It’s been nearly 365 days since “28-3” entered the American sports lexicon.
As any football fan remembers – heck, as many people around the world know by now – the New England Patriots were down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons late in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, but came back to win in overtime, the biggest comeback in the game’s history.
When Robert Kraft, the longtime owner of the Patriots, designed the massive rings players, coaches and other key personnel received to mark the momentous win, he decided to have each one created with exactly 283 diamonds.
And while most of us can appreciate the blingy bit of trash talk, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, apparently, was not amused.
In a New York Times Magazine story published online Thursday, we learn that during an offseason visit together in Manhattan meant to discuss Roger Goodell’s contract extension, since signed, Blank had something he needed to get off his chest.
He told his friend that he found the move tacky.
Blank needed to unburden himself of a minor beef with Kraft…Kraft ordered exactly 283 diamonds embedded into each of the 10-karat white gold Super Bowl rings he commissioned for the Patriots. Blank, who bought the Falcons in 2002, mostly took the loss and the attendant trolling in stride. But the ring stunt bothered him. He found it unnecessary and tacky. “I said to Robert, ‘You didn’t have to do the 28-3 in the ring,’” he told me recently. “It kind of pissed me off.”
They’ve moved past it now, we assume, in part because, well, it’s not like Kraft is going to have the rings re-made. And 28-3 isn’t going away anytime soon.