But then there’s an item that has drawn attention from local bloggers: a “Super Bowl ring,” given by the Indianapolis Colts and valued on the form at $400.
Wait a minute. Only $400?
Sounds low, doesn’t it? Bleacher Report, in a 2011 story about rings purchased by victorious NFL teams, pegs the value of recent Super Bowl rings at $30,000 to $50,000.
Ah, but there’s a catch. I asked mayoral spokesman Marc Lotter about Ballard’s ring. Turns out, it’s not a legit Super Bowl victor’s ring. It was a memento ring the Colts had produced last year to commemorate Indianapolis’ hosting of Super Bowl XLVI; the rings were given to officials and other partners who played a role in Super Bowl planning. “There’s no real gemstones or anything along those lines in (the ring),” Lotter said, and $400 is the actual estimated worth.
In his ethics disclosure, filed May 1, Ballard also disclosed receiving a watch with a U.S. Marines logo from Steve and Kathy Brown, value unknown. The document also included a delayed disclosure from the prior reporting year of the value of two Pacers tickets, valued at $1,824, that Ballard received from Indianapolis Power & Light on March 22, 2012. That was when the Pacers were in the NBA playoffs.Ballard is probably starting to squirm a little bit after Louis Mahern penned a column in the latest edition of the IBJ that tallies up the value of some of the freebies Ballard has been accepting since he took office. Mahern estimated that Ballard had received free sports tickets from the Colts and Pacers since taking office that are worth close to $1 million for his personal use and to dole out to others as favors. Mahern put the value annually of free country club memberships Ballard gets to Highland and Woodstock country clubs at $5,000 and $7,000, respectively. He also gets a free membership to the Columbia Club. It's a bit ironic that Ballard has accepted free country club memberships given that he promised to end country club politics after he defeated incumbent Mayor Bart Peterson in an upset win in 2007, but it comes as no surprise since he has broken virtually every campaign promise he made when he first ran for office.