A Super Bowl ring is the most coveted of football’s rewards, a talisman with the sparkle to match the magic of a championship season.
An Indianapolis Colts fan wants to give the New England Patriots the ring he thinks they deserve. Sitting on top of his 3-D-printed blue ring is a ball-inflation needle, the kind the NFL now believes was used in the infamous Deflategate game where the Patriots “cheated” their way to the Super Bowl.
Disgruntled Colts fan Jacob Ayers whipped up a quick prototype to raise $750 on Kickstarter to make the rings. There are no backers so far for the campaign that ends May 31, but for a pledge of $50, Ayers will send rings to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the entire Patriots team.
“Help preserve those treasured Deflategate scandal memories with what should have been the real Super Bowl ring this year,” Ayers wrote on Kickstarter. “I wanted to sue this as an opportunity to have a little John Oliver-style fun with the topic at hand and give the people a creative medium to voice their opinion.”
The Patriots trounced the Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18 to reach the Super Bowl.
New England, which went on to win the Super Bowl, was accused of using underinflated footballs in the AFC final. Inflation below the minimum 12.5 pounds per square inch makes a football easier to grip in cold or wet weather.
The Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady denied allegations that the balls were intentionally deflated to below league minimum standards.
But an NFL investigation recently concluded that the team’s equipment staff deliberately released air from the game balls and that Brady was “probably” aware of the deflation.
The Patriots were fined and lost some draft picks. Brady, his Hall of Fame career a bit tarnished, is suspended for the first four games of the coming season.
So Ayers, a 21-year-old CAD designer from the aggrieved Indiana capital, has channeled his anger into the rings.
A $20 pledge delivers a ring and three buttons to commemorate Deflategate. For a $40 pledge, a buyer gets the package and can have rings sent to either Goodell or the Patriots with a letter that expresses how you feel about the scandal. An extra $10 and you can send rings and letters to all the involved parties.
“Just imagine the look on their face when this shows up on their desk,” Ayers wrote.
If funded, the rings will be available in time for the preseason.