Dan Shaughnessy - 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 that the Patriots are different from all those bad boys in the NFL. “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 Albert Haynesworth signing in 2011. 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 2010.
Ron Borges – So much for The Patriot Way. Bob Kraft and his New England Patriots have for the past dozen years foisted upon a gullible public the idea that they go about their football business differently than their peers. They claimed to covet character guys who play hard, smart football and otherwise represent Kraft family values. Tell that to Randy Moss, the poster boy for self-absorption. Tell that to Albert Haynesworth, who crippled a guy when he struck his car going over 100 mph and underachieved for all but 18 months of his career. Tell that to Chad Ochocinco, who may grow up one day but not too soon. Tell that to Jermaine Cunningham and, yes, Rodney Harrison and other Patriots busted for using performance-enhancing drugs. Tell that to Rob Gronkowski, who cavorts with porn stars and regularly makes a drunken spectacle of himself. Saddest of all, tell it to the Patriots’ $37.5 million tight end Aaron Hernandez… The fact of the matter is the Patriot Way never existed. They didn’t do anything different than their peers except win three Super Bowls in four years.
Well that didn’t take long. Leave it to Shank and Ctrl+C… the Statler and Waldorf of Boston sports… to never let a Patriots situation go untrolled. Or for Pete Prisco to jump right in to retire the trophy for the Worst Tweet Ever. One of the Patriots players is up to his neck tats in a murder and coverup, so that can only mean one thing: The Kraft family are frauds and hypocrites and they run their operation like it’s the Winter Hill Gang. Right. Like this is an indictment of the Patriots and the Krafts. Maybe they should keep some Precogs on the scouting staff so they’d know the day they drafted Hernandez that in three years or so he’d be going all homicidal on everyone’s ass. Maybe they should have known about the other psycho shit he’s been involved in, even though guys like Shaughnessy and Borges, who’s job it is to cover the team, didn’t know either. Maybe it’s the team’s responsibility to keep players under 24 hour surveillance to make sure they’re not in the habit of putting bullets in their friends eyes’ on the regular. They didn’t, so shame on them I guess.
But using this matter to say they don’t try to build the team around good character guys is the worst kind of demagoguery. Take Hernandez. Every report we’ve read about him over the last few years has been positive. He was supposedly maturing and putting a sketchy past behind him. He was handing over $50,000 checks to the Myra Kraft Foundation and saying how he was honored to be able to do good in the world and the birth of his daughter changed his life. Maybe toner-stained wretches like CHB and the Plagiarist knew better, but the rest of us were sure fooled.
And as far as the other names mentioned, using them as examples just makes my point for me. The whole plan with bringing in guys like Moss, Haynesworth and Ocho was that if they worked hard, behaved themselves and kept their shit together, they’d be welcome. If they didn’t, they’d be gone. And they were. Moss lasted 4 1/4 years before he went all Broken Arrow and they traded him without a second thought. Haynesworth didn’t last two months. Ocho kept his yap shut enough to last a year, but he didn’t contribute so he was gone. THAT’S what the Patriot’s Way is all about. When some guy becomes a detriment or isn’t buying into the progam, they don’t worry about his contract or how much they need him. They dump him. Move on. Next man up. They took a chance on Hernandez, just like they did those other guys. If he doesn’t come out of this immaculately (and I think that ship has already sailed), he’s gone. Done. Replaced by someone who’ll make catches and not be an accessory to murder. That’s the difference between the Pats and a lot other teams (looking at you, Cincy) and these writers know it. If these writers weren’t so butthurt about how the Patriots don’t play ball with them or obsessing over who Gronk puts his penis into, they’d be able to admit it. @JerryThornton1