The 2016 Lombardi Trophy

The Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the team that wins the Super Bowl each year, is one of the most iconic championship awards in North America. Getting its name from Vince Lombardi, The trophy is simple in design, depicting a regulation size football atop a three sided stand. This year is special because it will be the 50th time the trophy is awarded

4874416727_ea97fa31c1_o

Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers in their back-to-back victories in the first two Super Bowls, at that time the award was known as the AFL-NFL Championship trophy. In 1971 the trophy was rechristened as the Vince Lombardi trophy, following the untimely passing of Coach Lombardi, when he lost his battle with cancer.

The first time the trophy was awarded under its present name was to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V. Strangely, this is the only Super Bowl Trophy not owned by the original team that won it. Baltimore retained the rights to the first official Lombardi Trophy following an extended legal battle with the Colts when the franchise moved to Indianapolis.

3894703442_d01729a2be_b

The Lombardi Trophy stands 22 inches high and weighs about 7 pounds.  The trophy is crafted entirely of Sterling Silver and is manufactured by Tiffany & Co. Each year, the award is hand-crafted in a painstaking process, two are produced, in case something happens to the original trophy during the celebrations. The trophy awarded to the winning team is not the final version of the award, however. The Lombardi Trophy is sent back to the factory where it was produced following the game to have the final score, date, location and the two teams that played inscribed on it.  The trophy then makes its way back to the team. The owner decides where to house the award. Famously, Jerry Jones, owner of The Dallas Cowboys keeps all five of the franchise’s trophies in his office.

We hope you enjoyed our brief history of the Lombardi Trophy. If you need a trophy for a champion, overachiever or anyone else who deserves it, contact Spike’s Trophies to see what a nationally recognized team can do.

Famous Awards: Boxing’s World Heavyweight Title

There are a few things one can be in the world of North American sports that carry a significant amount of prestige. For instance, being the Yankees’ shortstop like Derek Jeter, the Cowboys’ quarterback like Troy Aikman, or the Flyers’ Center like Eric Lindros are positions that you might’ve aspired to play when you started playing sports. If you’re thinking that these sound too old timey or that they harken back to the 20th century, then think about it this way: Kids want to be the Patriots’ quarterback, the Yankees’ shortstop, and the Cavaliers’ small forward. Or, they want to be the world heavyweight champion.

Professional boxing’s popularity may be crumbling beneath the weight of mixed martial arts’ popularity in the 21st century, but being the world heavyweight champion has remained a significant achievement in the world of athletics since boxing champions started to receive belts. Even if the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO World Heavyweight titles mean nothing ten years from now, the men who have adorned these gaudy, wearable trophies are some of the greatest athletes to ever compete in any realm of sports.

It is with that in mind that we here at Spike’s pay homage to the greatness of the World Heavyweight Championship in our Famous Awards series.

History

Since the introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry rules (modern boxing) in the 1890s, the world heavyweight title has changed hands many, many times. Today, there are four different major world heavyweight championships, and each title belt over the years has been quite a thing of beauty! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • WBA (World Boxing Association)

1

Image Source

  • WBC (World Boxing Council)

2

Image Source

  • IBF (International Boxing Federation)

 3

Image Source

WBO (World Boxing Organization)

 4

Image Source

The Greatest

These fighters are generally included among the best in lists of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

  • Muhammad Ali
  • Joe Louis
  • George Foreman
  • Rocky Marciano
  • Joe Frazier
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Larry Holmes
  • Jack Johnson
  • Lennox Lewis
  • Evander Holyfield

Notable World Heavyweight Title Fights

  • The Fight of the Century

Who: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier

When: March 8, 1971

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

Winner: Frazier (Decision)

Why it’s notable: At the time, both men were undefeated. Frazier had won the world heavyweight title after it was stripped from Ali because of his refusal to participate in the United States military draft. This was a fight between two of the greatest fighters ever, both in their respective primes.

  • The Last Bare-Knuckle Fight

Who: John L. Sullivan vs. Jake Kilrain

When: July 8, 1889

Where: Richburg, Mississippi

Winner: John L. Sullivan

Why it’s notable: This was the last great bare-knuckle prize fight for a heavyweight title.

  • Cinderella Man

Who: Jim Braddock vs. Max Baer

When: July 13, 1935

Where: Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, Queens, NY

Winner: Jim Braddock

Why it’s notable: Max Baer was literally lethal in the ring. He was directly responsible for two boxing deaths. However, Jim Braddock was a nobody, who beat the deadly Baer against virtually all odds.

  • Louis vs. Schmeling

Who: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling

When: June 22, 1938

Where: Yankees Stadium, New York

Winner: Joe Louis

Why it’s notable: This was a rematch. Louis lost the first fight, and Max Schmeling was a German at the height of Nazi aggression. Louis knocked Schmeling out in the first round of what can be arguably called the most important sporting event of the 20th century.

  • Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas

Who: Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas

When: February 10, 1990

Where: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

Winner: Douglas

Why it’s notable: Tyson was in his prime, coming into the fight as the undisputed world heavyweight champion. He was considered an unstoppable force in the ring. Some say the moment Tyson hit the mat is the moment boxing’s relevance began its decline.

We hope you enjoyed this as much as we enjoyed writing it. And remember, if you need your own championship belt made, or any other plaque or trophy, give us a call or a visit!

Famous Awards: The Oscar

oscar

The name “Oscar” immediately conjures images of golden, shiny, faceless men whose hands are clasped tightly against their chests. In fact, the award itself is almost as mythic and fabled as the Hollywood legends whose trophy cases are lined with these gilded statues. We could go on describing how fabulous this award is, or we could get into a little about its history and relevance.

The Oscar awards have been commemorating the most exceptional and best of Hollywood’s best for years. Naturally, we should have a feature on them in our Famous Awards series. So, without further ado, here is a profile of Hollywood’s most prestigious award.

 

The History and Relevance

In an annual ceremony first held in 1929, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes Hollywood’s biggest, most significant accomplishments. Individual efforts and collective achievements alike are recognized at these star-studded galas, as awards are presented to everyone from the best cinematographer to the best picture.

The next Oscar ceremony will be the 88th installment. To date, a total of 2,947 Oscars have been given out. That might sound like a lot, but think about how many movies are made each year. Though the origins of its name are disputed to this day, the Oscars are doubtlessly an American pop culture mainstay.

Notable Winners

  • Hattie McDaniel – First African American to win an Oscar (For Best Supporting Actress, 1939: Gone with the Wind)
  • Sidney Poitier – First African American to win Best Actor (1963: Lilies of the Field)
  • George Burns – First comedian to win Best Supporting Actor (1975: Sunshine Boys)
  • Oscar Hammerstein II – First person named Oscar to win an Oscar (1941: Lady Be Good)
  • Elizabeth Taylor – First actress with a mole on her right cheek to win Best Actress (1960: Butterfield Eight)

Notable Losers

These actors have never won an Oscar, despite each having several great performances in their respective portfolios.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Julianne Moore
  • Michael Keaton
  • Tom Cruise
  • Glenn Close

Oscar Records

  • Most nominations in a single year – All About Eve (1950) & Titanic (1997­): 14
  • Most wins for Best Director – John Ford: 4
  • Most acting awards – Katharine Hepburn: 4, all for Best Actress
  • Largest sweep – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), won all 11 awards for which it was nominated.

We hope you enjoyed this profile of the Oscars. Remember, if you need any trophies or plaques made for any occasion, get in touch with us today!

Top Coolest Trophies in Sports

Trophies serve many, many purposes. They do everything from reward the victors at the top of the sports world to recognize the efforts of pee-wee football players. Here at Spike’s, we love everything about trophies. We love trophies so much that we make them. A lot goes into designing a trophy, too. There’s artistry and craftsmanship that must be appreciated.

Not every person is the same. Not every champion is the same. Some are better than others, and such is the case with the trophies they receive. We give you the coolest sports trophies ever.

1. The Borg-Warner
Borg warner
The Borg-Warner is awarded to the winner of the famed Indianapolis 500 (or, the Indy 500). The behemoth stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs over 150lbs. It has faces on it, too, commemorating all of its past winners.

2. NBA Championship Trophy
nba
The NBA Championship Trophy (or Larry O’Brien trophy) is awarded to the winner of the NBA finals. It depicts a basketball going into a hoop. Kevin Garnett once screamed “Anything is possible!” after winning this bad boy in 2008.

3. Commissioner’s Trophy
WS
The winner of the fall classic (MLB World Series) receives the Commissioner’s trophy. Fun fact: It’s the only championship trophy of the four major American sports that is not named after a person.

4. John Cena’s Championship Belt
Cena

John Cena’s WWE championship belt is awesome for a number of reasons, but the biggest is the spinner. As if championship belts couldn’t get any cooler, Cena goes and does this.

5. The Lombardi Trophy
Lombardi
The Lombardi trophy might be the most famous and sought after trophy in American sports. Named for the iconic coach, it is rewarded to the NFL’s Super Bowl champion

6. The Heisman
Heiman
Everyone who watches football has done the Heisman pose at one point or another. This statuesque trophy is annually awarded to the best player in college football.

7. Olympic Gold Medal
Gold Medal
Is there a trophy imitated more often than the Olympic gold medal? Probably not. You see the imposters everywhere, but the real thing is majestic, akin to the immortals.

8. The Stanley Cup
Cup
The Stanley Cup is probably the coolest trophy ever, not just in sports. Its reputation alone is mythic. It’s been everywhere from bars to beaches. Like the Borg-Warner, it has the names of each of its champions etched into it.

We hope you agree with our list. If you need a trophy made for a champion, an overachiever, or if you just want one because you deserve it, contact us at Spike’s Trophies.

Spike’s Trophies Honored to Present Papal Recognition Plaque

pape

Spike’s Trophies has been honored to create awards for many celebrities and famous figures over the last several decades, and this year we were extremely proud to have been given the incredible opportunity to create a customized plaque for Pope Francis, during the monumental 2015 Meeting of Families and Papal visit in Philadelphia, PA. Serving our Philadelphia community and the nation for decades, we couldn’t be happier that we were chosen to represent both our city and our country.

About the Event
Taking place this year between September 25th and September 27th, the World Meeting of Families was an international Conference on the Family founded by St. John Paul II, and sponsored by both the Philadelphia Archdiocese and the Pontifical Council for the Family, in Rome and Vatican City. The event, which occurs every 3 years in different cities worldwide, brings together thousands of Catholics with the communal goal of strengthening families.
This year’s event was particularly monumental, as it marked the first visit of Pope Francis to the United States, one of only 10 apostolic journeys made to the country by Popes in its entire history. An estimated 850,000 people were present to celebrate mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sunday, September 27th.

About the Award
This plaque was carefully crafted by the experts at Spike’s to reflect our city, country and the esteemed position of Pope Francis. We used unique optic crystal to make this award striking and highlight the laser-etched text, which was carefully chosen to include the heading, and an excerpt, from the Declaration of Independence, as well as the World Meeting of Families logo.

pope

The award was presented to the Pope by delegates from both the World Meeting of Families and the City of Philadelphia during his two-day visit to the city.

Famous (Local!) Awards: The Philadelphia Award

For this month’s famous award, and in the spirit of all the brotherly love following the Papal Visit, we’ve decided to keep things local by writing about the Philadelphia Award, a city-based, but nonetheless prestigious, award given out to the most distinguished Philadelphians for over 90 years.

The History
The Philadelphia Award was founded by Edward William Bok in 1921; after making his fortune in the burgeoning publishing industry, Bok started working towards the institution of progressive social movements, such as public sex education, prenatal education, childcare, environmental activism and more. He spent his time as a philanthropist working to improve society through both political action and the arts. The Philadelphia Award was intended for those who encapsulated his idea of model citizens by working to serve others and improve their surroundings.

The Honorees
The historic winners of the Philadelphia Award are given what has been referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Philadelphia,” and join over 80 other accomplished individuals in receiving the honor. Every year, nominees are selected based on their contribution towards the greater good of their community – the winner is the citizen who, during the preceding year, “acted and served on behalf of the best interests of their community.”
Industrialists, social activists, doctors, educators, lawyers, politicians, scientists, religious leaders, philosophers, artists and architects are listed among those who have received this award, which is given by a Board of Trustees, along with $25,000.

The Award
phillyaward

The Philadelphia award does indeed resemble the Nobel Prize, at least in that it is a relatively simple medal cast with simple information. The medal features the title of the award, date of its founding and image of a presumably famous native Philadelphian (at the time of the publication of this article, the name of this Philadelphian was regrettably not available online – though we welcome any of our readers who know to chime in in the comments section!)
To create your own medal for an honor-deserving friend, family member, loved one or colleague, consult with the experts at Spike’s!

Famous Trophies: The Billboard Music Awards

We love the Billboard Music Awards, not just because it celebrates some of the best music produced throughout the year, or because it’s put on by Billboard, which is an enduringly cool source for the hottest music – but because we also love their trophy!

billboard

(photo credit: The Wall Street Journal)

One of the more unique awards we’ve ever seen, when viewed from the side this award features the profile of a singer mid-action, which curves gently into a 3-D replica of an old-fashioned microphone. Mounted on a block which display the winner’s name and category, this award does an excellent job of representing the exact theme it celebrates. This trophy was designed by Society Awards, a NYC company that is known for its high-end statuettes; it also designed the Emmys, MTV Music Video Awards, American Music Awards, Golden Globes and more.

The awards themselves have gone through several redesigns, though the ceremony got its start in 1989. Unique to music awards, the winners of Billboard awards don’t go through a complicated vetting process by professionals in the industry, or votes from listeners – rather, finalists are based on their year-end chart performance as recorded and interpreted from sales, downloads and airplay data – which does make the awards vote-based, in a way, since listeners “vote” for the candidate each time they listen to, request or purchase their song.
The most important categories in the Billboard Music Awards are easily the Top Artists, Top Hot 100 Song, Top New Artist and Top Billboard 200 song – though the awards also feature around 38 other categories, including a truly fan-voted selection titled the Billboard Chart Achievement Award.

Just in case you weren’t keeping up with this years’ Billboard Music Awards, here were the top winners from the May 17, 2015, awards, hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen:
Top Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Billboard 200: 1989, Taylor Swift
Top Hot 100: Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”
To celebrate a musical achievement of your own (even if it’s just “Best Office Karaoke 2015”), take a look at our extensive inventory of unique, customizable awards. We’ve been the go-to local company for trophies and awards in NJ and PA since we got our start in 1929, and now we’re a nationwide supplier of medals, pins and patches, sculptures, awards, trophies and more.

espy_trophy

Famous Awards: The ESPY

The ESPY, which is short for “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly,” is given out each year by the cable sports network ESPN in order to recognize, as per the organization’s own words, “excellence in sports performance and achievement.” There are currently around 39 categories for which individuals and teams can be awarded an ESPY, with more added yearly and some retired, discontinued, superseded or suspended. The ESPY is a fairly new award, having started in 1993; because they are held on a major network and hosted by celebrities, however, they quickly picked up speed and are now popular viewing amongst sports aficionados. The ESPYs used to be entirely selected based on voting by fans, but since 2004 have been decided by experts in the field.
Some recent winners of the ESPY award, in some of our favorite categories from June 2015, include:

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Payton Manning
Best International Athlete:
Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte
Best Male/Female Athletes with Disabilities: Krige Schabort, Triathlon/Becca Meyers, Swimming
ESPY Icon Award: Derek Jeter
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Caitlin Jenner

About the Award

espy_trophy

It may not have as rich of a history as some of the other awards in our blog series, but we still love the ESPY’s unique and easily-recognizable form. This sleek, modern trophy features a perfect steel ball suspended on top of a post reminiscent of that used in monuments; both the ball and post feature the word “ESPY” on opposing sides, while a plaque with the award category and winner’s name is prominently displayed on front. This award was designed by the sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, who is known for his statues of famous athletes and several well-known memorials. Certainly minimalistic but nonetheless striking, we’re sure the ESPY looks great on these athletes’ mantelpieces!
If you’ve got your own courage, determination or achievement award in mind, let Spike’s Trophies guide you through the selection and customization process with our huge selection of unique inventory, perfect for every imaginable sport and occasion. Providing trophies and awards to NJ and PA since 1929, Spike’s Trophies ships nationwide and offers exclusive discounts and deals to new clients and loyal customers alike. Check us out!

Famous Awards: The Nobel Prize

Nobel prizes are awarded for several categories in order to recognize academic, cultural, and scientific advancements in the world. The prizes are given in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, and physiology, with the results of some (notably literature, peace, and physics) being more widely celebrated than others. The Nobel Peace Prize in particular usually celebrates a beloved leader or figure that is frequently in the public eye. But while we usually recognize the winners of this prestigious award, how many of us know what the medal itself looks like, or any of the history behind it? As trophy experts – we do! Read on to learn a little more about the background of this object recognizing humankind’s incredible achievements.

What kind of award is it?
This is a trick question, actually – aside from a cash prize, Nobel Prize winners are awarded both a medal AND a diploma for their extraordinary achievement. The diploma is handed to winners personally by either the King of Sweden or, just for the Nobel Peace Prize, by the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. As if that isn’t honorific enough, each diploma is hand-designed for the laureates who have won it, containing a related picture, title, and a description of the reason the award was received (except in the case of Peace Prize winners). Continue reading

Famous Awards – The Green Jacket

Not every trophy is shiny, metal and mantle-ready! We’re straying a bit off the beaten path with this one, but the Green Jacket is such an important symbol of achievement in the sports world that we just had to include it. Awarded to the winner of the Master’s Tournament, this garment represents the most coveted title in golf. It’s got an interesting history, too – read on to find out more about this revered prize!

History

The Green Jacket got its start as a garment worn by members of the Augusta National in 1933, who were given the bright coat so as to stand out as a source of information for visitors to their event. Originally made out of wool (despite the event taking place in Georgia, in spring – not necessarily the season for an overcoat), the jackets were once crafted in America, from American materials and by American craftsmen, but since 1996 are made by a famous British tailor. The first proper champion’s jacket wasn’t awarded until 1949, but all prior champions dating back to the first event in 1933 were given jackets retroactively. Continue reading