A Special Kraft

During the Super Bowl I will be rooting for a man all of you have rooted for at some point in the past months. Maybe I won't be rooting so much for a certain team since I have no affiliation to either, but it is the man I will rooting for. What, you may ask, makes this man so special? Without this one man there would not have been football this year. Throughout all the off-season labor disputes you rooted for this man to save the day, and he did. Through many different meetings, agendas, personalities, and the passing of his wife, this man persevered through it all to preserve the right of everyone to watch football. A right I'm sure all of you were/are in favor of. Come Sunday at 5:29 my alliances will be on the side of the New England Patriots and their owner who saved football, Mr. Robert Kraft.

Throughout this past summer no one knew if football was going to played this year, or any time in the foreseeable future. The players and the owners could not agree on anything, and people like Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen speculated there would be no football for sure this year. A lot of speculation surrounded the meetings that seemed to be happening almost daily with different legal issues to deal with every day. Either the players were suing the owners or the owners were suing the players, and on top of all that, rules were being changed left and right to accommodate for the ever-changing style of pro football. As the season drew closer and closer, it looked like a deal would not be reached. The Players and owners couldn't even agree with themselves much less a collective bargaining agreement with each other. Although, one day, instead of just sitting back like all of the other owners do waiting to reject another new proposal, one man stood up and took charge of the owners. This was one Robert Kraft.

The players and owners could have talked all they wanted to about how these meetings were for the fans and how the sport was about them, but no one believed these statements. The people who watch football and follow it know that this argument was strictly over money. Or, at least, that's what it became after a while. Robert Kraft, a Harvard Business School major, finally intervened and took control of the owners' group to try and hammer out a deal. Did he get any more money for doing this? No, not another cent. His purpose was for the fans. The fans deserved to see football, and Mr. Kraft wasn't about to deprive the millions of fans of the NFL to go a year without football. Mr. Kraft is an older gentlemen, as are most owners, and is not only the owner of the New England Patriots, but the chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group with an estimated wealth of $1.7 billion. Not the type of guy you would expect to stand up for the American people who would be lost without a year of fantasy football.

Mr. Kraft was able to lead the owners and persuade the players to come to an agreement at a point in time where the NFL would still be able have its full season, shorter training camps, but at least they would be playing all 17 weeks of the regular season plus the play-offs. The news was ready to be announced to the public when Mr. Kraft received the worst news one can imagine. His wife, Myra Kraft, had been having a hard fought battle with cancer, and on July 20 of this year she passed away due to it at the age of 68. The news hit Mr. Kraft hard, but he had every owner and player behind him to get him through his difficult time. In a time where players and owners had been arguing over months over everything from what money should go to who to where the kick off should be from for months on end to no avail, they were able to support one of the men who didn't miss a single meeting. Quite a few of these meetings turned into shouting matches, but Mr. Kraft was still at every single one.

At the press conference to announce to the media that a deal had been reached and that there would be a full NFL season this year, countless players and owners came to the podium to talk about how the negotiations went, and every single one of them thanked Mr. Kraft for all of his contributions and paid their respects to his late wife. Respects have also been shown by the entire New England Patriots organization. Every game this year they have worn a patch on their shoulders reading MHK to honor the memory of their owner's late wife.

There's always a feel good story for either of the two football teams come Super Bowl time. A feel good story that feels like that team needs a win to put the right ending on their story book. It cannot always work out for both teams though. But, if I were to have a rooting interest this Super Bowl, it would be for the team whose owner saved football. A man who saved football and lost his wife in a short period of time. You may have differing opinions on the players for the Giants and the Patriots, but its hard not to like a man like Robert Kraft. If you were ever rooting for a season this year, you were rooting for him. So why not have the man who gave us the opportunity to watch and enjoy football this year, be the man holding the most coveted prize at the end of the season. The owner who had every other owner and every player behind him is in charge of the team who preaches the team above everything else. The New England Patriots are a team organization, meaning no one player or coach is about the team. This undoubtedly is a point made by Mr. Kraft. That's the kind of man I like rooting for. Regardless of the outcome though, you have to be thankful for Robert Kraft, and maybe after reading this you'll be rooting for him too just like me.

Day to Day Sports Contributor and Co-Founder


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