He’s got all four, and yes, he does have a favorite.
Willie Davis is the only person to possess all four of the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl rings. He earned the first two as a Hall of Fame defensive end in the 1960s, the third as a member of the team’s board of directors (1994-2005), and the most recent one as an emeritus director.
He’s proud of them all, but his last one as a player, capping the Packers’ three straight titles under Vince Lombardi following the 1967 season, means the most to him.
“There’s no question the last two rings have more bling, as they say,” Davis said, unable to hold back the hearty laughter for which he’s well-known. “But I can tell you the ring with the three diamonds, the second Super Bowl, and what was encompassed in that with three consecutive championships, that has resonated with me.”
When Davis flew from his home in California to Lambeau Field for the Super Bowl XLV ring ceremony a few weeks ago, he didn’t know he was about to become the only person to own all four rings. A work colleague had mentioned the possibility to him before he headed for the airport, but he hadn’t given it much thought.
Then, when Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy announced during the ceremony the “status” Davis was about to achieve, it started to sink in.
“For a moment I was literally stunned, but excited to the bone,” Davis said. “Not so much as being the only one, but just being one with an association and involvement with the Packers in all the success and hoopla that a Super Bowl brings.”
Since returning to California, Davis has hosted several impromptu show-and-tell moments with friends, displaying all four rings together.
One day, just for the heck of it, he pulled out four other rings – two from pre-Super Bowl titles in Green Bay, one from his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, and one from his Black College Football Hall of Fame induction, which took place this past February – just to see what a collection of eight looked like.
He’ll wear one of his rings only on special occasions, and he won’t wear more than one on each hand at any given time. It’s fun to pick and choose, though.
The Super Bowl XLV ring is by far the most “exotic,” according to Davis, and he expects he’ll be asked to bring it with him to any forthcoming speaking engagements.
Davis still follows the Packers closely, of course, and he couldn’t have been more honored to play the part he did in last winter’s postseason run.
In January, Davis flew to Chicago to serve as the Packers’ honorary captain in the NFC Championship against the Bears. He walked out to midfield for the coin toss, watched part of the game from the sideline, and then presented the George S. Halas trophy to the team in the locker room following the victory.
The whole experience meant more to him than he could have possibly imagined.
“I have trouble describing the magnitude of that, the nostalgia,” he said. “Going back in time, the Chicago Bears on any occasion, that was get-up time. Get up, ready to play, get fired up. When I walked up on the stage to present that trophy, I had every thought about every championship, almost like every time we had an occasion to play the Chicago Bears.
“To walk out of there with the opportunity to present the trophy in George Halas territory was one of the greatest moments in my life.”
Getting that fourth ring ranks up there, too. He still marvels at the “bling.”
“This last ring, wow!” Davis said, still laughing. “I’ll have to pull for the Packers to win another championship just to see what the next ring would look like.”