Posts Tagged New England

Joe Andruzzi is a Super Bowl Champion and a Class Act

August 14, 2014


Today’s blog is not about championship rings, it’s about Joe Andruzzi’s kindness and desire to help others.

New England Patriots Super Bowl Rings


Joe Andruzzi is not a house-hold name.   But he should be, because of all the great things he has done for others.   I hope you are as moved by his story as I am.


In 1997, Joe Andruzzi was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted rookie free agent. After three seasons, Andruzzi was released from the Packers and then signed by the New England Patriots in 2000.

He played for the Pats for five seasons and earned three Super Bowl rings.

During his time in New England Andruzzi received the Ed Block Courage Award in 2002 (for helping others) and the first Ron Burton Community Service Award in 2003.

Andruzzi became a free agent again in 2005 and was signed by the Cleveland Browns. He played for the Browns for two seasons.

In 2001, Andruzzi and his wife, Jen, were introduced to C.J. Buckley, who had an inoperable brain tumor. The families became very close and, the Andruzzi’s were devastated when C.J. died in 2002. Always driven to help others in need, the couple launched the C.J. Buckley Brain Cancer Research Fund at Children’s Hospital.

In 2007, Joe Andruzzi was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s lymphoma. He relocated back to New England and had an aggressive form of chemotherapy treatment over three months at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Andruzzi’s last treatment was on August 6, 2007 after which he spent the following year at home in recovery.

After completing treatment, Joe was told that there was no sign of cancer in his body and he remains cured today.

The Andruzzi family founded the Joe Andruzzi Foundation in 2008. The foundation is committed to tackling cancer’s impact by providing financial assistance for patients and their families as well as funding pediatric brain cancer research.

On April 15, 2013, Andruzzi’s foundation was hosting an event on Boylston Street in Boston when the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings occurred. In the aftermath, he was photographed carrying an injured woman to safety.

Joe has three brothers who like him, help others. His three brothers are all members of the New York City Fire Department, and responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


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Here’s Every Single New England Patriot Championship Ring

June 19, 2014


A few days ago I photographed and highlighted the five Brady and Belichick Championship rings. Now it’s time to include the two rings from the previous decades.


(Click picture below for a larger picture)

New England Patrioits Super Bowl and AFC Championship rings


To learn more about the five Brady/Belichick rings, please visit my earlier blog post from June 17th 2014.

Here are some notes on the 1985 and 1996 rings.

The ring shown on the far left is the New England Patriots 1985 AFC Championship ring. The team beat the Dolphins in the championship game and advanced to Super Bowl XX where they were destroyed by the Chicago Bears.

The 1985 AFC Championship ring was made my Balfour, in 10K gold. For the time period in which it was made, the championship ring was a pretty standard size and style NFL conference championship ring.

A cool feature on this ring is the image of the Lamar Hunt trophy. This is the large trophy awarded to the AFC championship winning team. You can see additional ring images at the Super Bowl Ring Gallery, the link is located off of this website’s home page.

The ring on the far right is the 1996 AFC championship ring and the first under owner Robert Kraft. Bill Belichick was there as the defensive coordinator (Bill Parcells was the Head Coach).

The 1996 championship ring is made of 10K gold and was made by Jostens. This ring too, has an image of the Lamar Hunt trophy, however, it’s not as detailed an image as the 1985 ring. You can see additional ring images at the Super Bowl Ring Gallery , the link is located off of this website’s home page.


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The New England Patriots Big Five – No Jive!

June 17, 2014


Probably the first and only photo of all five “Brady/Belichick” rings on the internet.


(Click picture below for a larger picture)

New England Patriots Super Bowl and AFC Championship rings


Pictured above left to right, Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX World Championship Rings, and the 2007 and 2011 AFC Championship rings.

The New England Patriots are the only North American professional sports franchise to assemble such an impressive collection of championship ring-bling in an eleven year span.

While the New York Yankees won 5 consecutive World Series from 1949 – 1953, and the Boston Celtics won 11 championships in 13 years, and the Yankees won 6 championship rings (4 winners, and 2 American League Championship rings) from 1996 – 2003, those rings can’t compare in dazzle and bling to the Patriots rings shown above.

Let’s take a look at each ring:

The first ring on the left is from the Patriot’s first Super Bowl Victory. This Super Bowl XXXVI ring sets the reoccurring theme on all the following rings. All six rings are made of solid white gold, covered with gorgeous white diamonds, and their colorful logo prominently displayed. This ring was considered quite large when it made its appearance, possibly the largest super bowl ring ever made at that time.

The super bowl XXXVI ring is packed with 144 diamonds and 2.63 carats. The 14K white gold ring weighed in at 72 grams. The wood presentation box was a magnificent ring holder with the super bowl XXXVI logo on top. You can see all of the presentation boxes in the Super Bowl Ring Gallery, a link is provided on this website’s home page.

The next ring shown, unquestionably was the largest super bowl ring every produced at the time it was awarded. This super bowl XXXVIII reached an unbelievable 100 grams. It has 104 diamonds and two huge marquise diamonds, symbolizing the team’s second World Championship. The 14 carat white gold ring contained 5.05 carats of white diamonds and baguettes.

The wood presentation box is even larger than the Super Bowl XXXVI box. It contained two Lombardi trophies on the top and a football shaped window to allow the ring to be seen. You can see all of the presentation boxes in the Super Bowl Ring Gallery, a link is provided on this website’s home page.

The ring in the middle is the Patriots crowning achievement and the most stunning super bowl ring I have ever seen. This super bowl XXXIX ring is also made of 14K solid white gold and contains 111 diamonds. There are three Lombardi trophies to symbolize the team’s third world championship in four seasons. As you can see, the ring is larger than the Super Bowl XXXVIII ring and is the largest ring ever produced.

A player once confessed to me that this ring was too large and too heavy to wear everyday and he was a 300 pound, towering lineman! Please note that the Packers super bowl XLV ring is heavier, but not larger. This is because that ring is made of Platinum which is more costly and heavier than 14K gold.

Super Bowl XXXIX was the New England Patriot’s pinnacle of success. Their next two super bowl appearances did not go as well, losing both games in tight matches against the New York Giants.

Shown second from the right is their 2007 AFC championship ring. Championship rings are awarded to teams that lose in the super bowl. It’s a way to celebrate the team winning their conference championship.

The 2007 ring is loaded with small white diamonds and the ring is made of 10 carrot white gold. The 2007 is the only ring of the five made of 10K gold, not 14K. The ring is 46 grams in weight – comparable to a super bowl winning ring from the 1970′s – 1980′s.

The first four rings shown were all made by Jostens. The New England Patriots last Championship ring, the ring on the right was designed and manufactured as a collaboration by Masters of Design and Herff Jones.

The 2011 ring is a much more impressive ring than the 2007 version. It boasts 7 marques diamonds which symbolize the team’s 7 AFC championships and Super Bowl appearances. The Patriots returned to making the ring in 14K white gold, and increased the weight to 54 grams.

The “MHK” design is a loving tribute to the Kraft family. Owner, Robert Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, passed away during the 2011 season and the owner and team was mourning her loss during the season.

The wood presentation box also is a tribute to Mrs. Kraft as her initials are prominently displayed on the top.

Please visit the Super Bowl Gallery located off the home page, to view this presentation box and all the others.


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New England Patriots 2011 AFC Championship Ring Contains a Few Surprises

June 16, 2014


I recently acquired this ring and while no information was released to the public, it was easy to uncover some surprising facts about these rings.

New England Patriots 2011 AFC Championship Ring from Super Bowl XLVI


The Patriots lost the XLVI super bowl on the final play of the game when Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass was knocked down.

This ring is a celebration of their 2011 AFC Championship season. What makes this championship special is that Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick became the first quarterback-head coach combination to reach the Super Bowl five times. They passed Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll who accomplished this feat four times.

The ring is the largest and most impressive AFC/NFC championship ring ever made (winners of the super bowl receive World Champions rings, while the losing team is awarded their respective conference championship ring). The ring contains 7 football-shaped marquise diamonds – one for teach super bowl appearance (or conference championship won) and is made of 14K solid gold.

The first surprise about this ring is how large it is. It is around the same size as their first super bowl winning ring from Superbowl XXXVI.

The next discovery is quite a shocker, and that’s the identity of who designed and manufactured the ring. Most championship and super bowl rings are made by Jostens, and then Tiffany and Balfour are distant seconds and thirds. Examining the engraving inside the ring reveal that this ring was made as a collaboration between two jewelry companies – Masters of Design and Herff Jones.

Championship ring collaborations are extremely rare, the only other one I can remember is when Balfour and Intergold both made the Boston Celtics 2008 World Championship ring.

This is the first NFL football championship for Masters of Design, while Herff Jones did create the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl XLI winning and 2009 AFC Championship rings.

The next surprise is that the ring contains a glass initial logo that is attached to the side of the ring. Usually when you see color on the sides of championship rings, it is painted on with enamel paint. The “MHK” design is a loving tribute to the Kraft family. Owner, Robert Kraft’s wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, passed away during the 2011 season and the owner and team was mourning her loss during the season.

The wood presentation box also is a tribute to Mrs. Kraft as her initials are prominently displayed on the top.

In the coming days I will present pictures of this ring, along side all the other Patriots rings so you can see how it compares to the many other rings the team has been awarded.

Please stay tuned!


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Championship Ring Humor

May 31, 2014


We could all use a little more humor so here’s my attempt at some Championship Ring folly:

Putin on the Ring (super bowl ring humor)


Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, visited with Russian President Putin back in 2005. The visit did not go too well for Mr. Kraft.

“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.” said Kraft.

After returning to the United States, Kraft demanded the return of his ring. The White House intervened and at the behest of the American government, Kraft was instructed to claim the ring was a gift in order to ease possible tensions between the Russians and the United States. Looks like this attempt to ease tensions between the two countries failed.

According to the story, the government told Kraft, “It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”

While the Patriots owner continued to tell officials that he wanted his personalized 4.94-carat diamond-encrusted ring back, the White House continued to stay firm in their stance that it would be best to claim it was a gift and leave it at that.

The person who designed and photoshopped this clever picture got one important detail wrong. Putin is shown with the New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI ring (the Pats first Super Bowl Victory). The ring that was stolen was the Patriots last Super Bowl Championship Ring, from Super Bowl XXXIX. The Super Bowl XXXIX is about twice the size of the ring shown on Putin’s finger.


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