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    The most significant NFL Championship ring ever offered at auction

    1966-67 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl I Championship Ring Presented to Jerry Kramer. By the time this historic relic crosses the block of our New York Platinum Night auction, the United States and the world will have celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the Super Bowl, an event which has become so ingrained in our American culture that the event has effectively turned game day into an unofficial national holiday. Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving for American food consumption, and first by far in television viewership. The halftime show is a multi-million dollar spectacle of Grammy-award winning music acts, choreography of thousands, and dazzling lights and pyrotechnics. The cost of a thirty-second commercial spot runs into the millions of dollars.

    So one can't help but marvel how far the contest has come since its humble beginning, when Super Bowl I failed to sell out the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the halftime show consisted of two college marching bands and a high school drill team. This was no spectacle--it was a simple grudge match. After six seasons of uneasy coexistence within the professional American football marketplace, the AFL and NFL would finally meet in battle, each looking to prove the point of which they were certain. For the AFL, the game was an opportunity to silence the prevailing voices that the league was decidedly inferior to the entrenched NFL. Vince Lombardi's Packers, conversely, were anxious to prove those doubters right.

    Many football fans, however, gave the matter a collective shrug, seeing it as nothing more than a meaningless exhibition with an entirely predictable conclusion. And ultimately, the Green Bay Packers would assert their clear dominance over the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs, pulling away after halftime with twenty-one unanswered points to complete a thirty-five to ten victory. After the game, Coach Lombardi echoed the common sentiment: "I do not think they are as good as the top teams in the National Football League."

    It would take the fulfillment of Broadway Joe's daring prophecy to validate the AFL two years later, but the Green Bay Packers will always rule as the original Super Bowl Champions, the defenders of the professional gridiron's natural order. Here we present the most significant NFL Championship ring ever to reach the hobby's auction block.

    It is consigned to this Platinum Night event by Jerry Kramer himself, the bulldozing offensive guard whose service in the fabled "Packer Sweep" led the green and yellow to five NFL Championships, inclusive of the first two Super Bowl victories. Certainly most football historians would consider this the most important of those five.

    A large, genuine diamond adorns the center of the ring face, which Lombardi demanded to be precisely 1.00 point, not a fraction more or less, a tribute to his exacting nature. It is set into a silver oval reminiscent of a football and a globe, and framed by raised text reporting, "1966 World Champions Green Bay Packers." The left shank is dominated by a design incorporating the logos of the competing leagues between banners reporting the results of the NFL Championship and Super Bowl results, and a crown bearing Lombardi's credo, "Harmony, Courage, Valor." Right shank identifies the famous owner by name and jersey number, those details framing a figural helmet with a listing of the four NFL Championships to date. Interior band is stamped, "Josten 14K" and measures to a size fourteen and a half (14.5).

    Only forty-five of these rings were produced for players, coachs and select staff members, but none from a Packers player of Kramer's stature has been presented at auction until now. The team, the man and the event provide a significance present only in the greatest treasures of the football collectibles hobby. Letter of provenance from Jerry Kramer.


    The Jerry Kramer Collection


    Isaac Newton's Second Law tells us that force equals mass times acceleration. Between 1958 and 1968, there was arguably no athlete in America who put that principle to more effective use than Jerry Kramer, Vince Lombardi's bulldozing right guard instrumental in blazing a trail to five NFL Championships, inclusive of the first two Super Bowl victories in history. With a six-foot three inch frame carrying 245 pounds of raw aggression, Kramer was the personification of his legendary coach's rugged ethos. "If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart," Lombardi told us, "he's never going to come off the field second." He found this guy in Kramer, the pair sharing a special bond of admiration and respect perfectly captured in the famous photo of an adoring gaze between them as Lombardi rides Kramer's shoulder off the field in victory after Super Bowl II.

    If you're seeking physical evidence of Kramer's toughness, have a look at some of the game worn jerseys that inhabit his personal collection, the dozens of team repairs patching wounds suffered in the NFL trenches. Mr. Kramer's body looks much the same. A miracle of endurance and medical science, he endured twenty-two surgeries during his eleven seasons in Green Bay, continuing to rise again and again from the ashes to earn five All-Pro nods and the distinction, in the eyes of many, as the most glaring oversight to Canton enshrinement.

    But Jerry Kramer, true to the philosophy that made his era the greatest in Packers franchise history, has never been one to dwell on the past, or to rest upon his considerable laurels. He sends the treasures of his football career to auction not out of personal need, but rather to establish a trust to fund the education of his five grandchildren. Even with a past as bright as Kramer's, he cannot stop thinking about the future.

    All lots will be accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Jerry Kramer.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 9,100

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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