It’s a new twist on an old tale. Athlete gives expensive ring to girlfriend. They break up. Athlete wants ring back. Girlfriend says it was a gift.
Now, try this on for size. Literally. Team owner gives Super Bowl ring to world leader. To try on. He pockets it. Owner wants ring back. Leader says it was a gift.
Sound far fetched? Well, that’s exactly what happened, says New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, during a trip to Russia in 2005. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly told Kraft, “I can kill someone with this ring,” before walking off with it (while surrounded by KGB).
Kraft reportedly asked the White House to intervene, but they were reluctant to do so, citing US-Russian relations.
Stop. Is this real life? Because if it was a movie plot, we’d know what to do. We’d pull Arnold Schwarzenegger out of self-imposed retirement, cast him in the role of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Tom Cruise as Tom Brady. And we’d send them on a secret mission to Russia to recover the ring.
The smart, cool, lady-killer and the strong, charming, dimwit. It would be James Bond meets Mission Impossible…meets Lethal Weapon.
And it all ends with Gronk saying, “I’ll be back.”
The sequel…a less covert operation to get Mario Williams’ engagement ring back from his ex-fiancée.
In real life…it’s not quite so easy. Putin’s spokesperson denies he stole the ring, says Kraft needs “psychoanalysts,” and has offered to replace the $25,000 ring with one of similar value. As a gift.
Kraft has seemingly reverted to the “gift” stance. Earlier this week his spokesperson said, “He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin, and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin.”
Also, the KGB.
In this tale of he said, he said…I side with Team Kraft.
In fact, I find both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rob Gronkowski more trustworthy than Vladimir Putin. And that says a lot.
But, I didn’t say that.
Because I also respect the KGB.