By Elissa Sanci
On first glance, I mistook last year’s Super Bowl ring for an over-sized bedazzled high school class ring as the camera zoomed in on it during Super Bowl 50. I caught myself wondering why anyone would want an eyesore like that.
And then I caught myself wondering—and Googling—how much that eye sore even cost.
Let’s do some simple math. According to ESPN, the rings for last year’s winning team were $36,500 a pop. The NFL foots the bill for 150 rings for the winning team, so, depending on the ever-fluctuating cost of gold and silver, they normally spend more than $5 million. On rings.
The NFL spends $5.475 million for these rings—each year. Multiply that cost by fifty Super Bowls, and we’re looking at a grand total of $273.75 million. One ring alone costs more than a year of college for me, and it’s spent in a matter of minutes, just to remind an already well-paid football player that he’s won the Super Bowl, which could have easily been done with a $15 t-shirt.
More than 45 million Americans are living in poverty. The annual income threshold for a person living in poverty was $11,490 in 2013, and $23,550 for a family of four. In some states, a family can make as little as $25,309 while still meeting the criteria for middle class, the “average” class of America.
The price of one Super Bowl ring—essentially a glorified class ring—is greater than the net income of an average family of four. So when a Super Bowl champ wears his ring even once, he could be supporting an entire family for a year. Let that one sink in.
Each week the editors of the Corral will be highlighting their favorite blog post from the department of Communication’s senior seminar course. This semester the course focuses on the issues of income inequality and poverty in the United States. Check out the class blog here. A link to Elissa’s original post can be found here.