|Ringing in a crazy anniversary in Patriots’ history||06.28.10 at 7:10 pm ET|
Watching Monday’s edition of “Pardon the Interruption,” I was reminded of a notable anniversary for the Patriots, one of the most surreal off-field moments in the history of a franchise that has seen more than its share of craziness.
Five years ago today, Patriots owner Robert Kraft had the chance to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Kraft was showing off his latest Super Bowl ring, a 124-diamond gem the team produced after a win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX just months before. (According to this story, the idea to show Putin the ring was proposed by Sandy Weill, the former chairman of Citigroup. The same story says Putin knowingly made off with the ring.)
According to reports, Putin looked at the ring, and after a few moments, slipped it into his pocket. It wasn’t known whether the Russian leader either believed it was a gift, or he simply pocketed the jewelry.
In an attempt to try and clear up any confusion — and perhaps save face — Kraft later said he gave Putin the ring as a gift.
‘‘Upon seeing the ring, President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness,” Kraft later said in a statement issued by the team. ‘‘At that point, I decided to give him the ring.
‘‘I have ancestors from Russia, so it added significance for me to know that something so cherished would reside at the Kremlin along with other special gifts given to Russian presidents,” Kraft added. ‘‘It was truly an act of serendipity and one that I am honored to have experienced. It touched me to see President Putin’s reaction to the ring, and I felt, emotionally, that it was the right way to conclude an exceptional meeting.”
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