In 2005, the Patriots were fresh off their big Super Bowl win over the Eagles. Wanting to celebrate and escape the cold, montonous grasp of winter, Patriots owner Bob Kraft snuck off to... uh, Russia.
It was there that he met President Vladimir Putin, and gleefully showed off his Super Bowl ring. Putin asked to put it on. Kraft obliged. The next thing he knew, his ring was in Putin's pocket and headed in the opposite direction, surrounded by KGB agents.
This was the story that Kraft let surface this year, after years of assumptions that he had given the ring to Putin as a gift. The United States government strongly urged Kraft to keep the more sinister version of the story quiet to prevent tension.
But here we are now, in 2013, and due to the situation in Syria, talking with the Russians seem inevitable. And Senator John McCain has not forgotten Kraft's story.
"I'd be glad to talk to them, but I hope they bring Mr. Kraft's Super Bowl ring."
"I was thinking this morning the worst thing you could do in the Old West was to steal another man's horse. I would think in New England the worst thing you can do is steal another man's Super Bowl ring."
Putin, on the other hand, has denied stealing the ring, and also claims to have never met Kraft, and has offered to replace the ring (valued at $25,000).