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    Earned for the Jets' underdog victory in Super Bowl III

    1968-69 New York Jets Championship Ring Presented to Earl Christy.

    Note: A signed letter of provenance from Earl Christy is included.

    As we approach the Golden Anniversary of the biggest event in American sports, the third edition of the Super Bowl still holds sway as the most famous of them all. Like most great sports stories, including the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" that provides the anchor collection of this Platinum Night event, Super Bowl III was a tale of improbable victory, of Goliath felled by a scrappy David. Quarterback Joe Namath's brazen guarantee of victory was laughable before it was rendered prophetic. But spectator sports rules as the leading form of live entertainment precisely because the uncertainty of the outcome stokes our curiosity, and our dreams.

    The stunning sixteen to seven Jets victory over the heavily favored NFL Champion Baltimore Colts would prove to be far more than a simple underdog tale, however--it was a game that precipitated a seismic shift in professional football. Lopsided Green Bay Packers victories in the first two Super Bowls had served to calcify the belief that the AFL was a fundamentally inferior league, clamping the brakes on a merger that had been agreed to in principle in 1966. In the Super Bowl III victory, the upstart league was legitimized in the eyes of many influential figures who controlled the destiny of the process.

    In other words, this is no mere Super Bowl ring, but a key stepping stone in the ascendance of the NFL to the lofty status it enjoys today. It was presented to star kick and punt returner Earl Christy, the goat of the famous "Heidi Game" two months earlier, in which he fumbled away the kickoff after Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica's forty-six yard pass gave the Oakland Raiders the lead with under a minute to play. Christy would redeem himself as the two teams met again in the AFL Championship game, delivering a long fourth quarter kickoff return to set up Namath's game-winning drive. He provided a twenty-five yard kickoff return after the Colts' sole touchdown in Super Bowl III.

    The fourteen-karat gold creation by Balfour exhibits loving wear that occasionally softens the sharp detailing of the ring, but it's still a glorious beauty, announcing "New York Jets, World Champions, 1968" on a face studded with real diamonds set in a green football-shaped stone. The left shank recounts the winning tallies of both the Super Bowl and the AFL Championship games, while the right announces "Christy 45," framing a Jets helmet in profile.

    The ring tips the scales at a feather short of thirty-nine grams, and measures to a size eleven and a half. "LGB 14K" stamping inside band is very faint. LOA from PSA/DNA.

    1968-69 New York Jets Championship Ring Presented to Earl Christy.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,093

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