Robert Kraft reflects on 25th anniversary of becoming Patriots owner

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“In life, I think it’s important to dream big. My dream was to be able to own the NFL franchise that I adored and was passionate about. I wanted the privilege of trying to run it in my own hometown. [That day] a lot of things came together,” he said. “It’s unbelievable to me; I just sit back and pinch myself, that we were able to do it. [Tom] Brady and [Bill] Belichick get a lot of the credit, as they deserve to get. Really, the hidden asset in all of this is the fan support we nike nfl jerseys from china

“When I announced on that day that I was buying the team, fans said, 'What can we do to help?' and I said, 'Buy season tickets so we can sell out for the first time.' Six-thousand people lined up in the snow on a Saturday morning the next day, and they kicked in. That was the beginning of a real love affair between our fans and our family. What they did to support us. They’re carrying on the balance sheet for zero but the fan support is worth a fortune. It really helped us to accomplish what we did knowing they were behind us.”3

“We tried to create a culture the day we came in. We tried to have a system in place and have continuity. I think of when I was a young boy; the Boston Braves were my team. They left the area, and I was heartbroken. On January 21, 1994, I made a decision to pay 50 percent more than what I thought was the right number, what I had told my sweetheart [the late Myra Kraft] I would pay. She went bananas and really questioned my sanity. It just made me think in life, probably the best things I’ve done are things I’ve done by instinct, that I just feel it’s the right thing. We paid the highest price ever paid for any franchise in any sport anywhere in the world.”

Because Kraft owned Foxborough Stadium, where the Patriots played their games, it positioned him well to buy the Patriots. Kraft had bought the stadium for $25 million, and he was offered $75 million so then-Patriots owner James Orthwein could break the lease, which would have opened the door for the Patriots to move to St. Louis.

Kraft recalled a conversation he had with Myra about taking the $75 million, and then hoping to buy a different NFL team.

“I just thought back to the Braves leaving. A part of me died when that happened. I also thought about what it’s like in this area. The political people don’t finance stadiums. Life might’ve been a lot different if we hadn’t stepped up. I’m really glad we had the privilege to do nike jerseys cheap china

“It’s worked out OK,” he said, smiling. “It hit me that if I don’t step up and do this today, I might never get a chance. There are teams like the Giants and the Steelers and the Bears -- they’re in the same family for 99 years. Sometimes in life you got to step up. You got to believe you can do it. I really believed because of the potential. I was a fan sitting in the seats. I remember when Earl Campbell in '78 ran all over us in our only home playoff game. We lost, and I felt sick. I just thought, if I could have a chance to manage this, how I would do things.”

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