship teams, and this is one of them,’” Brady said. “This is a championship team. He said, ‘You what ring is my favorite one? My favorite ring is the next one.’”
Each ring contains 15 carats of white diamonds and is made of 14-carat yellow and white gold. The top of the ring features 319 diamonds, representing the 31-9 final score in the Super Bowl.
The diamonds make up two Lombardi Trophies on the face of the ring, representing the Bucs’ two Super Bowl championships.
They are covered by the Bucs’ red flag logo, which is made of hand-carved red corundum.
Nine diamonds cover the Lombardi Trophy on the left face of the ring, a nod to the Bucs defense, which allowed the Chiefs to score only nine points in the championship game.
Both trophies are surrounded by round diamonds with the words “World Champions” on the top and bottom of the face of the ring. The words are connected by eight diamonds on each side, representing the Bucs’ eight-game winning streak to end the season. It included playoff wins over the Washington football team, Saints and Packers — all on the road –—and the scores of those games, along with Super Bowl 55, are stamped around the replica of Raymond James Stadium.
“We knew this ring had to be completely unique and representative of the special journey the team took to the championship,” Bucs co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said in a release from the team. “We wanted it to represent the camaraderie and sacrifice that our players and coaches experienced along the way. This ring tells the story of that journey. It reflects the heart and soul of the team like none other before it. We know it will be an emotional touchstone for everyone involved for many, many years to come.”
The left and right side of the ring have two distinct panels. One is personalized for the player, including his name, the NFL logo and the team’s motto that was echoed by coach Bruce Arians: “One team, one cause.”
The other band includes the Bucs logo, the Super Bowl 55 logo and the score of the game.
There are four diamonds on the Lombardi Trophy located on one band, commemorating the four playoff wins. Inside the band, the phrase “Trust, Loyalty, Respect” is inscribed.
All of the team captains, including Brady and linebacker Lavonte David, were involved in the design.
“‘One team, one cause’ was more than a locker room mantra,” Kassewitz said. “It’s a commitment amongst the players, coaches and the entire organization to the pursuit of excellence on and off the field. It was imperative to our family that the players have a voice in the design to ensure it was a fitting symbol of their accomplishments and incredible achievements during one of the most memorable seasons ever.”
The Super Bowl 55 rings was produced by Jason of Beverly Hills, a custom jeweler that has produced championship rings for other sports. However, this was the first Super Bowl ring produced by the company.
Thursday’s event was a compromise between the NFL, NFL Players Association and the Bucs.
Originally, the team wanted to host a formal private event in a Tampa hotel ballroom. But due to COVID-19 protocols, they were told first that everyone attending must be vaccinated. Then they agreed on a format that separated the players, coaches and staff from their guests.
The Bucs presented a Super Bowl 55 ring to long-time team physician Dr. Joe Diaco and posthumously to Jill Hobbs, who worked for the organization for 43 years as the team’s player benefits and alumni program manager. Mrs. Hobbs died in January after a battle with cancer and the ring was received by her husband.
Thursday’s ring ceremony officially ended the celebration of winning Super Bowl 55, which included a visit to the White House Tuesday. Bucs rookies have begun orientation and quarterbacks have reported to training camp. The full squad is expected Saturday, and the first training camp workout is Sunday.
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