Seahawks get their NFC Championship rings
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Tired of hearing about how they lost the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks took a moment Wednesday to celebrate winning the NFC Championship.
Following the conclusion of their third minicamp practice, the Seahawks retired to a tent set up in the players' parking lot and were presented with their NFC Championship rings.
The rings were made by Jostens and include 58 diamonds surrounding a striking blue, crystalized, volcanic stone with the Seahawks' logo in the middle. One side of the ring features an image of Qwest Field with Mount Rainier in the background, and the player's name on the other side.
"That's what we emphasized in there, this was about what you accomplished," Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said. "No other Seahawks' team has gone to the Super Bowl, no other team has ever won 13 games, no other team has ever won 11 in a row, led the league in scoring, led the league is sacks. This was about accomplishment and is the way it needs to be viewed."
Much of the offseason has focused on Seattle's 21-10 loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, with little mention of the Seahawks 34-14 rout of Carolina in the NFC title game. Wednesday's ceremony brought smiles and a tangible sign of that accomplishment.
"Now that it's come and gone and we've been there, it's something we feel good about, but not quite what we wanted it to be," fullback Mack Strong said. Strong is the longest-tenured Seahawk, having played all 13 seasons in Seattle.
Most of the players immediately started wearing the rings. A number lined up in a conference room to meet with Jostens representatives about ordering auxiliary pieces for friends and family members.
The Seahawks added one special feature to the rings -- a tiny image of a carabiner, an oval metal ring used in mountain climbing.
Before the season, accomplished climber Ed Viesturs gave a motivation speech to the team. Viesturs gave each player a carabiner, and the players received another -- either blue or green and inscribed with motivational phrases -- after each victory.
"We thought the look of it just came out perfect," Ruskell said.
Ruskell earned a Super Bowl ring while working in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' front office and said the Seahawks' ring is fairly comparable, but the Bucs ring held "a few more diamonds here and there."
Relatively quiet and simple in his approach, Strong joked he wouldn't mind getting the next level of ring -- one with a little more "bling."
"I'd like it if people had to help me hold my hand up while it's on," Strong said. "It feels good."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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