Here are this morning’s top stories on this Thursday morning.
Kraft Finally Strikes Back – It has to have been a tough year for Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
After leading the charge when this whole thing started against Tom Brady, it’s been a strange road for the Patriots owner. He seemed ready to fight the league to the end, to the point where he even demanded an apology from the NFL in a memorable press conference following their arrival in Arizona leading up to New England’s Super Bowl appearance and eventual victory.
Between that press conference and the even more epic one by Bill Belichick where the head coach essentially explained The Ideal Gas Law, it was pretty amazing to see how the “us against the world” battle cry played out leading up to Brady’s appeal.
But seeing Kraft back down in what may be his most flawed decision during his ownership hit fans hard. When he decided that afternoon in San Francisco to back down and accept the punishment of fines and the loss of draft choices, it took the wind completely out of everyone’s sails and it was hard to fathom that the man who up to that point had fought so hard was essentially calling it quits.
However, it’s not a complete shock. Given that the league’s bylaws prevent owners from filing lawsuits against each other, Kraft’s options were certainly limited. So considering everything he had done for the league, including leaving his dying wife’s side to make sure football was a reality during the lockout, he was seemingly under the impression that Roger Goodell was going to lessen the penalty and cut Brady a break, possibly even lessening or eliminating the penalty to finally make this go away.
Instead, Goodell didn’t do anything close to that and as a result after handing out his own brand of justice and sticking to his guns to the point of lunacy, it’s brought us to this point where Kraft must have finally had seen enough.
The move Wednesday to file a “friend of the court” brief with the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by the Patriots and their lawyer, Daniel Goldberg, was about the only legal move he could really make, but it’s pretty unprecedented. It’s not to the level that Al Davis once did many years ago, but seeing a team file a legal document in court against the league is significant and it’s probably something that isn’t sitting well in New York.
At this point, given his current standing among owners who for the most part all hung him out to dry and offered up little support, Kraft probably doesn’t care and after forfeiting their chance to appeal this initially – not that it would probably have mattered – this will hopefully help him sleep a little better at night.
It’s a bold move, and considering the language of calling out the league for what the Patriots publicly said was “a highly manipulated and fundamentally unfair process designed and used by the Commissioner to reach and justify a predetermined outcome in violation of the CBA and this Court’s precedents”, it’s the first time they’ve really spoken out since this all started.
It’s pretty strong language, and the repercussions internally may come back to bite him among his peers. But at the end of the day it’s a business, and one that doesn’t function as well with his key player sidelined. Hopefully this move helps tip the scale a bit and gets the judges to re-hear the case, because the next step in hoping the Supreme Court hears the case seems like more of a long-shot.
It may be a little later than fans wanted, but it gave the Patriots an opportunity to finally put to use the material they’ve been posting on wellsreportcontext.com in a more effective and useful manner. Hopefully it’s enough to be the push Brady and his legal team need to beat the NFL and finally put this to bed. For now, the battle continues but at least Brady’s no longer fighting alone.
Gronk and Hogan Among SI’s 50 “Most Fit” – Rob Gronkowski has repeatedly talked about his love of working out and “grinding”, and all of that hard work got him a little recognition by SI.com, who took notice of the Patriots tight end in an entry looking at who they feel are the top 50 “most fit” athletes.
Gronkowski came in at #46, with SI.com writing, “Gronkowski’s 6′6″, 265-pound frame is near impossible to stop on the football field thanks to his intense workouts and commitment to fitness. Now Gronk is taking his passion one step further with his new family business, Gronk Fitness Products, a line of performance fitness products built for sports facilities and home gyms.” along with posting this image of Gronk working out from his Instagram page:
Also making the list was Chris Hogan, who came in at #38 and they called one of the league’s top (and fittest) wide receivers.
“Hogan may not be one of the most notable players in the NFL, but the former college lacrosse standout and New Jersey native is training to be one of the league’s top (and fittest) wide receivers. His high-intensity workouts hone balance, agility and explosiveness through exercises such as sprints and sled pushes. It’s only right that he trains at a facility called ‘Freak Strength.'”
They also included this image off his Instagram page:
Everyone knows what Gronk can do and it’s exciting to see the type of effort Hogan puts in, which hopefully will translate into a production year in New England’s offense.
Former SNL Star Talks to Jastremski – Sports Illustrated posted an interview on Monday from comedian Jim Breuer, who spoke about running into Patriots ball boy John Jastremski at a Mexican resort.
Jastremski has been silent during this whole debacle, but Breuer offered up a little insight into Jastremski’s thoughts on things. You can watch the video above to hear the interview.
SOCIAL POST OF THE DAY:
Jamie Collins getting “cleaned up”
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown