By Jeff Girod
Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, recently said that Russian President Vladimir Putin stole his Super Bowl ring. The alleged “mooch-insky” of the 4.9-carat ring took place in 2005, when the Patriots’ owner visited St. Petersburg, Russia.
“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’” said Kraft at an event in New York City, according to the New York Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
If only Tom Brady could get that kind of pass protection.
To make matters worse, not even the United States government was willing to step in and call for a drone strike—or at least an instant replay.
Kraft went on to say that he received a call from the George W. Bush-run White House, saying, “It would really be in the best interest of United States-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
Even George Bush apparently wanted nothing to do with Putin, which is impressive, because Bush will usually bomb anything with a face. But I don’t fault Bush. Putin is a scary-assed man. When the bogeyman has nightmares, he dreams of Putin.
Putin has allegedly rigged elections, jailed critics and “disappeared” more than one rival. So why wouldn’t he sack a Super Bowl ring?
Even Robert Kraft’s own team his been trying to distance itself from this Putin controversy.
“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs,” said Patriots team spokesman Stacey James (as she nervously packed her SUV full of dried food and water, and tried to use the car’s cigarette lighter to burn off her fingerprints.) “[Kraft] continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin.”
That last sentence is code for “Please don’t kill our running back.”
For Putin’s part, a spokesman for the Russian President responded by calling Kraft’s ring accusation “weird.” Not “Kraft is lying,” or “Putin didn’t take the Super Bowl ring,” or even “In Russia, ring wears you!”
Try that the next time someone catches you dead to rights, doing something you shouldn’t. Don’t apologize. Don’t offer an explanation. Just say, “That’s weird,” then continue peeing in the lobster bisque or Xeroxing your naked butt on the office copier.
It won’t get you out of trouble. But even as the green copier light is splicing you right between the ass crack, it may earn you a newfound Putin-like respect. Then again, respect comes with a price.
Wherever you are right now, whatever terrible situation you’re in, or can even imagine—it’s nothing compared to Russia. Russia’s like a combination of The Sopranos, Jurassic Park, Saw and every Wild West movie where the cowboy in the black hat shoots up the saloon.
Organized crime, drug and human trafficking, extortion, money laundering, murder for hire—Russia has it all, baby, and Putin is its king. He deserves a Super Bowl ring just for that. Hell, Trent Dilfer has one.
Sure, Putin can show statistics how he’s improving living conditions in Russia since he seized power. But minimum wage in Russia is $148 a month, much lower than almost everywhere in Europe. (Monthly minimum wage is almost $2,000 in Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands.)
Maybe that’s why a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center revealed that more than 1 in 5 citizens want to flee Mother Russia permanently, citing poor living conditions and an unstable economy. (Another poll shows Putin’s popularity is falling, which is probably why the Russian government is—no joke—trying to close the Levada Center.)
I don’t blame Putin for stealing the Super Bowl ring. It’s what thugs do. They take.
I blame Robert Kraft for wearing a 5-carat ring, for going to Russia in the first place, then crying to the rest of us as if we should care.
Kraft should be happy Putin only took his ring and not his entire ring finger or, even better, didn’t relocate the Patriots to Irkutsk.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.