Friday, June 21, 2013

Early Football Season For Shank

Never let an opportunity to bash the Krafts go to waste.
Traditionally, the Patriots take the field to the tune of “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. It’s part of all-important game presentation.

Might be time to switch to Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.’’

The Patriots are a football team. They are all about winning football games. Nothing more. The deadly serious Aaron Hernandez situation is the latest reminder of this hard fact.

Bob and Jonathan Kraft need to stop trying to make us think the Patriots are different from all those bad boys in the NFL. You know, all those guys who only care about winning.
Generally speaking, that's what separates successful sports franchises from the others. It looks to me that the Patriots have been better at this sort of thing than, for instance, the Cincinnati Bengals.
“If you’re going to be a part of this organization, there’s a responsibility and a sense of obligation that comes with it, because in my family’s mind, you’re carrying our last name as well,’’ Jonathan Kraft said after the Patriots signed Albert Haynesworth in 2011. “We just want [them] to understand what it means to be a Patriot and that there are certain things that are as important to us, and in some cases, more important to us, than winning.’’

No. The Patriots are no different than any other team. They’ll take a chance on trouble, which apparently is what they did when they drafted Hernandez in the fourth round in 2010.

Hernandez slipped in the draft because of maturity issues and failed drug tests while at the University of Florida. A lot of teams passed on him, but the Patriots took a shot. And so he came here and he played well. In August of 2012, the Patriots broke from standard operating procedure and rewarded Hernandez with a $37 million contract extension, which included a $12.5 million signing bonus. When Hernandez immediately gave $50,000 to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund, Bob Kraft called it, “one of the touching moments since I’ve owned the team.’’
I do recall Shank bringing up the issue of character with respect to the Patriots bringing in Haynesworth; memory and research both indicate that character was not an issue for Shank when Hernandez was drafted. To paraphrase a comment to Shank's article, when Mother Teresa lines up at tight end, consider the problem resolved.

UPDATE at 1:48 PM = Deadspin piles on.

1 comment:

Monkeesfan said...

Shank does it again. First he quotes Jonathan Kraft and then backhandedly calls him a liar the next paragraph. Next he betrays complete refusal to understand what "taking a chance" and "losing their way" even means.

The Patriots work to instill character into their players - and the ones who refuse to go along get cut. The Patriots weren't "taking a chance" on Hernandez because at the time of the draft there had been no evidence that Hernandez would remain immature upon joining the NFL - and Hernandez gave NO evidence to warrant suspicion before now (which helps expalin why Shank didn't object when Hernandez was drafted).

The Patriots have had players with character issues throughout the last fifteen seasons (the myth being pushed by the likes of Shaughnessy and Ron Borges is that the Patriots didn't have such problems in the halcyon days of Ty Law, Tedy Bruschi, etc.) and they have never stopped purging the locker room of them - the Patriots had to deal with Terry Glenn, Steve Martin (the ex-NY Jet, not the comedian, Shank), Kenyatta Jones, and Bethel Johnson during the 2001-4 period, and when their character got out of line the Patriots cut them; when Corey Dillon, Haynesworth, and Chad Johnson showed they couldn't take the discipline, they were cut.

Shank, here is what a team that is like any other looks like - it not only takes chances on character issues, it enables those character flaws - the NY Jets locker room is one big locker room cancer; the Dallas Cowboys make a point of bringing in bad character players and enabling them (Jeff Pearlman even did a whole book about the Cowboys' locker room ugliness and how ownership/coaches did nothing but enable it - BOYS WILL BE BOYS: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty).

The Patriots do exactly the opposite, Shank.