|Connelly’s Top Ten: Interesting SI Article From 1999 About Doctoring Footballs…||Red Sox Acquire RHP John Cornely, Another Arm for Minors||Bruins Name Don Sweeney General Manager||In Surprising Move, Robert Kraft Opts to Accept NFL Penalties|
I realize that I’ve already written about the demise of Michael Jackson, among others, but what I didn’t tell you before is that there is a peculiar link between our New England Patriots and the King of Pop.
According to reports published in 2005, the Sullivan family’s ill-fated backing of Jacko’s “Victory” tour forced them to sell off the team:
By the end of 1988 Kraft had rights to the land, but when the team was put up for sale in ’92, he again held off. Kiam sold to James Busch Orthwein, who a year later decided he wanted to either move the team to his hometown of St. Louis or sell it. But Kraft owned the stadium’s operating covenant, meaning anyone who wanted to buy the team had to negotiate with him.
Instead and at last, in 1994, he bought the team for $172 million, then the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise. And the rest is history, with the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots being on a victory tour of their own this decade.
Oh, and here’s the kicker: To this day, Kraft keeps a poster from the Victory Tour among his mementos.
Victory indeed, am I right? Keeping the poster is a ballsy touch. Also, I firmly believe that Janet’s crazy nipple ring-thingy inspired Adam Vinatieri’s winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Like a lucky charm, or something.