Curran: For Krafts, why is a casino worth the gamble?


Curran: For Krafts, why is a casino worth the gamble?

FOXBORO -- Maybe Robert Kraft and Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn can round up enough Foxboro supportand get the OK to put a gambling emporium across the street from Gillette. And maybe the language of the deal and all the winks, nods and nudges convince the NFL to say with a straight face that Kraft and the Patriots don't have a stake in a gambling operation even if it's pretty plain they do. If that all comes to pass, good for the Krafts, I guess. But why do it in the first place?
To me, it would feel like Kraft was mortgaging his legacy and reputation just for the chance to build a Route 1 Empire. In the past decade, Robert Kraft earned his place as one of the most respected and beloved NFL owners. The model franchise he bought and built, the beautiful facility he financed, the leadership he gave during the NFL's growth period, his leadership in brokering labor peace -- no owner has done more. He may wind up in the Hall of Fame. And, just as important, he's the most revered local owner of my lifetime (Walter Brown was pretty loved too but I'm not quite that old). But if he asks the NFL and his fellow owners to let him have his way, he'll be using his reputation and stature as currency to buy their approval. And that just doesn't feel right. Look at it this way. I drive up Route 1 in 2018 and turn left into Wynn's casino instead of turning right into Kraft's NFL stadium. I pay to park and then play a 10 hand of blackjack which I (surprise!) lose. The cash I spent goes to the casino. Which has to pay The Kraft Group its monthly rent for the land it's leasing. How can that be spun as an NFL owner not having a financial stake in a gambling operation? I have nothing against gambling, casinos or fun. If they build it, I will go. But in the coming months, as The Kraft Grouptries make a case that an NFL team isn't marrying up with casino gambling, I'm not going to buy into whatever pretzel logic is put forth. The Krafts are unbelievably innovative and forward-thinking. And when it comes to business, they see the big picture clearly. But are they blind to the fact that people don't like to be played for fools? Who's kidding who? The reputation and respect the Krafts have was hard-earned and well-deserved. Not sure I see the upside in trying to trade on that. Just because you might be able to do something, doesn't mean you should.

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Brady on Thomas criticism: 'I love Earl . . . Wish him the best'

Tom Brady was getting hit from all sorts of different angles on Saturday night. Not only was he dealing with Texans pass-rushers Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, he was also catching social-media shrapnel from Earl Thomas and Ray Lewis. 

Thomas was adamant that Brady had an easy road every year because he played in the AFC East. Lewis, meanwhile, got on Brady for complaining to officials when he thought they should have called a penalty for roughing the passer. 

On Monday, joining WEEI's Kirk and Callahan program, Brady responded to both. 

"I don't think I've ever been one to, you know, say something negative about anybody," Brady said of Thomas, who missed the end of the season with a broken leg. "It's just not my personality. I love Earl. I think he's a hell of a player. I really wish him the best in his recovery."

When it came to Lewis' critique, Brady acknowledged he complained to the officials. And he noted that it might've worked. Soon after he threw a fit when a flag wasn't thrown, the Patriots did pick up 15 extra yards when Clowney was tagged with a roughing-the-passer call.

"We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field," Brady said. "And yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention. If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

Brady on Brown Facebook video: Wouldn't go over well with Belichick

We know how Bill Belichick feels about social media. For years now he's been openly mocking the names of different platforms. 


How then would Belichick feel about one of his players streaming his postgame speech live to an online audience of thousands? Probably not great. 

"That's against our team policy," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning. "I don't think that would go over well with our coach."

Brady was referencing the video posted to Facebook Live by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown late Sunday night. With over 20,000 fans watching, Brown streamed the postgame locker room prayer as well as Tomlin's speech. 

Tomlin called the Patriots a-holes, and he made note of the fact that because the Steelers-Chiefs game had been pushed to Sunday night the Patriots had a day-and-a-half more to rest and prepare than the Steelers did. Then when he spotted a player on his phone, Tomlin told his players to get off social media -- all while Brown continued to stream from behind a bank of lockers. 

"Every coach has a different style," said Brady, who recently began using an Instagram account. "Our coach, he's been in the league for 42 years and he's pretty old school. He's not into social media, and I think he lets everyone know that. I think our team has a policy. We don't show anything that should be private because he feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have. What's done in the locker room should stay in the locker room."