January 19, 2011
Former NFL defensive end Chidi Ahanotu was forced by a judge this week to surrender his 2002 NFC championship ring to help pay a $130,000 debt to his ex-wife's lawyers, The Tampa Tribune reported.
Ahanotu, who played for the St. Louis Rams the year the team was upset by the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, will have to give up his ring or risk being jailed. He has been resistant to part with the memento, claiming it's only worth $500, not the $10,000 his ex-wife's lawyers believe they can get for it.
[Rewind: NBA star raffles off championship ring]
Tuesday's ruling ends a long courtroom battle over possession of the ring. Ahanotu claimed in court that he gave the ring to his brother in 2007. He later admitted that he still had it after lawyers discovered a hastily written will that Ahanotu made up days after he was initially forced to give up the ring in September.
The long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneers defender also told the judge that the original ring was in his pocket during that first court hearing, but later revealed it was a replica. He had exchanged the original yellow gold ring for one made of white gold.
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"This court system is a farce," he said after Tuesday's hearing, as reported by the Tribune. "This court wants a man to hand over his once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment to pay some damn attorney's fees? I could see if it was going to pay something for my children or my ex-wife.''
Oh, that pesky American court system, forcing a man to pay his exorbitant debts. How dare they! What's next, holding him accountable for lying in court about giving the ring to his brother?
Look at the bright side, Chidi. If Mike Martz had used Marshall Faulk properly in that upset loss to the Patriots, you'd also be giving away a Super Bowl ring.
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