Tim Robins of championship-rings.net said he received 1,900 championship rings, including 350 Super Bowl rings, and former Super Bowl champions said ring sales are usually the result of financial desperation in the face of a divorce, death, drug habit or other difficulty, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday.
Dexter Manley, who earned a Super Bowl ring during his tenure with the Washington Redskins, said he sold his ring in the 1990s to buy cocaine and it was bought back by a friend. He did not get the ring back until after the death of his friend, who left specific instructions that he was not to receive the ring until he was drug-free.
"I believe in miracles," Manley said. "And it's an act of God that I have my ring back in my possession."
Others said they are reluctant to part with their rings because of what they represent.
"I can't imagine the process that person has to go through to depart with something that means so much," said Jimmy Johnson, a former Super Bowl-winning coach.
Je'Rod Cherry, a former New England Patriots safety, said he sold his ring for an entirely different reason. A girl at a conference in 2008 challenged him to sell the ring to benefit charity and he raised nearly $150,000 from the sale.
"I do not disrespect the idea of what the ring represents," Cherry said. "I tried to elevate it to something even better."