Fans offer to replace stolen Super Bowl ring

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – One Green Bay Packers fan is discovering the generosity of other fans after someone stole his prized “paperweight ring.”

Steve Tate, of De Forest, has been a fixture at Packers games since 1998, often seen wearing his foam cheesehead with “Owner” written on it.

Tate’s oversized commemorative Super Bowl XLV ring was taken at a fundraiser May 24 near West Bend, according to Press-Gazette Media (http://gbpg.net/1kSS5jl ). He handed it to a fan like he’s done hundreds time before, but never got it back.

Since then he’s received two offers to replace the ring. One came from a Fox Valley automobile dealer who read about the theft in the paper.

“I just felt bad that a really good guy is having this problem,” said John Bergstrom, a member of the Packers executive committee and board of directors. He offered to give Tate the paperweight ring that adorns the desk of his Neenah office and to include a limited-edition hat that was given to team members after the Packers Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.

The second offer came from the company that made and sold the rings – Minnesota-based Josten’s.

Numerous other people posted to Tate’s Facebook account, saying they would gladly donate to a replacement fund, help him look for it, or both.

Sheriff’s deputies in Washington County are treating the disappearance as a theft. They said they have pursued several leads related to the identity of the woman who took it, but so far have come up empty.

He termed Bergstrom’s offer “fantastic,” but said he felt a bit uncomfortable accepting a ring that belongs to another person. Tate said he’ll take the company’s offer.

“The last car I bought was from Bergstrom’s,” he said. “But in this case, I would feel more comfortable accepting the ring from the company. They said they had a few extras.”

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