The Crossover

by

Kwame Alexander

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The Championship Ring Symbol Analysis

The Championship Ring Symbol Icon

Dad's championship ring lives in a locked box in Mom and Dad's closet. Though none of the characters explicitly explains where exactly Dad's championship ring came from, Dad says simply that he got it because he's "Da Man." This begins to situate the ring as a symbol of Dad himself and as a way for the boys to measure how much like Dad they're becoming, as Dad tells them that they can only wear the ring once they follow in his footsteps and become “Da Man” themselves. However, this all begins to look more sinister as Josh and JB learn about Dad's unwillingness to seek help for his health issues, both in the past with patellar tendinitis and in the present with his hypertension. This shift finalizes when, after Dad's death, JB gives Josh the championship ring on Dad's behalf; Dad implied on his deathbed that Josh is now “Da Man.” Josh's grief and lack of pride at this honor indicate that while the ring is still a symbol of Dad, a more holistic look at the man begins to show that “Da Man” was actually extremely flawed--and is, possibly, not the best role model.

The Championship Ring Quotes in The Crossover

The The Crossover quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Championship Ring. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin edition of The Crossover published in 2014.
Third Quarter Quotes

Like heirloom.
As in: Dad treats his championship ring
like some kind of family heirloom
that we can't wear
until one of us becomes Da Man.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), Dad
Related Symbols: The Championship Ring
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Overtime Quotes

You earned it, Filthy, he says,
sliding the ring on my finger.
My heart leaps
into my throat.

Dad's championship ring.
Between the bouncing
and sobbing, I whisper, Why?

I guess you Da Man now, Filthy, JB says.

And for the first time in my life
I don't want to be.

Related Characters: Josh (speaker), JB (speaker), Dad
Related Symbols: The Championship Ring
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Crossover LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Crossover PDF

The Championship Ring Symbol Timeline in The Crossover

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Championship Ring appears in The Crossover. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Warm-Up
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...Josh to fetch JB so they can get to practice, but Josh asks about Dad's championship ring instead. When Josh asks if he can wear it, Dad says he can only wear... (full context)
First Quarter
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...they rummage through it. They find newspaper clippings and old memorabilia, as well as Dad's championship ring . JB slides it onto his finger and ignores Josh, who tries to look like... (full context)
Third Quarter
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
Identity and Language Theme Icon
...up to remember them. To remember what heirloom means, Josh says that Dad treats his championship ring like a family heirloom, and that Josh and JB can't wear it until one of... (full context)
Overtime
Inheritance and Genetics Theme Icon
Brotherhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Success, Work, and Choice Theme Icon
...that Dad told him to stay out of his closet and to give Josh his championship ring . JB slides the ring onto Josh's finger. Sobbing, Josh asks why. JB says that... (full context)