New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft became the talk of the football world last Friday. No, not for winning yet another Super Bowl. It was because his name came up as part of an investigation in Jupiter, Florida, that was targeting a human trafficking ring.
According to 15th Circuit State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Kraft was issued a summons yesterday, formally charging him with two counts of soliciting prostitution in a Florida spa.
While we wait to see what, if any, action the NFL will take against Mr. Kraft, I thought I would take a look at how the NFL hands out punishments to players, referees, team personnel and owners. And what I found has left me kind of disturbed.
To look at the NFL today it’s hard to imagine it without the diversity it displays, but there was a time when there wasn’t. In honor of Black History Month, we will look at the changes the NFL has gone through as it pertains to African American players.
African Americans have been a part of the American Football evolution as far back as the 1920s with players like Fitz Pollard and Bobby Marshall leading the way. The position of quarterback had not been a position that was openly offered to African Americans, but in 1968 that all changed with Marlin Briscoe.
The New England Patriots pulled out another win, hoisting for the 6th time the coveted Lombardi Trophy. It was not the epic game of the century, and it did not excite the masses.
But despite the typical performance of quarterback Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman, it is fascinating how the Patriots seem to resurrect the careers of players whose athletic efforts have been stagnant.
Everyone talks about the non-existent Bill Belichick coaching tree, but it may be because they are looking at it all wrong. The coaching tree actually morphed to the players on the field who came from other teams. Players who were the epitome of the walking dead until they came to life in New England. Whatever it is that Belichick is serving up in training camp, these free agency players are getting the banquet of a lifetime, in the form of Super Bowl rings.
Admit it, you just rolled your eyes when you read that. It’s OK. I sort of did that as well, when I first heard about it.
I’ve often said, until someone can beat them, the road to the Super Bowl will have to go through New England at some point. But this year seemed a little different for the Patriots. After back to back loses early in the season to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions, you have to admit, people outside of New England started to get a little excited at the thought of witnessing the Patriots’ descent back to Earth.
Then after the stunning loss to the Miami Dolphins and then the Pittsburgh Steelers, the noise was getting louder. I mean, they weren’t even favored to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the championship game. And while it could have been more for the sake of betting, they still weren’t favored and that’s not something we are used to.
Guess who’s back. Back again. The Pats are back, tell a friend.
The New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl. Quarterback Tom Brady ,and the rest of the Patriots, executed Brady’s 57th game-winning drive to get the victory over the Chiefs.
After going 3 for 3 on third down during the overtime drive, the Patriots handed the ball off to running back Rex Burkhead who ran it in for the game-winning touchdown.
The game played out the best way possible for the Patriots. It was obvious that the best way to keep Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and the great Kansas City offense under control was to simply keep them off the field. It was the same strategy that most teams have tried to use to beat the Patriots for years.
The New England Patriots have won five Super Bowl championships, so it’s bound to happen that the once supreme dynasty may eventually topple.
The loss to the Miami Dolphins Miracle last week could have been an anomaly. Apparently, it wasn’t as the Patriots lose a week later to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road 17-10.
Rumors swirled in the off-season that quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski would be retiring. Even head Coach Bill Belichick was on the rumor mill when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels reneged on the head coaching job in Indianapolis to stay in New England.
There are obvious problems ravaging the Patriots as they enter Week 16 with a 9-5 record. It starts with Mr. Brady.
Let me first start out by saying…”Alright Miami!” because that was my very first thought after watching the Dolphins pull off a miracle last play to win the game. I could hear good ole Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich’s voice in my head.
A fitting end to a very typical AFC East match-up. A game that saw nine lead changes, which now stands as the second most in an NFL game.
Don’t think many fans would have expected that outcome when it comes to a shoot-out with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
I bleed green and gold. That’s why I can say this. The Packers are imploding. They’re just not good this season. We’re more than halfway through the season and this team will not make the playoffs. And that’s not just surprising, but also very hard to admit.
Green Bay now sits at 3-4-1, (with the awful stat of being 0-4 on the road) and will have to make some major adjustments, call it run the table part deux, to have even a glimmer of hope for an extended season.
There’s no consistency to the team currently. More often than not in recent losses, Green Bay is beating itself. We saw that Sunday night. The Packers made mistakes, the New England Patriots didn’t. In stark contrast to our team, the Patriots made it glaringly obvious what a cohesive, consistent team looks like.
Should it be said that Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton was right and that breaking momentum with an early bye would slide them to a string of losses?
Maybe, but I blame the loss to Miami on the NFL’s Officiating team. The loss at home against a poor New England defense was on the Bears.
There is no point in rehashing the nightmare. Who wants to relive wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson‘s 95-yard touchdown run through the Bears special teams unit like a knife through butter? Poor Bears kicker Cody Parkey. His attempt of running after him was just sad. Or how about the blocked punt from punter Pat O’Donnell that was taken for a touchdown?
The saddest part was that, for one fleeting moment, WR Kevin White almost became the hero. He was just one-yard shy. Ah yes, good times.