Robert Kraft, owner of the National Football League’s New England Patriots, said his team’s win in this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday was just as meaningful as the team’s first NFL championship in 2001.
“To all the Patriot fans out there wherever you are, this is our fourth Super Bowl championship in the last 14 years, ” Kraft said after his team defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.
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“The first one we won [after the 2001 season], I thought was pretty special because it happened at a unique time in our country when it meant a lot. I never thought another trophy could feel as special, but this one absolutely does. And every true Patriot fan understands it.”
Kraft was asked by about the adversity the Patriots faced, referring to allegations they deflated footballs in their AFC title game victory, in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, ESPN Boston said.
“Well, we won that game 45-7, ” Kraft said. “We won today 28-24. Our people didn’t touch the balls. I love our team. I’m proud of our guys and we are going to carry on and continue to do well.”
Coach Bill Belichick said he was confident he’d be hoisting the Lombardi trophy again, according to ESPN.
“Sure did [think we would win another] with these guys, ” Belichick said. “We got a great team. We got a lot of great players. They played well again tonight. I thought I would.”
Kraft, who bought the Patriots for a then-record $175 million in 1994, has been a generous supporter of Jewish causes in the United States and in Israel, the Times of Israel said.
Kraft and his late wife were instrumental in developing the sister city relationship between Haifa and Boston. They also donated millions of dollars to build the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem, where Israel’s flag and tackle football leagues play, the report said.
Kraft even brought his team’s superstar quarterback Tom Brady, who was named the most valuable player of this year’s Super Bowl, to Israel for his first visit. The trip included a stop at an IDF infantry base where Brady took target practice at a shooting range, the Times said.