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Two Rings

Joe Theismann enjoyed an illustrious 12-year career as quarterback of the Washington Redskins. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances--winning in 1983 before losing the following year. When a leg injury forced him out of football in 1985, he was entrenched in the record books as Washington’s all-time leading passer. Still, the tail end of Theismann’s career taught him a bitter lesson: I got stagnant. I thought the team revolved around me. I should have known it was time to go when I didn’t care whether a pass hit Art Monk in the 8 or the 1 on his uniform. When we went back to the Super Bowl, my approach had changed. I was griping about the weather, my shoes, practice times, everything.

Today I wear my two rings--the winner’s ring from Super Bowl XVII and the loser’s ring from Super Bowl XVIII. The difference in those two rings lies in applying oneself and not accepting anything but the best.

Reader’s Digest, January, 1992