Tim Graham over at the ESPN AFC East blog has put together a poll asking what was the defining moment of the Patriots franchise. Here are the choices:
Bill Parcells/Drew Bledsoe arrive in 1993
Robert Kraft purchases the team in 1994
Bill Belichick is hired in 2000
Tom Brady is drafted in 2000
This is a tough call, because clearly all of these factors were absolutely necessary in building the Patriots franchise into what it is today.
If Parcells hadn’t arrived in 1993, Robert Kraft never would’ve met BB and sown the seeds of their relationship today.
If Kraft hadn’t bought the team we could still be stuck with an owner more interested in turning a profit regardless of wins. Cough Jeremy Jacobs…
Belichick and Brady were obviously the final pieces of the puzzle, but without any of these factors the Patriots would never have become the model franchise of the NFL.
My choice? I’m going with Robert Kraft buying the team. He had some growing pains early on, but his style of ownership is what set the stage for how good the Pats have been since 1996 (3 Super Bowl Titles, 5 AFC Titles, 8 AFC East Titles in the last 10 seasons). Nobody was overjoyed with the hiring of BB in 2000, but it was Kraft’s vision that established an environment conducive to winning football games.
Place your vote here.