It was 20 years ago yesterday, on Jan. 21, 1994, that the Robert Kraft era began in New England. When Kraft purchased the New England Patriots on that day he said the following:
“My objective in buying the Patriots is to help bring a championship to New England.”
Well done, Mr. Kraft.
Spoiler alert — under Kraft’s ownership, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls and lead the league in each of the following categories.
- 217 regular season victories
- 238 total victories (including playoffs)
- .674 winning percentage (238-115-0) (including playoffs)
- 13 AFC East Championships
- 6 AFC Championships
- 15 playoff seasons
- 33 playoff games played
- 21 playoff games won
Let’s celebrate some of the highlights of the Kraft era.
- 1994: Patriots become the first sports team to launch a website.
- January 12, 1997: Patriots earn the second Super Bowl berth in team history
- January 27, 2000: Kraft trades a first-round draft pick to acquire Bill Belichick
- January 19, 2002: The Snow Game (for all non-Patriots fans — The Tuck Rule Game)
- February 3, 2002: Patriots are Super Bowl XXXVI Champions
- February 1, 2004: Patriots are Super Bowl XXXVIII Champions
- February 6, 2005: Patriots are Super Bowl XXXIX Champions
- December 29, 2007: Patriots defeat the New York Giants to become the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0
- October 18, 2009: Patriots set a franchise record by scoring 59 points at home as they shutout the Tennessee Titans in the snow
- July 25, 2011: Kraft and Jeff Saturday create an iconic image as they embrace after Kraft receives credit from Saturday for his role in ending the NFL lockout.
- January 22, 2012: Patriots win the AFC Championship 23-20 over the Baltimore Ravens, and Kraft honors his late wife, Myra with a kiss. This victory gives Kraft his sixth conference title, a record for a principal owner.
I have never met Robert Kraft, but I would like to one day. As a lifelong and diehard Patriots fan I’d like to thank him for what he has done for the organization and tell him that I admire how he carries himself. As a fan I love the wins, but you only have to look at how Kraft conducted himself throughout his wife’s illness and after her passing and how the entire football community rallied around him to know that he is a great person. The wins are fantastic, but being a great person is important too.