Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Did I Just Find The Culprit In The Case Of The Steelers' Flawed Super Bowl IX Ring?


I'd be a horrible sports blogger if I didn't go making up rumors and posting them to the Internets for all the MSM to gasp over. So here's a little nugget for you in place of actual news or funny videos and pictures.

Earlier this week, we learned the story of the Steelers Super Bowl IX and X rings that were sold on eBay for a nice round figure of $66,000. Astute readers pointed out that on the SB IX ring, there was a mistake in the score of the Steelers' win over Buffalo. The real score was 32-14. The ring states 32-6. We're pretty gracious people in Steelers Country, and don't want to gyp Buffalo out of 8 points in the playoffs. With all the heartbreak they've suffered in their postseason history, we'd be jerks if we only acknowledged 6 of their total 14 points scored that day.

But whose fault is the error?

"I'll be damned," said Joe Gordon, who headed the Steelers public relations and marketing from 1969 to 1998. "I find it almost impossible to believe because so many of us checked it."

So...not Joe or any of his cronies.

"Anytime something of that magnitude is involved, Dan Rooney would have handled it," Mr. Gordon said. "And Dan is so meticulous in everything he does. I find it almost incomprehensible."

So...maybe Dan, but highly unlikely.

Being that its the first Super Bowl ring in team history, I'm going to guess the Steelers looked over every bit of that ring design before it went into production. Sure, most of that faith comes from my Steelers-centric homerism, but for argument's, and this rumor's, sake, let's guess the error didn't come out of Pittsburgh.

Let's assume the problem arises from Minnesota.

Remember the awkward moments in high school when you got a glossy brochure filled with tons of rings for you to pay out the ass for to wrap up your secondary education? Gold, white gold, diamonds, rubies, simple, extravagant. I didn't buy one, because high school rings are stupid. Well, the company that tried to get you to purchase their products, Jostens, also makes the Super Bowl rings.

Here's where it gets interesting.

Jostens is based in Minneapolis. There's an NFL team in Minneapolis, in case you didn't know, that goes by the name Vikings. The ring in question commemorates Super Bowl IX, in which Pittsburgh bested the Vikings 16-6. Now we've got something.

Come on, Nick, you're just overreacting and trying to make the puzzle pieces fit. Uh, damn straight. Look at this little tidbit (emphasis mine):

A check with Jostens, the Minneapolis-based jeweler that produced the rings, proved that while the Steelers' original design had the accurate score, the ring molds -- which the company keeps in a large vault -- show the wrong score. And no one ever noticed or corrected it.

All of a sudden, rumors start to make sense.

Did Jostens take exception to the hometown Vikings losing their second straight Super Bowl, and purposefully flaw the ring in such a way that only the guilty parties knew of and some inquisitive nerds would find out decades later? I'm sure we'll never know the exact truth, but its interesting when you have all the information. Most fans would pass it off as an honest mistake, but honest mistakes don't make sports blogs interesting.

I'm on to you, Jostens. Not only do you dupe kids into buying overpriced rings that they'll never wear...or if the do wear 'em, they look like dorks...but now you've gone ahead and pissed off Steelers Nation. I'd suggest keeping your brochures out of Pittsburgh-area schools from now on, ya twerps.



Cotter said...

So, um, couldn't these rings just have been counterfeit?

I mean, I imagine someone could stand to make, oh I don't know, $66k by selling fake Super Bowl rings...

tecmo said...

From what I understand, they're legit. Some front office worker who is going through money problems and is liquidating their assets. Plus, the IX ring sold wasn't the only one with the flaw, every one of 'em from IX is like that. And if Jostens has the original mold with the error in it, I'd guess the mistake is on their end.

Cotter said...

Yeah, but I mean if it was an original authentic ring, wouldn't it have had the right score? Or were all the rings inaccurate?

If all the other rings had the right score, wouldn't it stand to reason that this was probably made after all the originals? Hence raising questions about it's legitimacy...

tecmo said...

Completely agree. However, all the rings have the error, and I think the ring has been proven real. Jostens' original mold confirms that all the rings sent out to the team that year had the error, and Rocky Bleier was interviewed in that P-G article about his own flawed ring.

Real ring, real error, Jostens is a douche.

Cotter said...

Yeah, that's pretty awesome for business...how do you get the score of a Super Bowl wrong on a commemorative ring?

/bunch of jagoffs

Anonymous said...

The way I understood it is that the 1st round of rings are correct but the next round is all screwed up. The first round went to players, the second round went to others such as office workers.

tecmo said...

Cotter - It wasn't the score of the SB, but of an earlier round in the playoffs. If I'm right and Jostens did it on purpose, I'd have to believe they picked a less-important game to muff the score. More people would have recognized a SB score being wrong. Still, I get what you're saying, though.

Marc - You have a link or anything? The way I understand is all the rings, players, front office and coaches, are wrong. The end of the P-G article says its a universal flaw, on every IX ring. Bleier never noticed it on his, and since he was a player and his ring error matches the front office ring error, I'm gonna go ahead and say there's no correct IX rings out there

Anonymous said...

I'm wrong, I don't know where I heard that. Pretty strange to they'd screw up that bad

Cotter said...

Wow, sounds like I should probably pay more attention when reading blog posts.

Duh, Steelers-Buffalo, not a Super Bowl matchup...

/blame it on being sick and unfortunate crack habit...

tecmo said...

C'mon Cotter. And you call yourself a Steelers fan/blogger. Jerk

Cotter said...

I'm obviously a Browns fan in disguise...go Brady Quinn.

domski43 said...

tecmo - you are completely right about high school rings though...they are real gay

Cotter said...

REAL gay.

I knew this dude back in 11th grade who wore won. Now, he's Lance Bass' life partner.