Wednesday, December 21, 2005
He Bought Terrell Owens' Ring for $48,200
... And He Has No Regets
Remember Bob Lipinski? When Terrell Owens auctioned off his NFC Championship ring, the Mount Laurel landscaping tycoon shoveled out big bucks. Although proceeds went to hurricane victims, cynics will always wonder if T.O.'s altriusm wasn't laced with anti-Eagle bitterness.
(Not that he ever explicitly said: Na-nanny-na-na, who wants your ring, you cheap Super Bowl losers!)
In late October, nearly a month after his winning bid, Lipinski, 48, sounded thrilled: "I just love T.O.'s passion for the game. He's a winner. I guess I relate to that because I have a passion for business and the will to win." See original Inquirer story.
But how does Lipinski feel now? After seeing the season get shot, ripped, bruised, ground down, herniated and suspended into a horror show, with truckloads of the blame dumped on T.O., hasn't the ring lost some luster?
"I love it," the self-made millionaire said. "It's worth more now because there won't be another one."
Good point: No more Eagles rings for T.O. Maybe no more NFC Championship rings for any Eagles for years. Besides, Lipinski said, T.O.'s days here may be numbered, but he's still "one of the most talked-upon sports figures in the country" and a future hall of famer.
Because the ring is "real big, with a lot of diamonds in it," Lipinski gets about five compliments on it every day, even from strangers. "The ring's going to create some business opportunities, no doubt about it. ... Nothing but positive comes from the ring."
"I was at T.O's party," he said. "He's been great to me ... first-class." Go to Terrell Owens' Web site, and there on the home page, leading off a gallery of photos from the A.C. birthday bash, is a picture of Lipinski with T.O. (See image at top.) "It was a happening party," with about 500 people and a happy Owens, Lipinski said. (Recall Early Word's report.)
Lipinski's sorry only about one thing: that the Eagles and T.O. parted ways. "I wish it could have worked out on all sides. He's a phenomenal player and it's a shame. ... I think everybody lost. The Eagles lost. T.O. lost. And ultimately the fans lost."