Mr. Kraft –

I have great feelings of warmth, gratitude and respect for you as owner of the New England Patriots, and for all that you’ve done for professional football in our region. Purchasing the team, hiring Bill Belichick, building a new stadium, overseeing four Super Bowl Championship teams has been an exhilarating experience for someone whose first Patriots experience came with Ron Erhardt at the helm.

[pullquote]So what exactly have you accomplished? Tom Brady is, at the moment, still suspended for four games. The team has lost a 5-10 year starter in the 2016 first round draft pick, and another asset in the 4th round pick, you’re out a million dollars, your fans are furious and everyone else still thinks your team and QB are cheaters. [/pullquote]My feelings today however, are those of disappointment, disillusionment and anger. Patriots fans for the most part are a loyal bunch and have steadfastly defended the team through many incidents, most of which were precipitated by jealous and frustrated opponents. True Patriots fans hung loyal through Spygate, recognizing that the team was being punished for a violation that many are still not fully educated on. The act of videotaping signals from the wrong location. That 2007 season was the ultimate in emotional swings as the team answered challenge after challenge, even as they were being relentlessly hounded by an ignorant press, aided by a bumbling commissioner who overreacted and handled the affair as poorly as could ever be expected. The crescendo came when a local paper published a story claiming that the Patriots taped a walkthrough of the St. Louis Rams prior to New England’s first Super Bowl win.

The story proved false, but the damage done. To this day, when people think of the Patriots, one of the first things they reference is “taping practices.” Patriots fans have endured that for nearly eight years now. The “Cheater” label has never gone away, and as fans, we are left on the front lines having to battle ignorance, ridicule and trolling from opposing fans. Never once have the fans wavered in their support.

Then this deflated footballs incident happened.

Before the facts were even known, the media and opposing fans were even more zealous in their attacks on the integrity of the New England Patriots franchise. The NFL had leaks coming from within their offices taken as absolute truth, but were just recently exposed as total falsehoods. The national press swarmed to Foxboro to interrogate Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who were left to try and explain something which they had no knowledge of. Bill Belichick took time away from his Super Bowl preparation to investigate on his own. The talk and hatred from the outside was fierce, and again Patriots fans endured the taunts of cheating and calls for suspensions and even to vacate their place in the Super Bowl. The story led the national news.

To your credit, upon landing in Arizona, you took the offensive. Fans were heartened. It seemed that finally, this wave of negativity and innuendo was enough to make you move against a commissioner who most of America can see is way in over his head in this job. Mr Goodell ordered an “independent investigation” into the matter, and 100 days later the conclusions  of Mr Wells and his team are so sloppy, biased and incorrect, that you are again forced to speak out. Then the punishment from a once again overreaching NFL comes down, and you’re forced to speak out again. Your legal team offers up it’s own rebuttal to the Wells Report, and fans are again heartened.

Fans have been putting up with nonsense for years now. Both locally and nationally. We’re feeling that finally, something is going to be done about this. Sabres are rattled, court documents prepared. The fight is about to be joined.

But today, you capitulate to Roger Goodell, citing your love for being part of the NFL. For the “dream” of being one of 32 clubs in the National Football League. For putting the interest of the 32 over the interest of the one. You chose the Shield.

Mr. Kraft, I’m not sure you fully understand what a slap in the face that was to the fans. More than that. It was a gut-punch. You chose the “club” of ownership over the fans. The fans have defended the Patriots at every turn. They have taken on all comers, and with a dedication and determination that is astounding. This was going to be the case in which it was revealed that the emperor had no clothes. Roger Goodell and his corrupt cronies at the NFL were finally going to be exposed and some of the Patriots good name restored. Not all of it, of course, because to many people this franchise will always be “cheaters.” Fans live with that on a daily basis.

Instead, you gave in. The rhetoric is not going away, and in fact, all this has done has confirmed in the minds of many that the Patriots did in fact do something wrong.

The fight would’ve been difficult, it would’ve been long, it would’ve been expensive. It would have been ugly.

It also would’ve been worth it. Even in defeat, you would’ve shown that you were here for the fans who have given their unwavering support.

Instead, you’ve got your own fans angered at you, swearing in the heat of the moment never to watch another game. Nationally, people still believe the Patriots are cheaters.

So what exactly have you accomplished? Tom Brady is, at the moment, still suspended for four games. The team has lost a 5-10 year starter in the 2016 first round draft pick, and another asset in the 4th round pick, you’re out a million dollars, your fans are furious and everyone else still thinks your team and QB are cheaters.

But you’re still in the club.

I guess that’s what you wanted?

You asked fans today to trust your judgment on this matter.

It’s difficult, but I’m trying.

Sincerely,

Bruce Allen

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135 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Mr. Robert Kraft

  1. +1 gazillion.

    What a disgusting display by Kraft.

    At a bare minimum he could have said “We have concluded it is pointless to appeal further or commence litigation. That said, we did nothing wrong and the Wells report is fatally flawed as any objective person can easily see. Further, we are deeply disappointed in the unprecedented and capricious actions of the commissioner and in the deplorable behavior of the league office. We are further disappointed in the complete failure of the commissioner and the league office to take any responsibility for their actions including but not limited to leaking information they even admit was false, refusing to allow us to correct that information, [etc.], [etc.]”

    Instead he gave Goodell full tongue.

    People should never buy any Pats merchandise, concessions, etc. ever again. And if you really, really, really need a jersey/t-shirt/whatever, buy an overseas knockoff that Kraft and league get zilch from.

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  2. I feel the same way Bruce. You pretty much nailed it. Kraft totally stuck it to the fans today. And, as I’ve been saying in the other thread, he set his franchise up for more of these shenanigans in the future. Just you watch. The accusations, followed by the leaks to the media, followed by the media hysteria, followed by the “investigations,” followed by the draconian penalties “based on previous transgressions” — these are now just going to ramp up to an even higher level now that Kraft has shown he won’t fight the anti-Patriots cabal in the league office (and among the other franchises). Just you watch. Harbaugh is probably going to find a rule that says all 53 players on a team’s roster must have a uniform, average fingernail length, and then ask the league to launch an investigation into whether or not the Pats’ team average was below or above the average. Then Wells will conclude it was “more probable than not” that BB ordered the fingernails to be grown above the average length, and then Troy Vincent will take away the Pats entire 2018 and 2019 drafts and fine Kraft $10 million, because, you know, the integrity of the game is at stake if all teams don’t have the same length of fingernails. Today’s capitulation is like putting a giant freakin’ “KICK ME” sign on the franchise’s back. Pathetic.

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  3. You know, in reading the transcript of Kraft’s statement, one thing really sticks out, which is his contention that the agenda of one team (his) cannot take precedent over what’s best for the rest of the league (the 31 other teams). That’s pretty funny considering that the agenda of the Colts, Ravens, Jets, Mike Kensil and Troy Vincent apparently are able to take precedent over what’s best for the rest of the league. The old man has blinders on, he really does. He thinks those other 31 guys are his friends? Time to put pit bull Jonathan in charge of the store, I’m afraid. He wouldn’t take this crap lying down.

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  4. Waiting…..Waiting……….waiting for the other shoe to drop. Brady better get some great results out of this

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  5. Well put Bruce. I don’t have any respect for Bob Kraft at this point. Kraft said he hopes Pats fans understand. Understand what? That you continue to be a doormat for an incompetent Commissioner. That you will not back up your own people or customers. Make no mistake, Brady and Belichick are in this fight alone. That being a member in good standing (even though I expect a great number of owners are laughing behind your back) of an exclusive club is really the end game for you. I don’t know how you hug and support Goodell when he either knowingly or due to sheer incompetence stabs you in the back over and over. Calls Brady a liar. That you will allow anyone and everyone to tarnish the accomplishments of some great and hardworking athletes with anything other than a minimal defense. That is what I understand.

    Today’s NFL takes much of what I enjoy out the experience. Every year, that enjoyment gets lessened. In the past, in the off-season I would be devouring any and all information NFL. Especially after a Pats Superbowl win. The NFL Network would on non stop and I would be everywhere. This year that won’t happen. I’m not completely done yet but I get closer each year to walking away and today was a huge shove. I know I am not valued as a customer or fan. You have your waiting list so you think your bullet proof but I was the guy who was there for 2-14 and I would’ve been there in the future when it turns ugly but now I’m not sure why I should.

    I am weary from defending the Pats. Today will be taken as admission of guilt. Your words were as weak as you are. At some point really soon, it will become too much of a bother for this 22 year season ticket holder. At this point Bob in my mind you don’t stand for anything. You have no convictions so I hope it’s all worth it letting Goodell pull your strings and dump all over on a regular basis. Enjoy the hugs and buffets this week because you paid a high price for it.

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  6. Could he at least have stood up there and asked why the penalties to the TEAM were so severe when the report clearly exonerated upper management (even if it did try to pin some stuff on low-level team employees)? Could he at least have stood up there and asked why pumping in fake crowd noise — a real competitive advantage — warranted the loss of just a fifth round pick for Atlanta, but the maybe, possibly, we’re not really sure but we think they did, deflation of a few footballs is worth a first and a fourth, plus $1 million in fines? Could he at least have stood up there and asked why the Jets received only a $100K fine for yet ANOTHER incidence of tampering with players, when San Francisco was docked a draft pick for just one incident a few years ago? Could he at least have stood up there and asked Troy Vincent what the hell Spygate has to do with anything when it comes to his assessment of these draconian penalties? I mean, could he at least have stood up there and told the world that these penalties, as compared with the slaps on the wrist most other teams have received, are completely freakin’ ridiculous….and cited examples as to why they are ridiculous? Oh, and could he at least have stood up there and said, “This doesn’t change anything with respect to my feelings about Tom Brady’s innocence, and the Patriots continue to throw their unwavering support behind Tom as he continues with the appeal of his suspension, which, as you all know, is a separate case and not related to these team penalties in any way.”

    I know he couldn’t sue the NFL, because Davis and his 10 million frivolous lawsuits ruined that for everybody else. But for the love of God, could Kraft at least stood up there and remained defiant even while he was capitulating?

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    1. It’s certainly a fair question on your part. I don’t know. I think the media storm which would have followed such defiance, as well as the bleep storm from the league itself, would have been severe.

      It’s not the 70s anymore where media was nothing but a few TV channels and the radio. Media has become an all encompassing monster. Truly a demon and a microcosm of the knee jerk reactions we all have in our mind, but choose not to jump on. In the media’s case, they jump on it like sharks to blood and for the clicks and the ratings. No shame, no responsibility, no accountability.

      I just think Kraft understands this, being the businessman he is. But maybe I don’t see the need to fight back? Who knows why he did this. A part of me wishes he’d fight, certainly, another part of me understand why he didn’t. I don’t know. It’s a disappointing day when money wins out over justice (assuming Tom truly did not do anything wrong here, if he did… well, that’s just a whole ‘nother can of worms).

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      1. Ah, well, I guess we’re not in Kraft’s shoes so we really don’t know what he’s going through here. I will tell you one thing, however: he severely underestimated how much anger this would generate among the fan base. I’m seeing a LOT of posts and comments out there about “giving up my season tickets,” and similar screeds. Now, will these people actually follow-up on those threats? That’s the $64,000 question, and I’m sure Kraft is betting that they won’t; or, if some of them do, he’s betting that the next several hundred, or thousand people who’ve been on the season ticket application waiting list since 2002 will step up to purchase those suddenly-available seats in the 200 level at Gillette.

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    1. How is that accurate when 99% of NFL games are still free with over the air antennas? Literally the ONLY NFL game that requires you to pay a cable bill is Monday Night on ESPN.

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      1. Because when you pay for cable, part of that money goes to CBS.

        Yeap, if you’re OTA. You do not pay (directly). I asked the same once and was told that cable subscribers subsidize part and the other is paid via tax breaks and incentives.

        Otherwise, look at what’s called a carriage fee and how those are divided up.

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  7. After the penalty was handed down, I was ready to avoid sports coverage for the next several months completely (aside from perhaps this site). Then I saw the vitriol that Tom Brady’s camp and, in particular, Bob Kraft and the Patriots were going to fight on this. I felt energized. I tentatively started following the stories again, and I was ready to root for a Patriots road to revenge season, trying to think of all the possible ways they could try to stick it to the league (while still trying to figure out how to watch the games without listening to any commentary). And now this. I don’t know if I’m done with football completely, but it’s going to be hard to muster up much excitement for the season. What’s the threshold for how well the team can do before they get another accusation thrown at them? 10 wins? A playoff berth? A championship game appearance? I wasn’t necessarily expecting Bob Kraft to let a lawsuit drag on for 2 years over this, but this just plain isn’t the point where you give up.

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  8. Here you go Bob. It’s a good thing you’re worried about the good of the league.

    Ben Volin @BenVolin · 20m 20 minutes ago

    One NFL owner to Shaughnessy: ““There isn’t much support for the Patriots. … The league has enough on them.’’

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    1. The league has enough on them? That’s a pretty loaded statement and yet another Glass House-dweller is heard from. I’m sure BB has PLENTY of stuff on the rest of the NFL, too. I just hope BB, when he retires, publishes the mother of all tell-all books. The Globe must be loving this. The fact that they sent the football-hating CHB out to California to cover the story is proof enough.

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    2. I’d like to know why.

      Because they win?

      The league would rather there is more ineptitude?

      More Spaulding Smails like Jim Irsay?

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      1. Would have been nice if one of the Globe’s hacks had asked this “owner” for specific examples of what the NFL “has” on the Pats. Anyone can throw out a nebulous accusation without specifics. In fact, that’s the easiest thing for someone to do, especially when they know their audience will be receptive to it (like media guys who hate BB and the Pats).

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  9. It’s very disheartening. I mean, Jesus, I just read a post on a message board from a Pats fan who basically said the Pats are now the only team ever to be docked two first round draft picks for “cheating;” and unfortunately, that statement, on the surface anyway, is true. And it’s all because Kraft trusted that asshat of a commissioner — who had already screwed him over once with the Spygate b.s. — when he said he would have a truly independent investigation (and not a league-sanctioned prosecution) conducted. As Pats fans, the only thing we’ve got left now is Brady’s appeal and, hopefully, his massive defamation suit against the NFL which will follow the appeal (the “TB12” brand has undoubtedly been damaged by this unfair witch hunt).

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  10. Amazing that some fans don’t understand that emotion without facts are not a winning formula. Mr. Kraft stood up and acted like a man today and not a fan. Good for him to accept and move on…hopefully to his next championship. For fans to think they know better is so absurd, it’s laughable.

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    1. But why not just appeal the penalties? He had the right to do that, even if he couldn’t sue them in court, which is pretty much a given. But, at least he would have gotten an appeal on the public record, even though the league would have shot it down. Why capitulate now, especially since Brady has yet to have his day in court? I think the sense that most fans, like me, have is that with the Patriots’ counter-attacks over the last week or so, the pendulum was beginning to slightly swing back towards the middle, at least a little bit. Media and public opinion were against them, for sure, but at least some media members were starting to question the NFL and the Wells report. They probably would not have done that had the Pats not fired back so aggressively. To just throw up your hands now and say “never mind” seems crazy and I think it caught us all off guard.

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      1. Appeal to whom? I was led to believe there was no appeal process for teams (as opposed to players). Perhaps someone could shed some light on this. I understand people’s frustration, but I’d like to know what the options were for Kraft.

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          1. That’s not what I’ve read. I believe Florio and some others have said in the past week that the Pats could appeal the team penalties. They would have lost, for sure, but they could have appealed. Jones and Snyder appealed their penalties for violating the salary cap during the uncapped year. They lost, of course. What the Pats and other NFL teams cannot do is sue the league because of the revised (thanks to Al Davis) bylaws, etc.

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          2. There was a discussion about this on several shows today. There is no appeal of team penalties (nor is there a mechanism to sue the league according to team by-laws). There is supposedly an unofficial appeal to the commish but no real formal appeal process.

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          3. OK, I kept hearing all week that Kraft had “x amount of days left” to file an appeal of the team penalties, but perhaps that was a reference to the unofficial process you describe above.

            It’s seems apparent to me now, after reading a bit more about this, that the other owners pushed Kraft into a corner and threatened him with a “conduct detrimental to the league” review of his family’s ownership of the Pats if he didn’t back down. I also believe that the penalties are so severe because the league is punishing the Pats in part for their outspokenness over this issue since January, including the BB “Mona Lisa Vito” press conference, Kraft’s Super Bowl presser upon arrival in Arizona, complete with apology request, and his initial statement ripping the biased Wells report when it was first released. If threatened with having my franchise taken away by the NFL mafia under the “conduct detrimental…” clause, maybe I would have done same thing as Kraft had I been put into a similar situation.

            What’s abundantly clear, however, is that as long as the Pats keep winning and BB continues to grunt and grumble his way through press conferences, the unfair targeting by the league and the biased media coverage of the team will continue unabated, and all we fans can do is sit back, fasten our seatbelts and hope that the next bump in the road doesn’t wreck the car entirely.

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          4. As much as I loathe Kraft’s decision I think the Real Politick of the situation is as you describe. Kraft read the room, saw no real allies (once Steven Jones came out in support of Goodell) and he capitulated. As a fan I am incredibly disappointed. It has changed the way I look at the team. My daughter once asked me if I get upset when they lose. I told her “not really…its just a game and there will be another one next week”. Now I will be watching that game in my comfy Mickey Mouse sweatshirt rather than one of my 4 Superbowl ones. It lilt is off the rose for me. If there is a dance competition or a gymnastics meet or a play taking place on Sunday’s with my kids in them I will no longer bitch at my wife about scheduling. I just don’t care any more. The Patriots and the rest of the NFL will go from must see appointment TV to “hey what’s on… a game…okay I will watch it…”

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          5. I gotta be honest. I was always a much bigger college football fan than an NFL fan. I was always a Pats fan, of course, but never a huge NFL fan in general. I liked the fact (back in the day) that so many different styles of offenses were used at the collegiate level, from Oklahoma’s wishbone to Nebraska’s option attack to Miami’s and UCLA’s pro-style passing attacks, all the way up to FSU’s version of the West Coast offense in the early 90s with Charlie Ward at QB. In the NFL, as the rules kept changing to open up the passing game, every team pretty much began to play the same style, and I found it boring. What kept me watching was having an NFL team in my home town, period. In fact, I told several friends and family back in the early 90s that if the Pats left for St. Louis, or Memphis, or wherever, that I’d pretty much be done with NFL. Even when Finneran forced Kraft to flirt with Hartford back in 1997-98, I said I’d watch less and possibly drop the NFL altogether, since Hartford really isn’t New England…not really. After this latest railroading by the jealous ankle-biters in the NFL, and Kraft’s capitulation to them (even if he really had no choice legally), I’m about through. I’ll still watch, probably, but I can’t bring myself to invest the same level of time and energy; not after this league-sanctioned bag job. Too bad the college game in recent years has also deteriorated into one ridiculously high-scoring affair after another. There are maybe 10 programs left in the country that can actually play any defense. It seems that there are very few places where real football can be found anymore.

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          6. The Patriots understood they had no avenue for appeal and would technically be violating the “conduct deferential” clause, and they still came out with that scathing rebuttal? If true, they really miscalculated this whole thing.
            And if the NFL would strip Kraft of the franchise when criminals like Haslam and Irsay are still in the league’s good graces, then things are more f’ed up than I ever imagined. Consumer fraud and drug trafficking are ok, but questioning the league’s shoddy investigation and enforcement procedures is a mortal sin? Come to think of it, that is Roger Goodell’s NFL in a nutshell. Maybe his former biggest booster, Bob Kraft, finally realizes this.

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  11. I feel such disappointment with Bob Kraft. I wonder how Tom Brady feels and thinks about the complete double speak from Kraft

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  12. I still think one of the issues being overlooked here is that the Patriots’ website response to the Wells report is, itself, pretty solidly “conduct detrimental to the league”, as it points out how shoddy a job the league did in all of this. I don’t think this is quid pro quo for Brady being let off the hook — it’s quid pro quo for “we can punish you even further now, would you like that?” being taken off the table. Something it is perfectly within the rights and powers of the NFL to do.

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    1. You have a point, and I wouldn’t put it past the anti-Pats cartel in the league office to threaten Kraft the way you just stated. It just totally sucks because Goodell basically allowed the Colts (and probably the Ravens), and some rogue league employees to lynch the Pats over what amounts to a minor violation (likely due to physics) of a rule that NO ONE CARES ABOUT. If the league cared about this rule, the Panthers and Vikings would have been punished last season and Aaron Rodgers, at the very least, would have received a warning letter after that radio interview he gave about “overinflating” the balls. And, you know, no one ever cared about filming signals prior to 2007 either. So basically, the Pats have been smeared forever as cheaters, and punished more harshly than any team in league history on two different occasions, for violating two obscure rules that no one ever cared about before. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so bitter about all this. The Chargers getting caught with stickum on their towels was worse than this, and they walked away with a $20K fine and virtually no media attention.
      It’s just completely brutal, and I blame the media for most of it. Their hatred for BB drove the Spygate lynch mob mentality 8 years ago, and they doubled down on it during this whole ridiculous affair, once again driving the NFL to overpunish the Pats because public opinion had been whipped up to a frenzy. The media sucks.

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  13. You know, now I feel a little foolish for standing up for the Patriots through the years. I always thought Spygate was a farce, and I am certain that Deflategate is one, but for all the time I spent defending the Patriots, I believed that it was an honorable football club. I feel bad for the players and coaches ( especially Tom Brady and Bill Belichick ), but I feel worse for myself. As selfish as that sounds, it is true. It’s been ruined, 40 plus years of fandom up in smoke.

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    1. I dunno if I’d go this far. Spygate was without a doubt a farce I’d like to think Deflategate is as well but who knows until Brady speaks out. I dunno, I’m not as angry as most here. What did you hope they accomplish? They’re NOT swaying public opinion, and it’s obvious the owners are standing with Goodell. It’s a large headache for Kraft imo if he goes through with this.

      The most they could’ve gotten was their 1st rounder back. f you wish to filter criticism towards that, than absolutely understandable, but again, it just seemed like too big of a fight for Kraft

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      1. I appreciate your view, and I wish I could look at it through that lens, but I can’t. It comes down to money and entertainment and the NFL is creeping into WWF territory.

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          1. Goodell has absolutely nothing to do with the success of the sport. All he does is commit embarrassment after embarrassment. If you put anyone else in his place, is the NFL any worse? If anything they’d be better. You wouldn’t have him conspiring with the Ravens to cover up domestic violence. You would haven’t him spending millions upon millions of dollars to completely defame the league’s model franchise and model player. And so on.

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          2. This is true. But would the SB have done such big numbers had it not been for the insanity around Brady those few weeks? Goodell doesn’t as much care about how his players are viewed, seemingly, he only cares about how HE and the LEAGUE are viewed, when it comes down to it.

            I have no doubt the NFL would be America’s #1 sport without him, but he seems to always be at the center of controversy. No pub is bad pub seems to be his motto. NOT saying he is good at his job, and I am absolutely NOT saying I like him or want him as commissioner, but the guy is an idiot savant of sorts. The NFL makes money despite him and strangely, with the controversy he brews, I think it makes money because of him as well.

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  14. Please define laughingstock and remember that Kraft employs the living legend that is BY FAR the best coach of the Salary Cap era.

    The Raiders haven’t won jack since 2002 and Davis died in October of 2011.

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    1. Laughingstock in the sense that no matter what they do, no one will believe them. Public opinion will not be swayed, people will hate and everyone will continue rolling their eyes at the Patriots just like they did the Raiders. Kraft just wanted to end it.

      I think what Brady has to say is more important in the long run. I very much hope he comes out with a strong appeal, if not, then I will be disappointed.

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      1. This unfortunately does not end it. I work with insufferable fans of other teams who I no longer speak to unless it is business related because of the constant cheater talk. And I defend the Patriots till the end and a man with more money then any of us combined could ever dream of gives up the fight?? I am bitterly disappointed.

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        1. Understandably so. I just suggest this: To knee jerk react, it makes us no better than these fans who spew “CHEATRIOTZZZ” like imbeciles. Maybe it’s best to take a step back and be patient to see what unfolds. Maybe Kraft did this because he felt it was truly his best option.

          And to you and anyone else: Eff public opinion. Going about life not caring about what others think about your sports team is the way to be. Being called a cheater by someone who sits on his ass sucking in one liners from ESPN all day isn’t exactly what I’d call an opinion worth putting much of your own thoughts into.

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  15. It’s a shame that Kraft was okay with disrespecting the fanbase and the franchise with his actions today. The fandom is outraged over this matter and for him to just roll over and take it like he has is unacceptable. Especially after his previous comments and actions where he was fighting against it. The amount of criticism that Kraft gets from the media in this town I’ve always found absurd, especially since he’s the man who saved football in New England. But if there is one thing that Kraft deserves to get criticized big time for is that he doesn’t stand up and defend his team or those working below them like he should. Despite what the media elite like Felger proclaim, just sitting there and taking it doesn’t do any good. It just makes it worse because people think you are guilty if you do so. What good did sitting there and taking it do with respect to Spygate? All they did was film from the wrong location. They got declared cheaters, had numerous lies out there about them on what Spygate truly was and on past events that had no truth behind them. And they just sat there and took it. And now its going to happen again? Are you kidding me?

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  16. Well said! Thank you great letter I knew when this whole mess came out (Wells Report) that ultimately Kraft would agree to fall on his sword *smdh

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  17. Looking at it from a cold and rational perspective, Kraft made the right decision for the long term interests of himself and his family. The hatred and demonization of the Patriots is fueled by Belichick, Brady, and the team’s success. Belichick is 63 and Brady will be 38 when the season starts. Once they are gone, the Patriots will likely tread water playing .500 football like most franchises, at that point people won’t care enough to hate the Patriots. It will probably be a relief for Kraft when he arrives at that moment.

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    1. People may not care enough to hate the Pats after BB and Brady are gone, that is true. But will the “cheaters” and “tainted Super Bowls” labels be removed once the hate is gone? It’s a terrible cross to bear as a fan, especially given how crappy the team was for most of its existence before BB and #12 came along. The “cheaters” b.s. and the media hysteria make it nearly impossible to enjoy this historic run of success. And this thing was such a friggin’ joke from the outset. Jesus Christ. The Vikings and Panthers were caught on camera warming footballs on the sidelines, and all they got was a warning letter. The Patriots just had their first post-Spygate Super Bowl stained and their next NFL draft class severely handicapped over this witch hunt. Kraft should have appealed, or at least demanded the #1 pick be returned while agreeing to the $1M fine and losing the 4th rounder. This whole thing is sickening.

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      1. Sickening is the perfect word for it. To me it goes beyond a champion team being called cheaters. The Patriots have had the second best run in the nearly 100 year history of the NFL. Only the 49ers from 1981-1998 have been better. That this incredible acomplishment is going to be tarnished in most people’s minds, largely because of Goodell’s idiocy is as sickening as it gets. The people I feel the worst for are not Pats fans, but the players and coaches who have sacrificed so much.

        As for me, I am done with the NFL. I came close in the spring of 2008 during the SpyGate fallout, but this is the last straw. Football is supposed to be fun, and it has not been fun with the constant moral panics and character assassinations of Goodell’s reign of terror. Perhaps some other people will do the same as me, but it won’t make any difference. America is too addicted to football to punish the scumbags who run the game.

        Like

  18. So, over the years Robert Kraft allows this stumblebum to dock his team two #1s and a #4 while forever besmirching both the franchise’s and Tom Brady’s reputations because Goodell carried he and the other owner’s water when it came to (among other things) criminally suppressing information that affected his workforce’s long term health? Yup, that actually makes total sense.

    I know our culture worships money, but I don’t understand the glorification of these owners, or the totality of blame fans put at Goodell’s feet, when it comes to his incomperruption. He ultimately takes his marching orders from these billionaires, who worship money over EVERYTHING. I liken this to the 2000 election, with Kraft in the Al Gore role: He was going to push back as much as he could without totally challenging the system, because he’s ultimately of — and for — said system. I wish he was Al Davis rather than Al Gore, too, but I wish he gave a spit about domestic violence more.

    Like

  19. I don’t know, after witnessing Kraft giving his statement, and hearing Matt Chatham opine on it, I just get uneasy at a rush to judgment. Isn’t that what so many loathe about the “Cheaterz!” crowd?

    Perhaps it is indeed a matter of Kraft having no moral fiber or whatever invective angry fans want to hurl his way, or perhaps there’s more to this story than anyone knows, or will ever know.

    I’m not advocating for any particular theory, just wondering what’s really going on here.

    Like

    1. Him fighting or not fighting would have never mitigated the “cheating” moniker.

      Problem is that now people can point to, and this will go on for a decade+, “even your owner admits you cheat.”

      I am reserving judgement until we see.. something.. and people have said maybe it’ll take 12-24 months.

      The sad thing is that it’s business as usual and, if anything, Kraft and the team look weaker. How is this going to change?

      It’s even worse that, for some reason, not just fans but owners and league people hate us. And, for no reason known to us other than winning, they won.

      They produce some garbage, sham report but an idiot shill. This wasn’t even a difference of opinion but what a joke the report is.. and all for nothing.

      Many of us spent hours reading the reports and the lengthy analysis of it all, for.. nothing..

      Like

      1. I don’t think it’s for nothing.

        IMHO the most important thing here is the blow to Brady’s reputation, and that fight is certainly on.

        I just get the impression – and as I said, I don’t KNOW anything for certain – that, as Chatham said, something happened at the owners’ meeting. Perhaps Kraft learned he had no allies. Perhaps someone he trusted backstabbed him, or turned on him. I can’t judge because I don’t know. I get uneasy when people say what someone SHOULD have done, when the circumstances have not been revealed.

        Like

        1. Agree on that rule. We’ll probably never know what happened there. So, yeah, it’s impossible to properly assess the situation.

          I think part of my “wtf?” comes from the perception (right or wrong) that Kraft might have been a rich owner, but he was also a fan. Many of these owners seem like they’re just absentee landlords. The sell out to this state makes me think of the situation with many other teams where they might like to be good, but really only care about the money aspect. Maybe it’s a romantic vision but while I know sports is a business, it’s something where you can be passionate, too. Making money is secondary, even if you make a lot. This is what drives me nuts on when it comes to the Sox.

          Like

        2. So the other owners don’t support Kraft? So what? That’s making Bruce’s point; he’s putting the “club” ahead of the Patriots. The other owners have are happy to see the Patriots damaged by this ordeal because they’ve been beaten by the Pats for more than a decade. Not only was this not in the fans’ interests, this was not in the competitive interests of the football team.
          And even if Brady’s suspension is eliminated, it does nothing to restore his name. Besides two people whose names we will forget in three months, Brady was the only one in the organization who was found to be involved (well, sorta, maybe?) in the hundreds of pages of the Wells report.

          Like

  20. Chad Finn’s response is a good read:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/touching_all_the_bases/2015/05/if_brady_suspension_isnt_reduced_this_is_the_truth_kraft_put.html

    Does it help the perception of the Patriots? Hell, no. Passing on the chance to appeal, to fight, will be interpreted as an admission of guilt by those weary and envious of the Patriots. Would fighting hurt the all-important brand? C’mon — it didn’t hurt the Raiders’ brand in the ’80s when Al Davis challenged the NFL on pretty much everything other than whether the ball is inflated or stuffed.

    Like

    1. Right. On the contrary, the media just winked and smiled and said, “Aw, you gotta love Al Davis. What a maverick! He has the guts to take on everybody!” The Raiders were lovable scoundrels, I guess. It was only until Al’s later years when he clearly had lost his fastball, not only as a GM but also pretty much in every facet of life, that the media began to say “enough already” with the damn lawsuits and the conspiracy theories. The Patriots, on the other hand, are just scoundrels (minus the lovability) in the eyes of many — more importantly, in the eyes of those with the most influence over public opinion, the mediots.

      Like

  21. I am pissed that Kraft backed down. As a Pats fans who has traveled to multiple road games I have taken a lot of abuse for Spygate. Putting aside that the infraction was minor, the Pats did something wrong, admitted to it, took the ridiculous punishment and moved on.

    I have read the Wells report multiple times as well as the Pats response. Did some people do stupid things? Of course. However, I have no doubt in my mind the Pats are innocent. I thought this was the time for the Pats to stand up for themselves. They didn’t have to go as far as Al Davis. Kraft could have gone through the motion of formally appealing, even if knowing it would be rejected. They could have continued to maintain innocence by not avoiding the topic when asked.

    Kraft can be tired of talking about it. I truly understand that. Proclaiming your teams innocence is like beating your head up against a wall at times. I should know. I have been doing it on their behalf or the last 8 years when opposing fans accused the Patriots of being cheaters.

    I expected him to consider the fans point of view and be more in touch with how the fans feel since he has told us for 20 years he was a fan. Most importantly I expected him to have more conviction.

    Like

    1. YUP….to everything you just said. What galls me more than anything, I think, is that the league brought up Spygate — for which the Patriots were already severely, overly punished — as a basis for these draconian penalties (based on zero credible evidence). So I guess we can expect the Broncos to be slammed much harder the next time they do something wrong because, you know, they were penalized — twice — for cheating on the salary cap by the previous commissioner. Not. Holding. My. Breath. The NFL has become a banana republic under this moron Goodell.

      Like

  22. Reminds me of when a Jets fan tried to sue the NFL and the Patriots for Spygate. Waste of time.

    While futile and was tossed, it established the doctrine that sports are entertainment, not competitions. One could argue that this is your legal defense against any fixing that goes on in leagues.

    Like

    1. That Spygate case went WAAAAAAAY too far into the court system before finally being rejected by a relatively high appeals court — or whatever it was. And do you know why? Because at least one judge, in taking the case somewhat seriously, said, “the NFL sure levied a whopper of a penalty against the Patriots….” — the implication being that if the penalty was that severe, the crime must have been, too, and so the competitive balance of the game(s) must have been significantly altered. That is what happens when you “lie back and think of The Shield” and let the league office run roughshod over your franchise over misdemeanor rules violations, and let the media smear the holy hell out of your team as well; you get idiot judges taking a frivolous, ludicrous lawsuit like that seriously, at least for a moment.

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    1. I forgot where I read it, but sometime during this whole crazy couple of weeks since the NFL released that ridiculous “report,” I saw a discussion thread about how Borges, Shank, squeaky and the douche, and the rest of the anti-Pats contingent in the media were buying everything the league said and were dismissing everything the Pats said in their defense. One of the commenters on the thread admonished the other commenters who were saying that those guys “hate the Patriots.” His admonition was: “They don’t hate the Patriots, they hate YOU.” They hate their audience, the fans who actually root for the local teams, and the Pats in particular, for various reasons. For Borges, it’s his personal, long-standing hatred for Belichick. For Shank, it’s his long-held grudge against Kraft over the Super Bowl breakfast back in the 90s as well as his unwillingness to accept football as baseball’s equal (or even successor) as the most popular sport in town. For F&M, it’s because the “fanboys” always challenge their b.s. contrarian schtick…..and on down the line. The guy was 100% spot on. These guys don’t hate the teams; they hate us. I have to say that the feeling is mutual.

      Like

  23. So, that goes against the Schefter report that said the NFL asked them to.

    I always wonder if Myra was around, would she have wanted her husband to fight?

    Like

        1. Calling Goodell a liar doesn’t serve their agenda as well this time. Calling him a liar last year over the Ray Rice thing did. See how nicely that works out for them?

          Like

    1. If the League Office didn’t tell Kraft to suspend the guys, then why does Troy Vincent have to approve their reinstatement?

      This is the original NFL statement post- Wells Report:

      http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000492190/article/nfl-releases-statement-on-patriots-violations

      Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th. Neither of these individuals may be reinstated without the prior approval of NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. If they are reinstated by the Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from having any role in the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs to be used in NFL games during the 2015 season. McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant for the game officials, or having any involvement with the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs or any other equipment on game day.

      Like

    2. Let’s see, who is more believable Schefter or Goodell…I’m pretty sure Schefter knows more about what’s going on within the league then Goodell…close call but I’ll go with Schefter.

      Like

    1. and gostkowksi wasn’t finedsuspended for refusing to give up his phone either. regardless of whether or not he was focus of the investigation he should have been suspended according to goodell right?

      Like

      1. C’mon….you really expect Goodell to be consistent with anything he does? It’s almost as if you expect a guy making $44M per year to be held accountable for his actions and inconsistencies!

        Like

        1. When I look up the word veracity in the dictionary, I see a picture of Roger Goodell!

          It’s not like.. I don’t know.. a Federal Judge found him to be a liar, or something.

          I’ll bring it back to an original point.. I love how people who accuse the NFL of lying and believing nothing they or Goodell say to basically trusting everything they say..

          Like

    1. Windhorst is out of touch with reality. Look at the reaction on Twitter, FANS, i.e. real people, loved Riley Curry. The ONLY people that complained about Riley were Mediots.

      Like

  24. Was I hearing things or did a Felger & Mazz caller refer to Goodell as a “red headed jew boy”?

    Like

  25. I am so fed up with Felger and his sidekick. Two days of yelling at Pats fans for having an emotional reaction to this. Really fucktards?!

    Like

    1. It’s bordering on where I am honestly surprised someone has not said something.

      Being critical is one thing.

      Insulting bordering on slander is another.

      Like

    2. I for one can’t understand how these two top the ratings. I listen to them maybe during commercial breaks but nothing more. I’m amazed that people like to be talked down to, insulted and enjoy having the success of their favorite home town teams denigrated under the false pretense of being objective. It’s not even entertaining. Is there that many non Boston sports fans in this area propping up their ratings? I just don’t get it.

      Like

  26. So, NFL’s twitter account has a penchant for trolling.

    I get that Twitter is rife with it. It’s a bit unprofessional when it comes from an organization, no? saved here for posterity

    https://twitter.com/nfl/status/601252348812468224

    Like, really?

    Nothing going on there? You’re openly trolling a member team and nobody has a problem? Why didn’t they troll the Dolphins over the Incognito stuff? Falcons over the crowd noise? Browns over the texting?

    Seriously, Robert Kraft, what the f-ck?

    Like

        1. Not professional at all; but then again, we’re talking about a league office full of petty, backstabbing liars….the ultimate takeaway from this entire sordid affair is that is now an established fact. The NFL offices are full of petty, backstabbing liars, and the head guy himself may be the biggest liar of them all. So, to expect any kind of professionalism at all from them at this point is an expectation that likely will never be met, ever.

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    1. So Bob Kraft,he goes back to being called Bob because refering to him as Mr., is reserved for men who still have a set on them.
      So Bob kneels before Zod “Goddell” and says that he’ll stop all the “rhetoric” to only have the official NFL twitter account troll the Patriots with a PSI acronym a few days later. This is why Patriot fans are so upset and we wanted him to continue to fight. The NFL is still rubbing it in our faces. Thanks Bob!

      Like

  27. Yes, and, having been around journalists my entire adult life (and even before that — family members), I can tell you with 100% certainty that most of them simply think they’re better than “average” people out there. They take themselves way, way, way too seriously. Of course, the low-level “celebrity” that comes with having a byline and then some TV exposure would tend to drive up anyone’s ego, I imagine.

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  28. I would like to know what Felger and Maz think the NFL held back from the “independent” Wells report? They suggested that because of some interview there was some bombshell that was held back that got Kraft to cave and will force Brady to drop his appeal. That was just moronic radio. I just do not understand why those two are so convinced the Patriots did something nefarious.

    Like

  29. From reading the whole coverage from outside New England, it strikes me how even with this nonsense, I am relieved I am a Patriots fan and not a fan of a team like the Colts. A thought experiment: If within an hour after the losses to the Ravens or the Broncos in the previous AFC title games, Mike Reiss broke a story about how either team used footballs that were deflated below 12.5 PSI, what would be the reaction in the Boston and national media? We do know when Belichick brought up the Welker dive at Talib’s knee after the 2013 AFCCG he was branded a “sore loser” and “whiner” and mocked by F+M, Borges, Shank, and on the many empty heads on ESPN. If Reiss broke a ball deflation story, would Mike Wilbon be screaming the next day about how the Ravens or Broncos need to “get out” of the Super Bowl? Would anyone in the Boston media act like Bob Kravitz or Gregg Doyle? I don’t even think Jerry Thornton would. Reiss would be endlessly mocked until he came out and said that the deflation story was silly and he should have been more careful about what he reports even if the NFL was looking into something about Flacco or Manning’s balls.

    But here’s the thing, Belichick would never make excuses like that. Unlike Grigson (or John Harbaugh), he would never orchestrate a circus to deflect from a humiliating blow out in a title game. He did defend Talib on that Welker questionable hit but he was backing up a star player who actually was knocked out of the game and that did effect the result. Now he might be extra surly after losing that game and get chastised by Seth Davis, Shannon Sharpe, and other clowns for how he acts when CBS sticks a microphone in his face 2 seconds after the game is over, but at least he is a man and accepts responsibility for his losses. He would never think of sticking an air pressure gauge in an intercepted football in a 45-7 loss and go to a media friend with it.

    The Colts are a disgrace as are their cheerleaders in the media. I can defend whatever it is the Patriots are being charged with. Even if they did it (and they didn’t), that is better than trying to justify why my team lost 45-7 and has given up 200+ points in the last four games against their biggest rival. It’s beyond embarrassing that they came up with PSI.

    And as far as the hypocritical media, it will never go away. It will only get worse. This story fit the soap opera narrative that drives NFL coverage and is celebrated by the league office. And the soap opera matters more than anything else. It is why the NFL is the only thing on television getting higher ratings than 20 years ago. The question for me is, do I want to keep supporting this? Do I want to give these people my time? As much as I loved football in the past (what was wrong with Paul Tagliabue again?) and as much I love the Brady-Belichick Patriots, they play in a dirty and corrupt league run by dirty, small, whiny, stupid, and corrupt people. Despite all the power that Kraft is supposed to have (and where did that get him?), he can’t do anything about it. I want to think I am done with the NFL. No game will ever be better than the last one I watched, but it won’t be easy.

    Like

    1. 100% right. BB does not make excuses. Even after the disgraceful officiating bag job that was the 2006 AFC title game at Indy, BB didn’t make excuses. Had the roles been reversed and the league had to send a letter of apology to the Colts for inventing a “face-guarding” call that cost the team key points in a 4-point loss, I’m sure we’d still be hearing about it to this day. BB just moved on. He knew that, in the end, his team could have made more plays that day, on both sides of the ball, and they didn’t. The refs blew not just the face-guarding call, but two other huge calls that went against the Pats that day, but BB never made excuses about those calls either. He just moved on to 2007 and put together probably the best team to not win a championship in NFL history. The Colts have a pathetic, crybaby-filled organization led by a sleazy owner who most fan bases would be ashamed to have representing their team in front of the other owners.

      Like

        1. Yes, they did. Not sure it was an “apology” so much as it was an admission that they made the wrong call, since there was no longer any such rule against “face-guarding” in the rule book at the time. Lotta good that did the Pats since the Colts were already on their way to Miami for the Super Bowl by the time the letter was received in Foxboro. Like I said, that was just one of three HUGE missed/bad calls in that game: the bogus offensive P.I. call against Troy Brown which choked off yet another Pats’ scoring drive in the 2nd quarter (with the score already 21-3 and the knockout blow about to be applied) was one; and, with the score 31-31 in the 4th and the Pats facing a 3rd and goal, the refs ignored Reche Caldwell being completely mugged by an Indy DB in the back of the end zone–obvious P.I. call that should have resulted in a 1st and goal at the 1. Instead, the Pats had to kick a FG. If they score a TD there, it’s still a 38-38 game after the Colts score a few minutes later, and the Pats have the ball last, just needing a FG to win. Brown, to this day, says that P.I. flag against him was the worst call he ever suffered as a player. Replays confirm it…total b.s.(Even some Colts’ players admitted later on that they “caught a break” on that one.) It was, in fact, the single biggest play of that game, because it wiped out a first down completion to Ben Watson at the Colts’ 20-yard line; the Pats were basically 20 yards away from delivering what could have been the fatal blow. Instead, they moved back 15 yards, took another illegal procedure penalty a couple of plays later, and ended up punting the ball away. Indy then drove down for a pre-halftime FG to make it 21-6, and the momentum had officially changed.

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          1. Ugh. Remembered the face guarding but forgot everything else. Sickens me that the Colts got that championship but Manning having one and beating the Pats helped the soap opera Goodell wants.

            Like

          2. Well, one thing to remember about Manning “leading” the Colts to that 2006 championship: his post-season stat line still sucked (3 TD passes, 7 INTs). That second half against an injury-depleted, flu-ridden Pats’ defense was the only quality football he played during that entire run. He was given the Super Bowl MVP by his water-carriers in the media over at least 2 if not 3 more-deserving members of the team. As far as I’m concerned, if we’re going to affix asterisks to Super Bowls, that one deserves a big fatty.

            Like

        2. I had put that game completely out of my mind so I had to look it up and found this hilarious paragraph.

          http://www.patspulpit.com/2007/1/27/131636/578

          From Reiss:

          “There is no such thing as face-guarding,” Greg Aiello, the NFL’s vice president of communications e-mailed yesterday. “There must be contact to have a foul.”While referee Bill Carollo did not mention face-guarding in his on-field announcement, there can be no question that was the call. Replays showed Hobbs jumped straight up, never touched Reggie Wayne, and the ball drilled him in the back.

          “Face-guarding,” said CBS color “analyst” and well-documented Patriots-hater Phil Simms. “Easy call.”

          Like

          1. Found this somewhere…thought I’d post it. They apparently didn’t apologize to the team but they did send a letter to Hobbs…..in the offseason!

            “Ellis Hobbs has insisted since the AFC title game loss to the Colts that he was improperly flagged for pass interference in the end zone. The league not only agrees with him, it let him know it. Hobbs received a letter during the offseason apologizing for the blown call, which led to the touchdown that tied the game at 21 in the third quarter.
            ‘It’s a little late for that now,’ Hobbs said with a sigh.”

            Like

    2. Great post, but Belichick’s approach to the media has been a net loss. The media is incredibly powerful, because most people can’t think for themselves, and media fills that void. The contempt and indifference Belichick has shown the media has been a big factor in all this nonsense. I think back to the 2007 draft, and the disdain he showed to a dumb John Tomase question about the Randy Moss trade. Less than one year later, Tomase penned one of the most vicious and damaging articles in recent sports history. Belichick’s approach has led to great success on the field, but the media has gotten back at him in a major way by discrediting his accomplishments to most of the country.

      The reason the Colts are immune from criticism is they were led for a long time by media savvy people like Polian, Dungy, and Manning. They recognized that sucking up to and influencing media coverage is an important part of their job. Perhaps Belichick’s single minded approach to football has been a big part of his success, but it has come at a high price.

      Like

      1. Sadly, your post is spot-on. The media drove the whole “Spygate” silliness due to their BB hatred, and they’ve been driving the bus (more like chauffeuring the limousine) for the NFL’s case on this ridiculous story because BB’s team is involved, even though he’s now been “exonerated” by the league’s own biased hatchet job of a “report.” Say what you will about Bobby Knight (and I know there’s plenty bad to say about him), but when he referred to journalism as “1 or 2 steps above prostitution,” he was on to something.

        Like

      2. The media is incredibly powerful, because most people can’t think for themselves, and media fills that void.

        Even with the increasing void in those who consume traditional media and those who don’t, usually drawn on the demarc line of about age 35, traditional media is still incredibly powerful.

        I have a friend who is an aide to someone who was first a state senator, later serving in the US House. I once asked why they had basically ever single paper delivered to their residence. It all came down to being on-top of “what people talk about”. Now, that’s politics, but the same applies in sports. Despite CHB’s irrelevance and disconnect from the “Boston Sports Fan” and his employer’s even worse disconnect from reality, it still has pull in the market. How much longer this lasts? I don’t know. I have to imagine it’s one or two decades more.

        I guess the nice thing is that regardless of what ESPN says or some columnist writes, BB can still function as the best HC. I really wonder how much this will affect him across the league, though. What if this stuff spills onto questionable calls on the field?

        Like

        1. “What if this stuff spills onto questionable calls on the field?”

          I’ve thought the exact same thing. If the top league executives are corrupt, hostile, and biased towards the Patriots, why couldn’t some or all officials be as well? It’s not even a small leap. And as the events of this month prove, most of the country will have no problem with the Patriots getting screwed, they will actually approve of it. Any concern over the integrity of the game will be out the window if its bad for the Patriots.

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          1. That’s the real danger now by Kraft issuing the standdown order.

            I really think you’ll start to see calls go against them.

            The nation will rejoice anytime a 50/50 call goes against the team. The NFL will fear no “threat” if something is done.

            Thorton issued the .. “doing this is like negotiating with terrorists..” maybe a bit strong but it’s the only way for me to put it into words.

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          2. Oh this will definitely impact how officials call Patriots games next year. How can it not? Walt Anderson comes out terribly in all this. Officials will have even more to do on game day, gauging and recording the PSI of every football before the game and likely at halftime. Who will they blame for this? The Colts who created this disaster or the team they all think were deflating footballs even if they didn’t? Of course they are going to blame the Patriots. I fully expect many calls against us on ticky-tack contact with receivers and for Gronk to get mauled in the endzone worse than he did in Carolina and for us to never see a flag. Probably good BB cut Browner. Good luck Tom in ever expecting a roughing call again. Dirty and corrupt league and the Patriots have a 0% of winning the Super Bowl next year.

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    3. Jerry Thornton definitely would and that’s why people love him. He is an extremist. Defend the wall, Jerry!

      Like

  30. In Washington DC, Tony Korneiser does make fun of Caps, Wizards, and Nationals fans (not R-dskins since Dan Snyder owns the station he is on) for being homers but nothing like Boston. No one else in the DC media does that.

    Like

  31. He accomplished what he really wants…. preserving his CASH FLOW… much more important than the reputation of his franchise and his star player and coach. $

    Like

    1. no, just stop buying things kraft gets a cut of.. ANYTHING at gillette. jerseys, shirts, hats at walmart, ect. Got sunday ticket? Well then lose sunday ticket, I know one guy who cancelled it and the operator made a comment that he’s taken MANY calls cancelling from N.E, thats how you hurt him. Not watching is pointless unless you have a neilsen box.

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  32. It has crossed my mind a few times, does Kraft hold back the Patriots a little to make sure other teams have a chance to win. I think he cares more about $ than the Patriots winning every year. I am second guessing the loss of Revis, Browner… others. Did he do it at the expense of the Patriots… for the benefit of the league?

    Like

  33. Did anyone catch this teaser headline on CSNNE today? Borges: “I’m told BB never believed Brady.” OK, call me a terrible cynic, but how in the hell can Borges have ANY sources left inside the Pats’ organization at this point? It’s been 15 years since his all of his “friendlies” worked there, and you sure as hell know that no one, absolutely no one in BB’s inner circle would ever talk to that biased, hate-filled douche, let alone give him damaging information like that and attribute it to Borges’ mortal enemy (in his mind), the head coach. I’m calling b.s. on that one. Remember, this is the same guy who had to go up to a Bed & Breakfast in Maine to find an ex-Raiders coach (and now manager of said Bed & Breakfast) willing to dump all over the Randy Moss trade back in the spring of 2007, just to get in his requisite trolling of Pats fans.

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    1. All one has to do is look at his head. It looks like a used colostomy bag that’s been thrown against a cement wall more than once.

      Like

    2. Ron Borges reporting on the Patriots is like the NFL talking about the dangers of CTE. Phillip Morris (or Exponent) talking about how healthy tobacco products are.

      Lets have an anlogy contest!

      Like

  34. Kraft deserves every shred of criticism he’s receiving. Like BA, I feel he left me high and dry after seven years of defending the Patriots Coach, their QB and all the winning they’ve done. I’m no longer living in MA but for cryin’ out loud, can’t I just root for a team without constantly being put on the “your team cheats” defensive?
    Nationally, people can’t wait to destroy the validity of the Patriots’ four championships and Tom Brady’s legacy, in particular.

    Like

    1. This from the guy whose teams were humiliated in four Super Bowls. At least Shula, that other octogenarian BB critic, won a couple before going his final 23 seasons without winning another.

      Like

  35. More today from Sally Jenkins:

    “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell predetermined guilt in DeflateGate; that’s clear now. He has smeared Tom Brady and the New England Patriots without proper evidence or a competent investigation, and turned an unimportant misdemeanor into a damaging scandal, as part of a personal power play to shore up his flagging authority. In other cases, he just looked inept. In this one, he looks devious.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/in-trying-to-restore-his-authority-goodell-undermined-his-credibility/2015/05/21/142c8d2c-ffd4-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html?postshare=2711432250632181

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    1. Sally Jenkins has been covering the business side of the NFL for a long time. She has been critical of the NFL for a while especially in the concussion cases and the domestic abuse cases. But she has also written extensively about how the Union and NFLPA interact. I think her piece is the first really damning national piece in that it is not Patriots centered. It squarely looks at Goodell’s actions and how the NFLPA through Brady will react to them. She does not pull any punches that is for sure. The larger question is will her view point start to seep into the thinking of the national media and will there now be the inevitable tide turn that should have happened 4 months ago as people realize nothing happened here. I doubt F&M will take her story seriously which is a shame as I would enjoy listening to them have her on as a guest.

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  36. You are being kind. For whatever reason the PR people at Patriots Place misread the tea leaves. They did not expect the backlash they are receiving. They counted on the fans loyalty to not question what the team does. They were wrong. The fans felt betrayed and they have not been shy letting the organization know about it. I don’t think Kraft had a long play in mind. I think he was only thinking about how to make this whole mess go away. He did not think it through.

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  37. You know what's fun now? Seeing how Irsay and Haslam will like being used as "conduct detrimental" comparison-examples in open court.— Sally Jenkins (@sallyjenx) May 15, 2015

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  38. Oh, boy.

    That’s when Boston Globe reporter Ron Borges threw out an interesting piece of information.

    “Belichick never believed his story, from what I was told,” said Borges. “Because they all know. Why do you think all those retired quarterbacks, the Troy Aikmans of the world — Troy Aikman is about as nice a guy as I’ve ever met in football — nobody’s backed [Brady]. Nobody, not a single guy. Why do you think that is? Because they hate Brady? No. Because they’re not stupid. They know nothing’s done with those balls that the quarterback doesn’t want done.”

    Ron Borges reporting on the Patriots is like.. the NFL educating people on the dangers of CTE.. should be a contest for the cleverest analogy.

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  39. As a few days have passed, some thoughts:

    We don’t know if Kraft has some master, “Art of War”-style plan here. Lets, for a second, say he doesn’t. His stand-down was a result of knowing he had no support among other owners and he doesn’t have the makeup BB does to go against the league. He wanted to but would rather revert to what many owners are as the guys who just sit back and collect paychecks.

    Fast forward to whenever Brady retires. It’s coming. It’s probably not going to be good. Unless JimmyG turns out to be what Rodgers was to Favre, the team is probably going to revert back to the norm, even with BB @ the helm. Moreover, BB himself is getting up there in age. How many more years he has, I don’t know.

    Now, even if both of those guys go, will the “hate” for the team the nation has subside? Nope. That takes decades. Hell, even look at the Cowboys. They were good 20 years ago and outside of their arrogant owner, people still HATE the Cowboys. If anything, the nation loves watching them fail, right?

    I don’t know the vibe in Dallas but if this team starts to be bad, with Kraft still at the helm, I would not be surprised if Kraft’s status in the town becomes like what FSG’s is (theirs is worsened by NESN, Liverpool ownership, etc). I don’t know or think he understands this. If we start to look like, I don’t know, the Bengals, where even though we might make the playoffs but are basically one-and-done every year, many fans will go right back to what happened Monday.

    I have no way of knowing or thinking that Kraft knows this. He did own the team before the Brady era, but it was also without what happened on Monday. How all of this plays out, I or nobody else knows, but I don’t think he linked these two together.

    Much of the scenario above is mitigated by the national popularity of the NFL. What if this is no longer the case? The NFL’s astronomical rise (we call it a hockeystick growth in the start-up world) is usually met with a similar downfall.

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    1. If Kraft still thinks he’s done the right thing and that this is all going to go away now, he need look no further than the league’s social media and official websites. On the former, the Jets fan who runs the sites is deliberately trolling the Patriots every chance he gets; on the latter, Bucky Brooks just penned an article affixing an asterisk to everything Tom Brady has ever accomplished in his career. One can only hope that Kraft called Brady before he capitulated and said, “Look Tom, I have to do this because I have no real legal options, but you do, and I want you to go HARD after those S.O.B’s and take it as far as you need to take it to clear your name, and the organization’s. I’m 100% behind you; I may even surreptitiously reimburse some of your legal fees at some point down the road.” We can only hope…..

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  40. So if I am Bob Kraft…the deal I would have made with the other 31 owners (not Goodell) is that I will stand down in exchange for a new 3 person appeal committee made up of principle owners. The committee would be 1 person selected by the owner who is appealing Goodells ruling, 1 owner selected by the committees office and 1 randomly drawn owner. The committee would only handle appeals by teams looking for relief from Commissioner punishments that include suspensions and draft picks (fines would not be appealable as that is only money).

    I think what deflate gate has done is illustrate to the owners that they need a better way to protect their assets from the powers of the commissioner. This is stopped being about punishment and crossed into asset deflation (pun intended) a long time ago. I think it is unconscionable that Bob Kraft has no avenue of appeal that will give him restitution on his franchise’s lost reputation and resulting value as an asset. The players union has recourse but the owners don’t. This seems on the face of it absurd to me. I am assuming the idea of a review board was never instituted because none of the owners ever believed a commissioner would not act in their best interests. Under Goodell it has happened 4 times (The Patriots – Spygate, the Saints- Bounty gate, the Ravens/Vikings – Ray Rice/ AP and now the Pats again – Deflategate)

    As causal fans we wonder how 1 PSI is a more extreme penalty than openly tampering with another teams contracted player. We wonder how the organization which was exonerated by the Wells report still lost draft picks, while the refs were not disciplined and the Colts who’s balls also measured under 12.5psi received no punishment. We wonder how Tom Brady…he of no previous infraction received a 4 game suspension when Ndamukong Suh received only 1 game for deliberately stepping on a players hurt leg which was his 4th unnecessary roughness fine/suspension from the commissioners office. There needs to be checks and balances. I suggest the NFL needs to implement them now…as it is they are alienating the NE fan base. I am sure they do not care…but even Rome eventually fell.

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