Tag Archives: Robert Kraft

New England Patriots: And The Winner Is….

Sunday night the New England Patriots continued the “2015 Tom Brady Revenge Tour” against the Indianapolis Colts, the team that jump started the worst off-season for a player and team since…since….oh yeah, that other tight end decided that life was too dull to just play football (Hint: He’s in jail for murder).

The Patriots won with relative ease, 34-27, and had opportunities to run the score up, but refrained from doing so. So, let’s take a quick look at who the “Deflategate” winners and losers were after week 6 of the 2015 season.

Surprise Winners

New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot, and fans cheer during an NFL football send-off rally at City Hall in Boston (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • New England Patriot Fans

We all want to be martyrs because “our” team got beat-up soooooo bad in the off-season. But how can fans be losers when New England is 5-0 and remains as the favorite to win their 5th Super Bowl and second straight.  It is easy to feel everyone hates us, but c’mon, it’s not everyone.  The Patriots are now getting the respect they deserve with no one (except Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin) thinking they would be dumb enough to be cheating this year.

Should they go all-the-way even the biggest, most avid haters will be forced to admit it is legit. Just think, the silence will be deafening from all those losers who want to blame the Patriots for all their team’s ills.

  • The NFL

The NFL may be losers and buffoons in court, but all the off-season publicity, more bad than good, kept them in front of the media and the sport on the front page year-long. No other sport came close to the coverage Roger Goodell and his band of pirates got. Ratings up, attendance remains outstanding and the $$$$$ keeps rolling in.

Are you ready for this?????

  • Tom Brady

All right, wait a minute. Don’t bring in the guys with the strait-jackets…think about it. Tom Brady is probably the most self-motivated player in the NFL, but really, after winning his 4th ring do you legitimately think he would have had the fire-in-the-eyes he has this year .? He had nothing more to prove until the NFL lit his fire (cue up the late Jim Morrison and the Doors. If you don’t get the musical reference, ask someone over 40).

Hell, at this time last year many were calling him old and feeble. This year he’s been rejuvenated. Is it his guru? His diet? Or, could it be, he wants to make Commissioner Roger Goodell look like the pompous ass he is as he hands Brady the MVP and Super Bowl Trophies again…while the greatest QB in the NFL smirks and walks away?

Big Losers

  • Indianapolis Colts (3-3)

Andrew Luck's offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)
Andrew Luck’s offensive line has been bad again (Photo: Getty Images)

Instead of Super Bowl contenders, as predicted by NFL experts, the Colts have become a shell of what they were in 2014. Injuries to Andrew Luck, ILB Jarrell Freeman, RB Tyler Varga. DT Arthur Jones & on & on have lowered expectations. Luck played Sunday, but it didn’t help. Prior to Sundays performance, he had been hexed with a poor offensive line, a 56% completion rate, more interceptions (7) than TDs (5) and a QBR of 65.1 Yes, they are 3-3, but their three wins are by a total of 12 points against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston. They played the Patriots tougher than expected, but other than their final drive they were shut out in the second half after leading at halftime (sound familiar).

  • Baltimore Ravens (1-5)

This time its Queen’s turn as “Another One Bites The Dust.” Baltimore was also among the Super Bowl contenders that has fallen apart early in the season. What goes around, comes around. Most football fans in New England believe the Ravens urged the Colts to “check their balls” in last years playoffs. That was after Head Coach John Harbaugh complained the Patriots used an illegal formation (not true), confusing the poor Raven players and coaches in their loss the week before the Colts went down. Despite confirmation by officials that the Patriots formation was within the rules, the Ravens whined so much the rules committee tweaked the rule for 2015.

Bottom line: The Ravens Head Coach did not know the rules and Bill Belichick did. Oh, by the way, Baltimore used a similar formation this year!

  • Robert Kraft/ New England Patriots

In a naïve move Mr. Kraft felt that Commissioner Goodell would see the error of his ways and drop the persecution/prosecution of his adopted son, Tom Brady and, without a fight, gave-up draft picks and $1M dollars to “make Deflategate go away.” ‘Nuff said!.

It will take the full year before a complete evaluation of “Deflategate” winners and losers can be analyzed, but so far the results sure are promising.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

New England Patriots: You can’t build your future on luck, but it sure doesn’t hurt

After watching teams other than the New England Patriots play football for the past two weeks one thing jumps out. You can’t build a solid team in the NFL by relying strictly on luck (even if his name is Andrew). Yes, every team in the league has some luck…both good and bad, but the really good ones have the skill players necessary for week-to-week consistency. The surprise was how little some coaches know about the rules, clock management and “common sense” when the game is on the line. That’s not luck, that’s preparation!

LuckQuote

Some Good Luck Along The Way:

The Patriots have had more than their share of good luck leading to 16 years of consistency.

  1. Talk about luck, how about Robert Kraft buying a franchise that was about to move to St. Louis

A season ticket holder since 1971, Mr. Kraft stepped up and refused to let Billy Sullivan and Victor Kiam (former owners) out of their lease, forcing them to play in run down Sullivan Stadium, which he had purchased out of bankruptcy. At that time the two were trying to move the Patriots to Jacksonville. When Kiam had a series of bad investments he had to sell the Patriots and up stepped James (Budweiser) Orthwein, who was intent on moving the franchise to St. Louis.

In 1994, Orthwein offered Kraft $75 million to buy out the team’s lease at what was then Foxboro Stadium. Kraft refused and ended up buying the Pats for $172 million, the most ever paid for an NFL franchise at the time. According to Forbes magazine the average team is now worth $1.97 billion

2.  The decision to hire Bill Belichick

Luck was headed to New England when the NY Jets underestimated how much Bill Belichick wanted to have complete control over a team with an owner who kept his hands out of the mix.  After just one day as the J-E-T-S Head Coach he opted out, no matter what it cost him.  Despite Belichick’s issues as Head Coach in Cleveland, Robert Kraft was willing to spin-the-wheel of fortune on his possible impact on a team that had floundered under Pete Carroll (yes, the same Pete Carroll).  After an 8-8 season in 1999 Kraft made the move and hired Belichick, giving up a 1st round draft pick in return.

It’s hard to believe now, but fans were not happy with the move. No one thought he would become the best Head Coach in the NFL

3.  Drafting Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft

No one can deny drafting of Brady was the luckiest (and best) thing to ever happen to this franchise. No discussion needed

It would be easy to name a dozen other examples of luck that helped the Patriots become the most dominant team in the NFL – the Tuck Rule – Adam Vinatieri Super Bowl kicks – Rob Gronkowski dropping to the 2nd round – and on and on and on, but it still wouldn’t tell the whole story.

All The Luck In The World Isn’t Enough

Despite all this luck, the Patriots wouldn’t be where they are without:

  • A paranoid Head Coach who leaves nothing to chance and knows the rule book better than anyone else in the NFL. Sure, he’s a ornery cuss and likes to push the envelope, angering other teams and causing distrust of the franchise by the rest of the NFL…but there is not a team that wouldn’t hire him immediately if he became available (No matter what they say)
  • AFC Offensive Player of the Month Tom Brady, who is still taking revenge against all the teams who let him fall to the 6th round of the draft. Add his rejuvenation and focus from unsubstantiated allegations this off-season along with his willingness to be the hardest working player on the roster and you have, arguably, the greatest QB in NFL history.

Do you still miss Adam Veneteri?
Do you still miss Adam Vinatieri? (Photo: Boston Globe)

  • One of, if not the, best FG kickers in the NFL, AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September Stephen Gostkowski…who hasn’t missed a kick this season. Check out all the games impacted by kickers (both FG & Extra Points) in the last two weeks and you’ll see why the Patriots decided to make him the highest paid kicker in the league.Gronk one handed catch (Photo: courtesy printinterest.com)
  • The best Tight End in all of football who is willing to do much more than just catch the ball. Rob Gronkowski is like a big man-child who enjoys his off time…but when healthy is the most feared player in the league.

I could add to the list of skilled players (Julian Edelman, Chandler Jones, Devin McCourty, Jamie Collins, etc, etc…) but you get the point. It takes skilled, dedicated players as well as some luck and the New England Patriots have an abundance of both.

Going to Dallas this Sunday, without many of many of the Cowboys key players in action, could be considered luck…but it is more than that. Tom Brady is on his 2015 Revenge Tour and the teams they play are very unlucky that’s the case.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

New England Patriots: ESPN, The NFL’s Propoganda Machine, Strikes Again

Just when there was an opportunity for things to quiet down and NFL fans could start concentrating on the actual games, the right arm of the NFL, ESPN, struck again. This time it is an article in ESPN The Magazine titled “Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart” and it’s intent is to, as REO Speedwagon sang in 1982, keep the fire burning.

Like the Wells report, it is filled with innuendo and will be read by millions as the “Gospel” according to ESPN, just as the 11 of 12 footballs being 2 lbs underinflated was taken as fact, despite being completely false.

The article, written by Don Van Natta Jr. (author of “First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush”) and Seth Wickersham, Senior Writer for ESPN.com and ESPN is intentionally inflammatory with a multitude of objectives:

  1. Increase the readership of the magazine (understandable)
  2. Sensationalize “old” news
  3. Re-enforce the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate
  4. Show how the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

Number four, the Patriots are different, is a fact…but not in the way as highlighted in this piece of “sensationalistic” journalism. The reason the article gives is New England has to cheat to do it. Let’s face it haters, they must have cheated in this day of free agency to become one of the most feared franchises in the history of the NFL. Forget the fact they have arguable the best QB (Tom Brady for those who don’t know) in NFL History and a coach that any other owner (ignore what they say, you know this is true) would love to have as Head Coach or their franchise.

There are no “sore losers” used in this article…except this gem:

 “Goodell didn’t want anybody to know that his gold franchise had won Super Bowls by cheating,” a senior executive whose team lost to the Patriots in a Super Bowl now says. “If that gets out, that hurts your business.”

Needless to say the always reliable N. Y. Post jumped on the bandwagon with this headline Spygate much worse than Belichick, Goodell divulged and Deadspin was even more definitive with Bombshell ESPN Report: The Patriots Were Huge Cheaters And Roger Goodell Covered It Up.  Once again the storm is brewing.

The Magazine, includes these “findings” to get readers interest and reignite the linking of Spygate and DeflateGate for those who like to believe the Patriots are different, in a bad way, from the other teams in the NFL.

  • From 2000 to 2007, the Patriots videotaped the signals of opposing coaches in 40 games
  • Goodell’s handling of Deflategate turned around owners still simmering over Spygate; some say he is now more secure in his job.
  • Deflategate is seen by some owners as a “makeup call” over Spygate.

ESPN’S Findings Are Nothing New

Let’s take the “findings” as just what they are…a hashed over repeat of what everyone already knew, but with a slant to add some sensationalism, enhance a now tarnished NFL image and put the New England Patriots back in the spotlight as the NFL bad boys (cheaters to quote the article: “Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind”)

  • What they fail to mention is Spyhate (oops) was about where the Patriots were filming, not what they were filming.

I’m not going to rehash Spygate (which they did repeatedly in the article), but, will clarify a few misconceptions.

Fact: Videotaping opposing coaches is not illegal in the NFL but there are designated areas allowed by the league to do such taping. The Patriots were videotaping the Jets’ coaches from their own sideline which is not allowed. There is no question from anyone (including Patriot Nation) what they did was wrong, but stretching the facts to “imply” it was illegal to videotape opposing coaches at all is just flat wrong.

According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran’s article it wasn’t until a 2006 memo was put out by the league that anything in writing regarding sideline videotaping was specifically addressed

Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations to NFL sent a memo to head coaches and general managers. In it, he wrote: “Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.” 

Belichick obviously ignored that memo and Goodell imposed the biggest fine ever on a coach and took away a first-round draft pick as a penalty for the first time in NFL history.

Owners “Make-Up” Call Inference

When the fines and draft pick were announced it was felt by all, including the owners, to be a stiff penalty. In fact, the stiffest ever in NFL history.  Revisionist history is the punishment is now being mentioned as a “favor” to Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft because of his friendship with the Commissioner. The integrity of Mr. Goodell was questioned (my goodness, not by the owners) because he ordered the destruction of the tapes and notes regarding Spygate…supposedly, because of his friendship with Kraft.

Question: If the owners felt strongly about his (Goodell’s) integrity then, why is he still commissioner now?

There’s a lot of discussion in the article about the owner’s emergency meeting on April 1, 2008 where Robert Kraft spoke (“witnesses would later say Kraft’s remarks were heartfelt, his demeanor chastened”), without naming any source (you know, that old first amendment protect your source reason that writers/publishers always use) describing the meeting as if the writers were there. Where’s the source? What great memories they all must have!

Love This One

It was, one owner says, time for “a makeup call.” Have to wonder who that one owner was and if that is what the one quote that lead to the “deflategate is seen by some owners (plural) as the make-up call for spyhate.

I could go on and on, as the ESPN-The Magazine article does, but then I would be doing just what I accuse them of….rehashing and sensationalizing “old news”

Disclosure: I am not an attorney and have been a follower of the New England Patriots since their inception in 1960.

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

New England vs NFL: It’s A Bare Knuckles Brawl

Robert Kraft Is Not Happy

Just as Judge Richard M. Berman was telling the National Football League Player’s Association and NFL to get together and try to solve their issues, the New England Patriots went on the offense.  Tired of looking like they are the new “Evil Empire” and accepting the wishes of King Roger Goodell the team and owner decided it was time to take off the gloves and get into a back alley brawl.

It started Wednesday when Owner Robert Kraft laid into his baby, the NFL. “…for reasons that I cannot comprehend, there are those in the league office who are more determined to prove that they were right rather than admit any culpability of their own or take any responsibility for the initiation of a process and ensuing investigation that was flawed….I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just.”

To read all of Mr. Kraft’s rant just click on the highlighted text and we’ll whisk you to Patriots.com for it in it’s entirety.

That was a huge step for one of the most powerful owners in the NFL. In the past Kraft had been a loyal, team player and backed Goodell when others were calling for his ouster (re: Ray Rice initial suspension)

Friday the Patriots took another hunk out of the League Office’s hide with a solid uppercut, this time with a series of e-mails showing the league ignored their early pleas to close off the leaks within the NFL offices and publicly correct errors that purposely implied things that weren’t true (example: 11 of 12 footballs dramatically under-inflated).

The E-mails were between Robyn Glaser, general counsel for the Patriots, and Jeff Pash, counsel for the NFL and who was overseeing the Wells investigation.  They show attempts by the Patriots to get the NFL to correct initial misinformation being reported by the media and to investigate the sources of such misinformation , which could only have been league personnel (Mike Kensil) . Click on the highlighted portion and we’ll take you to the context of all the e-mails from February 17-18.

Judge Berman Say’s Tone It Down

As reported by Rachel Axon, USA TODAY Sports, Judge Richard M. Berman, who will preside over the case in the Southern District of New York, advised both the NFL and NFL Players Association that, “While this litigation is ongoing, it is appropriate (and helpful) for all counsel and all parties in this case to tone down their rhetoric.” 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

  • The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to an expedited process that seeks a “final resolution” to the lawsuit before the start of the NFL season
  • Mike Kensil, the NFL’s VP of game operation, has been identified by various sources as the individual responsible for the leaks from the NFL office (Read Goallinegazette article from Bill Bodell)
  • To add to all the hype it has now been reported that Judge Berman’s hearing will be open to accredited media! That should be fun.

So, it’s turned into a 10 rounder and we’re just finishing round 5 with lots to come. Break out the beverage of your choice along with a snack or two, ’cause there’s still lots of blows to be thrown in this bare knuckles brawl.

So now you are caught up…until the next missive is launched. Punch and counter punch…punch and counter punch…etc…etc

By the way, did you notice I wrote this entire article without once mentioning Tom Brady…oops

Follow me on twitter @SnowdonBob

New England Patriots: Patriots and Patriots Nation Stand Firm Behind TB12.

As all of you know by now, the league and it’s idiotic commissioner Roger Goodell (the money making machine) has stood fast on its 4 game suspension of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady issued his first public statement since this whole debacle (to keep it clean) started, via his Facebook site this morning. In the post he maintained his and any of the Patriots organization’s innocence of any wrongdoing (or knowledge of) pertaining to the inflation of footballs. Brady also mentions that his legal team assured him that his cell phone would not be called into question or need to be turned over to the league. He also addressed the fact that at the time of his appeal, he supplied a list all the recipients of phone calls and text messages for the time frame in question. (Which the league wanted, but refused to look into anyhow)

If all these text messages were so important to the investigation, wouldn’t a fair investigation for BOTH parties involved warrant checking at least a few of these phones? After all we all know that one phone gives you Both sides of text conversations.

This whole process was ridiculous from the start, Once the Wells Report (all 243 pages of nothing more than bird cage floor liner) was disproved as insufficient (by itself and real independent science) the league shifted focus to the fact that Brady didn’t turn over his cell phone as the main reason for the suspension being upheld.

If you’ve ever gotten into an argument with a Patriots hater, this tactic should look very familiar to you, when you point out where they are wrong or ignorant of the facts, what do they do? Yep, they change the subject. Do you think this is any different? If it smells like garbage, that’s probably what we’re looking at.

Robert Kraft as well as Belichick and some of Tom’s teammates had a chance to speak today. Kraft and the Patriots team members spoke of their unwavering support for Brady, and Belichick declined to comment (all of which would be expected).

What was totally unexpected was Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s comments on how the league which he is a very large supporter of, essentially spat in his face (not his words). This is an excerpt from his statement.

20150729_145719

It takes a very strong man to admit his mistakes and basically discount his faith in the League as a whole.

The word “Integrity” has been thrown around by alot of individuals over the last 7 months, and that right there, Mr. Goodell  is the finest example you will see in your lifetime! Are you paying attention? See you in court.

I am proud to be a member of Patriots Nation! #FreeBrady