Robert Kraft officially purchased the Patriots franchise in 1994, and since then, the mogul has seen some truly incredible events happen under his umbrella. When people think of the New England team, it’s hard for Tom Brady not to come to mind. His announcement of retirement shook up the sports community and had people wondering who could ever live up to the bar he set. Upon hearing the news of his retirement, Kraft released an official statement about his legacy with the Patriots.
Gratitude for His Performance
Gratitude is the first sentiment that Kraft expressed towards the star. His fellow players and the fans can never forget all that he did during his career. Ultimately, this word only does so much to describe the extent of his feelings for Brady’s time in New England. An entire generation grew up watching him dominate the NFL, and he retires with almost every career passing record ever recorded in the league.
The Only Record that Mattered
Robert Kraft said that Tom Brady wasn’t interested in all of his personal accomplishments, but he was dedicated to the team’s. ”The only [record] that ever mattered to him was the team’s win-loss record.” In the two decades he served as a starter, his teams qualified for the playoffs 19 times. He would lead his teammates to the Super Bowl 10 times and win seven championships (an NFL record).
Kraft said that in a sport like football, one that’s more about the collective than the individual, it’s rare to see someone really stand out the way that Tom did. His respect, competitive spirit, and determination made him a treasure to watch — even if you weren’t rooting for the Patriots. Kraft called his success a privilege to watch unfold before his eyes.
The Greatest Respect
Respect was a word that kept popping up in Robert Kraft’s statement, both on a personal and a professional level. From his humility to his drive to his sheer will to win, the once-in-a-lifetime combination made him a special player. Regardless of whether Brady’s on the field, though, Kraft considers him to be an extension of his immediate family. He says that the close bond he’s built over the years will last forever.
Robert Kraft’s Lasting Legacy
There’s a very clear narrative when you look at the history of the Patriots: before Robert Kraft purchased the franchise, the team was flailing. Other owners thought it was time to call it a day and move the team to another city. They believed that the team’s losing streak was unbreakable or that they didn’t have the resources needed to fix it.
Robert Kraft, a die-hard fan of the Patriots since he was a young boy, had very different ideas. He saw another future for New England, one that could only be achieved with him at the helm. Unable to buy everything outright, he started with the parking lots around the stadium before adding the stadium itself and then, finally, the franchise.
It wasn’t long before the fans rallied around his loyalty and hope to the team. In fact, it was the next day when fans stood outside for season tickets. Their enthusiasm was undeniable. Despite the cold and the unorganized management of the team prior to Kraft, they believed that change was in the air. They weren’t wrong.
Since 1994, the Patriots qualified for the playoffs 21 times and hosted 27 playoff games at home. Before 1994, they had only had one home playoff game. Kraft became famous for his ability to combine his love of the team with a business acumen that would ultimately catch people off guard with its efficiency. From media contracts to labor disputes, he handed each new challenge with aplomb and gusto. His employees have called the franchise the best run in the NFL.
Kraft has long seen how his biggest risks have also managed to yield the biggest rewards. While he may have purchased the franchise in the 1990s, his quest to purchase it started nearly a decade before that. Where everyone else saw little value, Kraft saw pure untapped potential. By investing his time, money, and attention in the team — much as he’d done with countless other initiatives before then — he was able to take the Patriots to the next level. Fans and players alike thank him for his continued dedication to the team.
When people think of the Patriots, it’s hard not to think of Brady or Belichick. These instrumental figures were key to changing up the strategy of the Patriots, and the people behind many of the team’s wins. It’s a testament to Kraft’s leadership that someone like Brady is every bit as valued today as he was at the beginning of his football career.
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