Robert Kraft has been one of the most successful owners in the NFL. He has turned the Patriots organization into one of the most powerful franchises in all of sports. Today, the Patriots are worth over $3 billion dollars.
Fox Sports’ Rob Stone wants you all to know that that’s great and all, but what he’s done to the New England Revolution is quite the opposite. He laid into Kraft on SiriusXM FC:
“I am so annoyed with the New England Revolution right now as a club. I don’t know what they’re doing, but it’s driving me mad. And I’m a New Englander, and I get it. In that past, that people didn’t mind driving to Foxborough. And yes, it was this regional team and you could pull people from New Hampshire, and Vermont, and Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and Rhode Island. It doesn’t work anymore.
Team Kraft, take some of those Super Bowl earnings and really, truly, invest them in your club. I am so sick of seeing that team in that empty stadium, playing on that turf with all those lines. It’s disrespectful to those players, to the club, to the fans, to the league. It drives me nuts. It drives me so insane.
Alexi [Lalas] hears this all the time on our drives to work, and he knows if he wants to rile me up — I’m not a riled up character, but he’ll just talk about, “how about the Revolution?” And I’ll go “my god, the Revolution,” and I’ll just start spinning out of control. And the stadium takes me there.
And you know what? The Kraft ownership takes me there as well. I appreciate what they’ve done for this sport in the past, and what they’ve done for this league in the past, but what have you done for me lately? Nothing. They have done nothing for the New England Revolution lately. They have disrespected that franchise for far too long and I’m sick of it.
I would pull them out of New England and give them to another city right now, if I had my druthers. They need to re-brand. I’m sick of looking at that uniform. I’m sick of looking at that logo and those colors. Like, show me that you care. Do something, anything, to really show the fan base, and to the national perspective out there, that you guys want to go forward. I love that team. I really want to see them succeed. But they have betrayed me and I’m so agitated with them, in case you can’t tell.”
That’s Rob’s take, here is ours:
It is extremely difficult for soccer to compete here in New England. This city is built around teams that win championships and its history. Quite simply, soccer gets lost in the mix. Between the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, there just isn’t room.
Soccer fans are die hard and loyal to their clubs, just like fans of the other 4 major sports, which is why it’s so hard to hop on the soccer bandwagon. Even though MLS has been around since 1996, it still hasn’t caught on in this region. Soccer just isn’t popular enough.
As a parent of two kids, when they are young, you get them into soccer, because it’s the easiest sport to get them into. But as they grow older, they get steered into baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and even golf. Why? Because that’s all I know and all of my kids friends are doing the same. I think this is why you have a lack of popularity in the game. It’s tough on a sport when everyone shies away from it.
Do I agree with how the Kraft family is running the Revolution? I will answer that by simply stating that they are just dancing with the girl that was presented to them. They aren’t ever going to build a stadium for this team, because they know it’s not worth the investment. Same goes with any players they may bring in.
Orlando City has been very successful since they came into MLS because there is nothing going on there. Having lived in Orlando for a decade, all that’s there are tourists, Mickey Mouse and a crappy NBA team. It’s a perfect town for MLS.
I understand Stone’s criticism, but there’s really not much Kraft can do. You can’t force people to go to these games, the demand just isn’t there. That’s why parking is free at Revs games and $60 at Patriots games. It’s evident in the attendance and it’s evident all over social media which teams this region steers towards. Will Kraft move on from the Revolution one day? Possibly. Should he? I think so.
You’re about to find out from the comment section that soccer just really isn’t important to these people. For some, this is the first they are finding out New England has a soccer team and two, that Robert Kraft owns it.