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Patriots seem to concede Putin didn’t steal Kraft’s ring


The story of an effort to avoid an international incident in 2005 has created an international incident in 2013. Sort of.

But now, after Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained that Russian president Vladimir Putin stole his Super Bowl ring and Putin’s spokesman claimed it was a gift, the Patriots have tried to put the matter to rest by conceding, apparently, that Kraft’s tale of being strong-armed for the trinket is shtick.

“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs,” a Patriots spokesman reportedly 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. In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”

So it sounds like Kraft doesn’t actually believe that Putin stole his ring. Or perhaps Kraft has Googled “Alexander Litvinenko.” Or maybe Kraft is aware of the army of Russian bears who can survive a direct impact from speeding cars.