Today's trivia quiz paid homage to Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. It's easy to forget, with a Hall of Fame coach and quarterback, just how important having a good owner is to a franchise (just ask any Redskins fan). The Patriots currently boast one of the best, and so it's more than fitting that we take a look at just how much Mr. Kraft has done for this franchise during his time as owner.
With the power suits, the blue shirts with the white collars, the pink ties, the pocket squares, the cufflinks, and the sunglasses, Bob Kraft always has it all together. It's one thing to be a savvy businessman, but it's another thing all together to do it all while looking so damn good. Tom Brady may have the style, but Bob Kraft has the swagger. He does everything big, and he does everything right, and I'm forever thankful that he bought this once laughable team in order to keep them from moving to St. Louis.
Answers after the jump.
1. How many owners have the New England Patriots had in their team history?
Answer: B. 4. Billy Sullivan, Jr. owned the team from 1959-1988, when he sold it to Victor Kiam. Kiam owned the team from 1988-92, and then James B. Orthwein owned them from 1992-94. Robert Kraft bought the team in '94.
2. Including his time as team owner, how long has Robert Kraft been a Patriots season ticket holder?
Answer: C. 41 years. 2012 will mark the 41st year that Kraft has been a season ticket holder. He first got them in 1971, where he watched the team at Schaefer Stadium.
3. How did Bob Kraft earn his fortune?
Answer: B. Paper and Packaging. Kraft started out with the Worcester-based packaging company Rand-Whitney Group. In 1972, he founded International Forest Products, a trader of physical paper commodities. The two combined companies make up the largest privately held paper and packaging companies in the United States. International Forest Products is consistently among the top 100 US exporters/importers and in 2005 was No. 45 on the Journal of Commerce's list in that category.
4. How much did Robert Kraft buy the Patriots for?
Answer: D. $172 million. Orthwein initially offered Kraft $75 million to buy out the remainder of the team's lease at Foxboro, which would have moved them to St. Louis at the end of the year. Instead, Kraft rejected the offer and made the counter-bid of $172 million to buy the team outright and keep them in New England. There are also stories of Kraft buying the team for $175 million, but according to Forbes, the actual price was $172 million.
5. How much are the New England Patriots worth as of 2011?
Answer: A. $1.4 billion. Not a bad return on Mr. Kraft's investment. At $1.4 billion, the Patriots are currently the 3rd most valuable franchise in the NFL, behind only the Washington Redskins ($1.56 billion) and the Dallas Cowboys ($1.85 billion).
6. In what year did the Patriots make the switch from Pat Patriot to the Flying Elvis as their mascot?
Answer: C. 1993. The Patriots wanted to move away from the old, and wanted a newer image for the team. After Orthwein agreed to sell the team to Bob Kraft and he was getting ready to take over the team, Kraft was brought in to view the potential new logos. Bob Kraft helped choose the "Flying Elvis" design that adorns the side of the Patriots helmets to this day.
7. What year did Gillette Stadium open?
Answer: D. 2002. Groundbreaking took place in 2000, and two years later, on September 9th, 2002, Gillette Stadium opened.
8. Who were the Patriots' first-ever opponents at Gillette?
Answer: A. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots destroyed the Steelers 30-14 on opening day in their first game at Gillette, as well as their first game ever as defending World Champs.
9. What is the Patriots' win percentage under Robert Kraft?
Answer: C. .655. The Patriots are 173 - 91 during the Kraft Era. In the four seasons prior to Kraft's acquisition of the team, the Patriots compiled an NFL-worst 14-50 (.219) overall record, which included a 1-15 finish in 1990 and a 2-14 record in 1992. The Patriots were not only last in the standings, they were last in attendance and overall revenue.
10. True or False: Russian President Vladimir Putin stole one of Robert Kraft's Super Bowl rings.
Answer: False. Putin does have one of Kraft's rings, and there were rumors circulating that he stole it and Kraft never meant to give it to him, but Kraft cleared the issue up by saying he gave Putin his 2005 Super Bowl ring out of respect for him and the Russian people. Of course, Putin could have just taken it and Kraft was trying to save face by saying he gave it to him. I mean, it's Vladimir Putin; they guy hunts sharks with crossbows and wrestles bears in his spare time. Would you ever accuse him of stealing?