Please allow me to indulge myself, and put on my columnist hat for a moment, to give you my developing takes on the Patriots “dysfunction”. Hope you enjoy, and if you disagree, or just think it’s crap…let’s hear it. This is Part 1, of I think 2 parts. Not sure yet.
Part 1: The Big 3
Last month, Seth Wickersham of ESPN published a piece about the Patriots; more specifically about the dynasty perhaps coming to an end, citing mainly a rift between the three principals of the organization: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft.
Predictably, Patriots Yahoo Nation wrote this off as nothing more than an ESPN hit piece. It was a bunch of unsubstantiated garbage, put together with the sole purpose of “taking down the Patriots”. Their leader, Jerry Thornton:
Guess what yahoos… You. Were. All. Wrong.
None other than Bob Kraft has told you so. For some reason, the owner keeps stirring the pot, TWICE confirming the tension between the three main men of the franchise.
First, on the day of the AFC Championship, while speaking with NFL Network, when asked about his relationship with Tom and Bill:
“I have a saying: Jealousy and envy are incurable diseases. I’ve been around enough, if you run any kind of company — any kind of business — the more successful you are, you have strong personalities, there’s always a certain amount of tension. That just goes with the agenda.”
“There’s a lot of strong-minded people but when you have something good going, everyone’s got to get their egos checked in and try to hold it together.”
Hmmm….”tension”….everyone’s got to “get their egos checked in”…interesting. This made some news, but people around NE still seemed to write it off as nothing.
And then, in an interview with Andrea Kremer published yesterday, when asked about dysfunction with the team:
“No. You have tension,” Robert said. “I think tension, a certain amount of tension helps make great things happen.”
And when asked about who will decide when Tom Brady it’s time for Brady to leave the organization:
“I think Tom Brady’s earned the right to have that be a decision he makes when wants to make it,” Jonathan Kraft said.
“Our intent is, we have the best people in their respective positions, and we keep them here for a very long time,” Robert added.
This one got my ears perked up. Wickersham cited Bill maybe not being thrilled that the Kraft’s had determined the Brady-Garoppolo decision, taking a football decision out of his hands. And here is the owner, essentially admitting just that.
Now, I agree in one sense; the original story was certainly dramatized for effect. The “half-day meeting”, the Goodell-Belichick meeting/ make-out session, Kraft issuing a direct order to Belichick to trade Jimmy G on Brady’s order, Brady being upset about “Patriot of the week” awards. Probably all overblown at best, fabricated at worst.
But clearly, this is not a fairy tale. These guys have problems with each other, and in my “somewhat informed” opinion, I’d say it’s about : Guerrero, Who Gets the Most credit for the dynasty, and Belichick not having ALL the power he thought he did. (more on that in Part 2).
The Wickersham piece, as had been well documented, screams “Belichick sources”. Since then, there have been Pro-Brady stories that have come out, seemingly as damage control, or perhaps jockeying for pole position in the organization. Or, as I believe, for a bigger slice of the “Credit Pie” for their joint successes.
But guess what guys….THAT’S ALL FINE. It’s not a bad thing, unless is takes them down. It’s ok to admit that these three guys aren’t golfing and having dinner together every weekend. These are three driven, type-A, borderline psychos, they aren’t going to all agree. They’re going to butt heads. The very thing that has them in a pissing match, it what makes them great.
Ultimately it’s a testament to their greatness that they have made it work, despite this bubbling tension as of late. The statement they released in response to the Wickersham was a steaming pile of PR crap. But there was one very simple line in there that spoke volumes about how they have kept it going:
“We have a common goal”
Ultimately, that’s all that matters.
Mike (Le Cap)
If you found this interesting, Please look out for Part 2 which will focus on the Future, coming soon. If not, whatever, thanks for the click.