Kraft in hiding
SEC Sports Fan: You challenge to Belichick and Goodell is on target but someone else is out there hiding.
I’d like to bring some focus on a less-than-willing player in the Spygate saga that has been unable to “step up” and make a play on behalf of his team. Instead, he’s gone soft, hoping that someone else will cover for him. Alas, Bill Belichick has missed his assignment and Goodell really isn’t in position to make the play.
Robert Kraft hasn’t been heard much in New England as the Spygate saga unfolds. Kind of strange behavior for a guy who likes to remind us about his commitment to integrity. Apparently, the Patriots Way doesn’t involve stepping up for your teammates when they’ve done something which may you have implicitly sanctioned but don’t want to be associated with. Interesting that he’s allowed Belichick to twist in the wind without defending him, and without taking any direct personal responsibility for the fiasco.
There are a few “plays”, that Kraft could have made along the way… much like Asante dropping the interception or Rodney failing to knock the ball free. Yet no one is pointing to these missed plays:
KRAFT could have stopped the taping and spying before anyone outside of the team knew about it.
KRAFT could have fined and suspended Belichick when the problem first surfaced, before the NFL got involved
KRAFT could have called a press conference to deal with the cheating allegations transparently and openly. He could have explained when the taping REALLY started and tried to explain why the outcome of games wasn’t really affected. It would be difficult to deal with the skepticism, but he couldn’t be faulted to trying to make a play.
KRAFT could have brought Doug Flutie in from the bench to address the rumored statements he made to friends regarding the Patriots irregular use of QB headsets past the NFL prescribed cutoff and the information being related to the QB. He could have brought in his IT experts to explain the oft-cited difficulty with the radio frequencies employed at Foxborough stadium.
KRAFT could have shown more of the upfront leadership (that he often talks about) with NFL owners, the competition committee and Goodell when they conducted their investigations and announced the matter fully discovered and resolved.
KRAFT could have run down Arlen Specter, privately met with him, explained the extent of the spying and assured him that the Superbowls weren’t impacted. Instead, he watched as Specter pulled his end around, hoping Goodell is fast enough to run him down.
KRAFT could have taken the hit for Spygate on behalf of the entire organization. After all, he’s ultimately responsible for the behavior of the organization for which often takes credit. However, if you read closely his ONLY definitive public statement on the matter you’ll see carefully parsed language in which he “accepts” the NFL punishment but takes ZERO personal responsibility for the transgression. Even here, Bob let his lawyer make the play, rather than filling the gap himself.
Not that scouting report on Kraft should have led us to expect anything different in “game” conditions. He’s always been a player who’s had trouble stepping up. If you ever read Will McDonough’s great reporting of the nonsense during the Tuna years, you’ll see that Kraft played the press one way on the field, and yet played Parcells in a very different way behind the scenes. Bob missed the tackle on Christian Peter, but somehow his wife managed to make the play even if it was a little too far downfield. If you lived in Hartford, waiting for him to finish the play for a new stadium there after head faking the Boston/Providence community, you’re still waiting.
I know that some writers have been ostracized among the local Boston media for speaking out against the Patriots. Others who have posted critical pieces in blogs and boards have been labeled as turncoats or “trolls”. In folklore, the definition of troll can be extended to one who shuns social contact, avoids the light of day, and is well versed in the art of deception.
Patriots fans, if there is a troll in our midst, you might look first in the corner executive office at Foxborough Stadium. He may be profiting from his role, but he’s certainly hurting the Patriots and the fans of New England.
Here's some other submissions by "Johnny in Boston:"Radio Communication is Real Spygate Issue
and Spygate: More Radio Communications Issues