Patriots Organization Helped Robert Kraft through Passing of Wife: “The team has been very kind. It’s like I have 53 incremental sons.”February 1, 2012 – 11:15 am by Chris Fedor
It’s been an emotional roller coaster of a year for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. From the prolonged, terse lockout to the passing of his wife Myra, to his team overcoming its weaknesses to advance to the organization’s fifth Super Bowl in 11 years. For a man like Kraft, the journey is probably more important than the final outcome at this stage in his successful life. But a win in Super Bowl XLVI over the New York Giants, who of course thwarted the Patriots attempt at a fourth Super Bowl win four years ago, would surely be sweet.
Robert Kraft joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what team gets the most attention from fans in Boston, whether or not he thinks his team is one of the more hated teams in sports, the memory of his late wife Myra Kraft, and what he thinks about Bill Belichick wearing a hoodie.
What team gets the most attention from fans in Boston:
“I think all of the above. (Host: If you had to pick one?) I think we have rabid sports fans who appreciate quality and they’re a sports crazy town with high expectations. They have been great to us. When we bought the team 34 years into its existence the team had never sold out and games used to be blacked out every year in the Boston region. We’ve sold out every season so we haven’t had one blackout thank God. It should continue. How much did I pay? 172 million dollars in 1994 which was the highest price paid for any sports franchise in the world. My dear, sweet wife thought I was cuckoo.”
On the idea that they are one of the more hated sports teams in the country:
“Well we’re red, white, and blue and our name is Patriots. How can you hate something like that? All we try to do is win and try to do it in a way, with a group of young men that people can emotionally feel good about. I’m very proud of the people we have on our team and in our locker room. There’s a special spirit and chemistry. I wish you could’ve been there yesterday for Media Day and see how loose our guys were and how they were together in units. I’ve been doing this for 18 years now and it was something very special in that locker room.”
On the memory of his late wife, Myra Kraft:
“I had a great life partner. She was 19 and I was 20 when we went out on our first date and she proposed to me. She gave an interview where she told the story and if you’re interested I can show you. She had five cesareans right away, she’s a great lady, she was very special, and marriage is tough for everyone. One of the messages I have is I hope people understand that and stay together if you have kids. Then we had a chance to develop a very special relationship over the last 25 years, we became best friends. Before the season started I had my son Jonathan with me and we spoke to the team about the meaning of this patch, the MHK, and she was a very special lady, she was the number one volunteer in the New England region that did so many random acts of kindness. I say to people, when you go into Dunkin Donuts you ask them, the person behind you if they want a coffee, a tea, or Pepsi then just buy it for them and leave. It will make you feel good. She just did wonderful things and I believe her spirit has been with us this whole year. The team has been very kind to me. It’s like I have 53 incremental sons. I truly love my wife and people find it strange that you can be married for 48 years and really love your wife. It was a layup for me because I had someone special and I miss her dearly.”
If he has a problem with Bill Belichick wearing a hoodie:
“You know our marketing people and the Reebok folks came and they didn’t like him wearing the hoodie and I sort of like the hoodie because we’re not about selling jerseys or clothes, we’re about winning football teams and that’s what he is. The key managers I have in anything I want them to be true to themselves and not be phonies. I think we’re lucky to have, I think, the finest coach in modern day history, especially in this age of the salary cap, which I’m not sure the average fan understands the difference of how hard it is to manage in this environment where you can’t just stash players. He’s done a great job and we’ve encouraged him to be bold and take risks. The whole NFL is geared towards parity and 8-8. If you do well then your team picks last and your schedule is harder. So you have to differentiate and we try to develop a system where everyone is on the same page and winning is the most important thing.”