Robert Kraft's gifts 50-year-old cigars to players

Yahoo Sports
Robert Kraft opens up a box of cigars he wanted to give to his players as a gift for winning Super Bowl LIII. (Yahoo Sports)
Robert Kraft opens up a box of cigars he wanted to give to his players as a gift for winning Super Bowl LIII. (Yahoo Sports)

ATLANTA — As most of the New England Patriots began to file out of the locker room, ready to take elsewhere their celebration of winning Super Bowl LIII, team owner Robert Kraft walked in with an entourage. One was carrying a plastic container – the kind you’d use to store old toys you’ll never use again.

Kraft reached inside and pulled out a humidor wrapped in bubble wrap – three to four times around. To him, it was something special.

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“I got these from Mr. Padrón,” he said, revealing a rectangular box with a Patriots logo on top. “They’re 50-year-old cigars.”

Mr. Padrón is, presumably, José Orlando Padrón, founder of Padrón Cigars, which began making cigars in Miami in 1964. He’d wanted to give them to Kraft as a gift prior to last year’s Super Bowl, but he died in December 2017.

Padrón’s son made good on the gift, and Kraft held onto them for a year, hoping to pass them out to a Super Bowl champion.

And so here he was Sunday night, plopping the box on top of a folding chair, opening it up and handing the first one to the MVP, Julian Edelman, who gladly took it.

Julian Edelman was one of the few to take a cigar from Robert Kraft. (Yahoo Sports)
Julian Edelman was one of the few to take a cigar from Robert Kraft. (Yahoo Sports)

“Fifty-year-old cigars,” he reminded everyone around.

Someone wondered if there would be enough to go around. The roster is, after all, 53 deep.

“We got a few hidden in the bottom,” Kraft had said.

And then … well … there wasn’t much of a demand.

Tom Brady?

“No, don’t smoke cigars,” he told a bodyguard who’d taken over gifting duties after Kraft had moved on. “Too old.”

While a few players took one, more declined or didn’t notice. This clearly wasn’t a cigar-smoking crowd.

We’ve all been there, right, thinking we’d bought the perfect gift only to have it fall flat. But, hey, it’s the thought that counts.

Maybe Patrón would have gone over a little better.

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