BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots hope to add another AFC Championship to their long list of accomplishments this weekend. But no matter what the outcome of Sunday’s conference championship against the Chiefs in Kansas City, the Patriots will be celebrating an important milestone on Monday.
January 21, 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Robert Kraft purchasing the team, turning the Patriots into the NFL dynasty they have become.
Kraft purchased the team back in 1994 for $172 million, more than anyone had ever paid for an NFL team at the time. A lifelong fan and Patriots season ticket holder since the 1970s, Kraft had to sell his wife on the purchase, which she wasn’t very pleased with when he broke the news.
But it has certainly worked out well since then. Kraft made sure the Patriots stayed in New England and built a new stadium in Foxboro. He delivered on his promise to turn the franchise into a title contender, winning nine AFC championships and five Super Bowl titles since purchasing the team.
Bill Belichick has been the head coach for 19 of Kraft’s 25 seasons, the architect of each of those five Super Bowl winners.
“We have a good setup here. He’s been very supportive, gives us great opportunity to go out and compete every week. We’ve done that. I hope we can continue it for a long time,” Belichick said of the Kraft ownership Friday.
That’s about all you’ll get out of Belichick with a big game just a few days away. Quarterback Tom Brady was a little more talkative with the media on Friday when asked about his owner’s milestone.
“That’s pretty cool. I’ve been here for quite a few of those years and the story of him buying the team was pretty cool. To have the team still here, and to have the kind of success we’ve had is a great credit to him and everything he’s put together and his family,” said Brady. “The community supports everything we do and it’s such a great sports region. They support us, the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins, so it’s really been fun to be here. Especially for a California kid.”
In a recent interview with ESPN to discuss his 25-year anniversary, Kraft called both Belichick and Brady the greatest coach and player of all time, respectively. Kraft may soon find himself in that GOAT conversation as well.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with a special 90-minute edition of Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!