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Robert Kraft greets fans who traveled far and wide for release of Nike's 'Patriots' Air Force 1

Some played hooky from work, while others traveled all the way from Denmark for the release of Nike's RKK Air Force 1at the Patriots ProShop on Friday.

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The ninth edition of Nike's RKK Air Force 1 was released Friday, featuring a new royal blue colorway that Patriots fan and sneakerhead Christo Sakellaropoulos has been yearning for for years.

"I've been wanting this colorway for years. I'm so excited that this colorway is coming out today," Sakellaropolous said outside of the Patriots ProShop at Gillette Stadium.

"I'm a sneaker collector. I'm a sneaker fan at heart, and a Patriots fan at heart. Combine the two? I had to be here."

Sakellaropoulos already owned the eight prior editions of the "Patriots" Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Low, purchasing his first online and making the pilgrimage to Foxboro for every release since.

Like most at the front of the line, waiting for the ProShop to open, securing a pair of the signature sneakers took dedication, but it paid off when they got to meet Robert Kraft himself.

The Patriots chairman and CEO made sure to greet fans and thank them for their support, taking photos and listening to their stories.

"I got to Gillette at 3:30 this morning," Sakellaropoulos said proudly. "Just go to bed early the day before, and once you get here it's a party with everyone else."

His commute was a little shorter than that of Kenneth Jorgensen and Maja Steffensen, though.

They were a little further back in line, having gotten there at 6 a.m., but traveled all the way from the west coast of Denmark.

"I became a Patriots fan back in 1998," Jorgensen said.

"The first game they showed on TV in Denmark was the Patriots and I fell in love with the logo. I started getting really into football watching Ty Law and Teddy Bruschi, I learned about the plays and the rules it took off from there."

Jorgensen also owns every pair of the RKK AF1s.

He says he's been to Gillette Stadium on about 20 occasions over the years, but it was Steffensen's first time.

She was introduced to the NFL by Jorgensen, and along with her husband and children, Steffensen has been a fan ever since.

"I was here in 2018 for the sneaker release, but if I'm not able to get them here then I'm going to buy them online," said Jorgensen.

"If I'm not able to do that, then I'm going to buy them on Stock X or something like that and pay a lot of money for them because I cannot miss those sneakers. I need them. Robert means the world for me. What he means to the Patriots and what he has done here is amazing. He's the best owner."

Kraft couldn't believe Jorgensen and Steffensen's passion for the team, but for them, the long trip for the sneaker release and Sunday's Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins was easy to justify.

"I freaking love the Patriots," Jorgensen said.

"I dedicated my life to the Patriots. What I've spent on the Patriots in the past 26 years – I don't even know. It's the love I feel. The team really means everything to me. All the happiness and joy it brings to my life, I can't live without it."

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