The New England Patriots keep on steamrolling opponents. Their latest victim was the Chicago Bears, who had won five straight prior to Sunday’s 36-7 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots. One man who’s thrilled with the play of the Patriots is owner Robert Kraft, who football fans who will be seeing and hearing a lot more of once the labor negotiations really heat up.
Kraft joined WEEI in Boston to talk about the torrid stretch of games his team has played, coach Bill Belichick, Donald Trump’s hair (read/hear for yourself), and the state of affairs with the pending labor strife. (Full transcript via: SRI)
On whether he still feels there will be a new labor agreement signed before a work stoppage ensues:
“I think, just to be precise, what I said is, I think there was a real good chance to get a deal done before the season is over. Some people interpreted that to mean the end of the calendar year. For me, it means the year that goes through this labor agreement, which is really through the end of February and free agency starts in the beginning of March. It would be criminal if we let this thing develop to the point where we had labor strife. Our ratings are so high. Knowing what I know about the marketplace, there are people who will want to continue to brand and attach themselves to us and, just to put it into perspective, if we have a labor problem, in most labor negotiations, you put your offer in and it’s high, they put their offer in and it’s low and you go back and forth and you play this charade game then at the last minute you settle, let’s say Labor Day weekend, we will collectively lose a billion dollars of revenue if we did that.
The players receive close to 60 percent of that revenue right now. In a new deal it would probably be in the 50s. They still are the major beneficiaries. We will collectively lose that and I think also aggravate the American public in a way that given this economic time, I think part of the reason that our ratings are so high, it is unbelievable what they are doing in every market, is that people want the NFL…
The fan support has been wonderful. I think there will be a tremendous backlash. It’s a real challenge to both sides. With all due respect to the many great lawyers in the country, especially the lawyers working on both sides on this deal we have to get a business-like approach on both sides of the table. The makings of a deal are there, in my opinion, and I just hope that we’re wise enough to do it.”
Whose hair needs more attention: Donald Trump or Tom Brady:
“Well, I think of my friend Elton and his song ‘Candle in the Wind’… You know what is good, and I would like for you guys to advise me, that Donald thinks we should pay him for getting so much attraction to the Patriots. I’m not sure that he thinks the team’s performance on its own, it’s his presence… He calls me on a Friday to come to a game where we are playing the Jets, now he is a New Yorker, but he has pretty much put his allegiance with the Patriots and our team. So anytime we can send a message back to New York that one of their “celebrities” is a New England Patriots fan and is willing to do along the line. We just like that message. I hope we can continue to send it.”