"I wanted to keep that a secret," James said.
Understandable. The ring is a symbol of the past. It brings up uncomfortable topics, like how the Colts won a championship without him. It reinforces conventional wisdom, and how it's unwise to spend big dollars on prime-time running backs, like the Cardinals did with James.
But you know what else it says?
It says that James really mattered in Indianapolis, and that the Colts openly recognize that they couldn't have won a title without him.
"Peyton (Manning) tells me all the time that, in the 19 to 20 years he's been playing football, Edgerrin James is the best teammate he's ever had," said former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli. "The one regret they all have is that they couldn't have won while (James) was still there."
In a coldhearted business like the NFL, that is the ultimate compliment.