Archive for August, 2013

Green Bay Packers Star Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Misplaced His Super Bowl Ring

August 30, 2013

It looks like sports superstars really are just like the rest of us.

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Ring XLV

Admit it. You’ve misplaced something really valuable before in your life.

So has Aaron Rodgers with the Super Bowl ring which he won after the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25 in February 2011.

He fessed up to TODAY’S TMJ4′s Rod Burks Thursday evening during the Packers’ 30-8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that he didn’t know where it was located for a long time.

“I forgot where it was for six months. I found it again,” said Rodgers.

“I misplaced it. It definitely was not lost. There were two or three places it could be and it was in one of those places.”

Rodgers says he’s probably worn the ring twice, and also adds that “We’d like to win more championships around here.”

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Segregated African-American football champions to get rings 48 years later

Trinity High School’s football team of 1965 will finally receive state championship rings from the Decatur High Booster Club on Thursday evening, August 29th at Decatur High School.

Trinity (Decatur High School Championship Football team, 1962

Trinity was the Decatur high school for African-Americans during segregation. The team’s football team, which included Clarence Scott (later an All-Pro cornerback with the Cleveland Browns) and Jack Pitts (a quarterback who signed with Michigan State), won the Class A championship in the old Georgia Interscholastic Association.

The team, was nicknamed the Bulldogs, defeated Wilson of Tifton 19-14 in the championship game and finished undefeated at 13-0. They posted seven shutouts.

Trinity closed in 1968 and merged into Decatur High, located essentially across the street from the old Trinity school.

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Scotty Bowman Owns 22 Championship Rings

Kelly Masse is the Director of Corporate and Media Relations at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Recently she twitted a photo of Scoty Bowman’s ring collection.

Scotty Bowman Stanley Cup and Championship Rings

Scotty Bowman has thirty years of NHL experience behind him holding records such as 1,244 regular season victories, 223 playoff wins, and a career win total of 1,467 games. All that winning came with hardware.

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The World of ‘Pawn Stars’

Rick Harrison has a bunch of championship rings and a few Olympic medals but his favorite championship item is the University of Nevada, Las Vegas NC2A championship ring.

New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI Ring

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so the saying goes. And for the three generations of the Harrison family, their entire way of living—namely, the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, an independent pawn shop in Las Vegas, Nevada—has been built over thousands of items.

Many of these items have been featured on the popular reality TV series, “Pawn Stars,” which has been airing for five years.

In an interview with Howie Severino on News to Go on Friday, Rick Harrison—son of family patriarch Richard “Old Man” Harrison and father to Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison—says he’s been in the business since 1988.

“I get a lot of national press, ’cause I get a lot of weird things in my pawn shop,” said Rick. “And it was always really good for business, so you know, if I got one of these reality shows…you know, it might help out business a little bit.

“I was literally hoping for one season or two. I never thought this would happen,” he added.

Indeed, a little bit goes a long way—the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop now gets over 5,000 customers a day, thanks to the show.

From Picasso to shrunken heads

In the US, pawn shops are a big industry, with about 12,000 shops all over the country—many of them owned by big corporations.

“Before my television show, it [the pawn shop industry] wasn’t looked upon really great,” said Rick. “I think I’ve raised the image a little bit.”

But out of all of them, why has the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop gotten this much attention?

Rick attributes their popularity to their niche as an independent pawn shop that takes in more expensive, high-end items.

“In the ’90s, I decided there will never be a time in my pawn shop when there won’t be at least one Picasso on the wall,” he said in a casual manner.

When asked if people really bring such items, he answered, “It’s Las Vegas—there’s a lot of gambling going on there.

“It’s sort of like a melting pot for wealthy people around the world—they like to just retire to Las Vegas and sometimes, things get rough,” he adds.

The Harrison family themselves own an entire block on Las Vegas Boulevard and another warehouse just to store over 17,000 currently inventoried items. Among their more expensive stock are antique guns, coins, jewelry, art, and old cars.

As for the weird stuff, they include a 1920s home electroshock therapy kit and shrunken heads, according to Rick.

The art of guesstimation

Appraisal is a big part of the pawning business, of course. But how does Rick figure out how much a thing is worth, and how much to give the person trying to sell it to them?

“Sometimes, you run into really big problems,” said Rick, when asked how he would price a shrunken head. “On one-of-a-kind items, you just sort of have to guesstimate, like, things similar to it.

“[For] a lot of things like rare coins, there’s books and—you go online to figure it out. For things like that, you just have to wing it, you know what I mean? You get other things similar, you know the collector’s market, and you sort of come up with a figure.”

Occasionally, they come across two items with the same value—however, one could be a gold coin, which would sell immediately, and the other could be a work of art that may hang on the pawn shop wall for three years. Rick would rather pay much more for the former than the latter, which he does not know when he’s going to sell.

Rick has to know a lot of stuff about whatever is brought to him at the pawn shop. “If I don’t know something about it, I’ll tell them, and I’ll call in somebody who does,” he said. Luckily, he has experts to fill in the gaps.

But once or twice a week, someone will come in and lay something on the countertop and Rick will say, “Oh, what [have] you got there… I have no idea. I have no idea whom to call, nothing.”

“You’ll never see it on the show, though,” he added with a laugh.

Thieves and sports guys

And what kind of customers does he usually see in his shop?

“It’s just normal people who don’t have good credit, can’t get a bank account, and if you need a little money just to get by for the month, this is where you come to—you come to me,” Rick said.

Sometimes, people come in with stolen items. This is determined when, at the close of the deal, he takes their ID number, height, and weight and a really good description of the object and turns it over to the local police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation—every single time, for every single item.

“The amount of paperwork we have to do is insane,” he said. “A pawn license in Las Vegas is worth a couple of million dollars… I am not gonna risk it.”

“But every once in a while, you get a really stupid thief—and I end up losing the money,” he said. When that happens, the thief is arrested and prosecuted by both the State (for the act of stealing) and Rick (for getting money from him under false pretenses).

The large volume of sports rings and medals in the stock also means that a lot of winning sportsmen come in and trade their symbols of honor and recognition. Rick has a bunch of Super Bowl rings, a few Olympic medals (one gold worth around $20,000, and four bronze ranging from $10,000 to $15,000)—but his favorite item is the University of Nevada, Las Vegas NC2A championship ring.

The medals and rings may be family heirlooms, but Rick said, “In the end, it’s just stuff and if you need to take care of your family, the money’s more important than the stuff. What it boils down to is that a lot of these sports guys are good at sports…but not in business.”

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 AFC Championship Watch Picture Finally Surfaces

When the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, they broke a 42 year tradition and opted not to receive a conference championship ring.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 AFC Championship Watch Surfaces
First it started as a rumor in the championship-ring collecting community back in 2011 when no fan or collector could find pictures or references to a Steeler 2010 AFC championship ring.  The rumor was that the Steelers received watches not rings.

Last year, after being unable to confirm a ring or watch was presented, I called the Steelers headquarters and spoke to a high-level executive.  He confirmed the team voted to award watches, not rings.  He politely refused to answer my question – why they decided upon watches.

This is a very unusual break with tradition.  Back in 1969, the Colts were so upset on their loss to the underdog Jets in Super Bowl III, that they too opted for watches and not rings.  In the 42 years since, every team that lost in the super bowl received a conference championship ring.  That is until the Steelers team of 2010.

In continuing to research all I could learn about championship rings, I discovered that the players from the Steelers 2005 team were upset when they received their Super Bowl XL rings.  The reason: They were too small.  Compared to the Patriots, Buccaneers and Ravens rings, the Steelers ring was tiny.

This situation was remedied three years later when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.  The rings they received for that accomplishment were huge.

When the Steelers were getting ready to award a keepsake from the 2010 AFC Championship year, could it be that the team didn’t want to go through awarding another memento that upset the players?  The team may have been forced to go small again since the NFL has strict limits on the size of conference championship rings.  The Steelers probably had to get permission from the NFL to award watches since the league has rigid guidelines on awarding championship rings.

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