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What the world was like when Robert Kraft bought the Patriots 25 years ago

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When Robert Kraft bought the Patriots on Jan. 21 1994, he kept the team in New England and changed the trajectory of the franchise. Mr. Kraft is still in charge at 1 Patriot Place, but since he dotted the i's and crossed the t's, the world has changed.

A lot.

We're taking a look back at what the world was like when Mr. Kraft bought the team. Get ready for a walk down memory lane.

Just a few days after Mr. Kraft became owner of the Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII, and in November of 1994, the Chicago Bulls would retire the great Michael Jordan's No. 23 forever.


In the baseball world, however, things came to a halt. The 1994 MLB strike put the baseball season on hold, and for the first time since 1904, there was no World Series. In the hockey world, Wayne Gretzky tied and then set the NHL record for career goals with 802. He ended his career with 894, which is still the NHL record.

While Mr. Kraft was planning for the future of the Patriots organization, pieces of that future were just being born. Current Patriots Malcom Brown, Deatrich Wise, Adam Butler, Derek Rivers, Elandon Roberts,Obi Melinfonwu and Keionta Davis were all born in 1994.

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The World Cup took place in the United States that year, with games even being played in Foxborough. Brazil was victorious over Italy in the championship match. It was also an Olympic year, with the games being hosted in Norway, and despite sustaining an injury in the now infamous attack, Nancy Kerrigan took home the silver medal.

While technology was vastly different, the world we know now began to take shape in a significant way. Now prevalent in our daily lives, Amazon was just beginning. Jeff Bezos founded the company in July.

Across the pond, the Channel Tunnel between England and France opened in May. The 31 miles of tunnel connects the two countries, and 15,000 workers made the transportation dream a reality.

After being imprisoned for his activism and fight against apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected president on May 10. He was the country's first black president and served until 1999.

Two months after Mr. Kraft's move, the 66th Academy Awards took place. "Schindler's List" took home Best Picture honors.Tom Hanks won Best Actor for his role in "Philadelphia," and Holly Hunter won Best Actress for "The Piano."

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As for movies that premiered in 1994, let's just say it was a great year for cinema. "The Shawshank Redemption," "Forrest Gump," "The Lion King" and "Dumb and Dumber" all made their debuts. Pop culture has never been the same.

As for music, Jeff Buckley released his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in August. The No. 1 Billboard single of the year was Ace of Base's "The Sign," which returned to the limelight again in "Pitch Perfect." No. 2 was "I Swear" by All-4-One, and let's be honest. That song is still a jam.

And for reference, Snoop Dogg was still going by Snoop Doggy Dogg.


The 1994 Emmy Awards were hosted in September, and winners included the likes of "Fraiser" and "Picket Fences." It was also the beginning of an era. "ER" premiered on Sept. 19, and "Friends" debuted just a few days later on Sept. 22. It's hard to imagine a world without Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey, but luckily viewers have been able to turn to them for 25 years.

Many things have changed since Robert Kraft bought the Patriots, but his ownership has been a constant for 25 years. Happy 25th anniversary, Mr. Kraft!

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