Even Taylor Swift Knows That the Trophy Is the Coolest Thing About the Super Bowl

super bowl lvii kansas city chiefs v philadelphia eagles
Why Everyone Wants to Win the Super Bowl TrophyCooper Neill - Getty Images
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When the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers face off against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII, tens of millions of people will be watching to see the action on the field, while millions more will tune in just to see the halftime show or the clever new commercials. And this year—in case you haven’t heard—a whole new fan base will be watching to witness the latest chapter in the ongoing relationship of the couple du jour, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and freshly minted Album of the Year Grammy winner Taylor Swift, who is sure to be in attendance in Las Vegas following a four-show Tokyo run of her Eras Tour that ends the night before the game.

super bowl lvii kansas city chiefs v philadelphia eagles
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce celebrated with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVII in 2023.Cooper Neill - Getty Images

But for design aficionados, the excitement will really start after the game, when the winner will have been decided and it comes time to present the crown jewel of sports trophies: the Vince Lombardi Trophy, custom designed each year for the National Football League by Tiffany & Co.

coach vince lombardi shaking hands with hank stram
Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi (right) and Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram met before Super Bowl I in January 1967 to view the first Super Bowl trophy, designed by Tiffany & Co.Bettmann - Getty Images

What is the Lombardi Trophy made of?

Simply put, the sterling-silver Lombardi Trophy is a paragon of form-meets-function design; it’s the sine qua non of trophies. As the (possibly apocryphal?) story goes, in 1966 Tiffany vice president Oscar Riedener drew up the trophy’s unadorned silhouette on a napkin during a meeting with Pete Rozelle, who was the NFL commissioner at the time. A new trophy has been crafted every year since Super Bowl I, made entirely of gleaming silver over the course of a painstaking four-month process at Tiffany’s workshop in Cumberland, Rhode Island. It’s forged in fire that reaches temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, then hand-soldered and polished to its incomparable sheen.

tiffany super bowl trophy being forged in fire
A silversmith at Tiffany & Co.’s Cumberland, Rhode Island, workshop forges the Vince Lombardi Trophy at temperatures surpassing 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

How did the Lombardi Trophy get its name?

The trophy is named after the legendary Vince Lombardi, who coached the Green Bay Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls. It was presented for the first time in 1967 to Lombardi himself, though of course it was not yet named for him—that honor followed after his death in 1970.

How big is the Lombardi Trophy, and how much does it weigh?

The Lombardi stands 22 inches tall and weighs in at seven pounds; it is crowned by a replica of a regulation-size football, complete with “laces.” The silvery shine is offset by its unsparingly clean lines, however, resulting in the rare piece of hardware that appeals to both adherents of minimalism and lovers of flash.

football on top of tiffany super bowl trophy in progress
An in-progress version of the regulation-size sterling-silver football that crowns the trophy, with only two of its “laces” in place.Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Yes, hockey fans, I know—the Stanley Cup may be more awe-inspiring, but let’s face it, it’s rather unwieldy. (Also: It’s technically not a trophy.) You don’t need two hands to lift the Lombardi over your head like you do the Stanley Cup; the Lombardi is the perfect shape for hoisting high in the air as you scream that you’re going to Disney World. And as we learned three years ago during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ waterborne parade after their Super Bowl LV triumph, it’s also quite aerodynamic and can survive an ill-advised throw between two boats without plunging into the Hillsborough River (we’re looking at you, Tom Brady).

vince lombardi super bowl trophy by tiffany
The finished trophy, on a blanket of Tiffany blue.Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Back in the present day, if the Chiefs manage to win their third Super Bowl in the past five years, there is rampant online chatter—ranging from pure speculation to outright conspiracy theory—about whether Kelce will use the occasion of the trophy ceremony to propose to Swift before an audience of millions. So this year, if an engagement ring does in fact appear, the Lombardi trophy might not be the only piece of Tiffany bling that will be on display after the game for all the world to see.

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