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Art McNally's family accepts his Hall of Fame ring before his enshrinement

Reporting from Canton, Ohio

Art McNally, long considered the father of modern football officiating, will get all of the usual adornments that come with the enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: the gold jacket and the bronze bust. Sometimes overlooked, each new enshrinee also reveives a ring to recognize the accomplishment.

Officially, it’s known as the Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence, provided by Kay Jewelers. While the gold jacket is handed out in advance of the ceremony, and the bust is unveiled during the enshrinement, the ring is typically awarded at a home game for the team the Hall of Famer associated with.

In McNally’s case, there are no home games for him. So, during the halftime of the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, McNally’s grandchildren — Connor and Shannon O’Hara — accepted the ring on his behalf.

The rings are similar for all enshrinees: The top has a representation of a stadium 1¾ carat diamonds on each side to represent the fans. There are 11 diamonds on each side of the stadium design, the number of players on offense and defense. A football-shaped diamond and blue gem adorn the center. The enshrinee’s name and the Hall of Fame logo appears on one side of the ring, and a representation of the bronze bust on the other.

McNally’s ring is inscribed inside with 358, a number that is also on the patch sewn inside his gold jacket. He is the 358th enshrinee; numbers are assigned by alphabetical order of last name within a class.

Kay Jewelers provided images of the McNally ring, which we can’t wait to see him wear.

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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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