Champs celebrate at owner's home
BROOKLINE, Mass. -- The New England Patriots gathered Sunday at the home of team owner Robert Kraft to receive their Super Bowl rings.
Players and coaches were to receive the rings at a private dinner and ceremony.
"This was such a special team and such a special year we felt having it at our home made it really special," Kraft said before the ceremony.
"They're looking forward to this evening. I think they'd like to have no appetizers, no main course," he said.
Kraft added, "After tonight, this is history. We're on to the next season."
The Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three years in February when Adam Vinatieri capped a wild 37-point fourth-quarter with a 41-yard field goal in the game's final seconds for a 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers.
The Super Bowl victory was the culmination of a 15-game winning streak, the second longest single-season streak in NFL history, behind only Miami's 17 in a row during its perfect 1972 season.
Each ring is made of 14-karat white gold and weighs 3.8 ounces, making them the largest Super Bowl rings. Each ring has 104 diamonds with a total weight of 5.05 carats.
Thirty-two diamonds representing the 32 NFL franchises are on the top surrounding the Patriots logo. Fifteen diamonds running along the crest of the ring represent the team's 15-game win streak, the longest in franchise history.
One side of the ring features the player's name and number, the Gillette stadium lighthouse, and the Lombardi Trophy. The other side features the words "15 straight," the Super Bowl XXXVIII logo, and the final score of the game along with the logos of the Patriots and the Panthers.
The team would not disclose how much each ring cost except to say it was more than the $15,000 the rings cost for the 2001 Super Bowl.
When the Patriots won the Super Bowl after the 2001 season with a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams, championship rings were handed out during a party at a downtown Boston hotel.
Kraft said the second victory was like having a second child.
"Each one is special in their own way," he said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press