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Mile High Morning: The stories that accompany the Broncos' Super Bowl rings


The Lead

As Super Bowl LVIII approaches, ESPN looked back at the ring of each Super Bowl champion to share a number of priceless stories.

The Broncos, of course, had three rings featured — and Ring of Famers Mike Shanahan and Rod Smith and former tackle Ryan Harris offered insight into what their ring — or rings — meant to them.

"... When I look at that first one ... I see what it takes," Mike Shanahan said of his Super Bowl XXXII ring. "You can go through the years and go through the list of people who've played and coached in the National Football League, great players, great coaches, and they don't have one. They don't hand them out for one good effort. You look at it and see skill, luck, big-time plays in big-time moments, but you see the attention to detail and that you have to be a team with that attention to detail, everybody top to bottom, or you're not going to get one."

Shanahan's pair of Super Bowl rings are kept in a display case at his Denver restaurant, and he told ESPN he "never" wears the pieces of jewelry.

Smith, meanwhile, said he brings his two championship rings to speaking engagements and will let those in attendance try them on. The Broncos' all-time leading receiver also shared an impactful story about when he received one of the rings for the second time. After leaving the ring in a drawer in a hotel nightstand, Smith had the ring returned to him by a 10-year-old boy who stayed in the room next and found the championship memorabilia.

"They never wanted anything," Smith said. "They didn't even want an autograph. The dad just said 'We just want to get it to the rightful owner and we just want him to do the right thing.'"

Finally, Harris' Super Bowl 50 ring serves as a reminder to those who have doubted him — and for that reason, he didn't size his championship ring for his ring finger.

"You know, the offensive line, leading up to Super Bowl 50, nobody respected us, nobody felt like we would be able to impact the game," Harris said. "… So, we were getting the rings sized and I was sitting with some of the linemen, and I said 'Let's get it sized for the middle finger.'"

For more Super stories, view the full ESPN feature here.

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