Type in the letters P-A-T-R-I-O... and the wizard of Google completes the thought:
Just that automatically.
If Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, is doing his own searches he might be aghast to see where his team stands in the web. Kraft is in a position to win his fourth Super Bowl, but what might he have lost?
Kraft's name was already associated with a coach who spied on the Jets in 2007 and got caught. Bill Belichick paid a fine of $500,000 for that transgression -- riding-around money on the MTA.
Now the Patriots have won a lopsided conference championship game in which the footballs were deflated just enough to change their aerodynamics.
Did this help guide Tom Brady’s passes well enough to beat the Colts? Not enough to create the 45-7 score.
The NFL – in the age of concussion carnage and Ray Rice and the weekly police report – is not likely to void that victory. But with all the cameras at work in the stadium last Sunday, the NFL just might find evidence of a low-level employee named Elmo skulking around the ball bag with a one-dollar needle, deflating the balls while everybody else in the place was gaping at the obligatory NFL jet flyover.
Our theoretical Elmo was not acting on his own, any more than the Jets assistant was acting on his own when he, oops, edged onto the field and shivered a Dolphin ball-carrier in 2010.
This is the NFL. Nobody thinks on his own, except Coach.
The way it looks, the footballs were softened, and not by accident. Does Bob Kraft really like being associated with this stuff along with Belichick's seventh Super Bowl?
Belichick’s values are questionable and his public persona is miserable. (To be fair, I have friends who know Belichick and describe his thoughtful side.)
Bob Kraft, 73, cares what people think of him. He and his late wife Myrna were active in many charities and good causes. I wonder what she thought of Belichick, and what she would think about a sack of tampered footballs.
I don’t think the NFL is capable of a moral stand, not with its ratings and income. But if the Patriots did what it looks like they did, Bob Kraft should wait til after the Super Bowl and then give Belichick a year off, without pay. At best.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.