Kraft 'disappointed' with decision to decertify

Kraft 'disappointed' with decision to decertify

By Tom E. CurranHere's a statement from Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the lockout. AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 tdcolor: black; @font-face font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; @font-face font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 p.MsoNormal,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 li.MsoNormal,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.MsoNormal margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 a:link,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.MsoHyperlink mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 a:visited,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; text-decoration:underline; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 p.msochpdefault,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 li.msochpdefault,AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.msochpdefault mso-style-name:msochpdefault; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.emailstyle18 mso-style-name:emailstyle18; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; color:1F497D; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 span.EmailStyle20 mso-style-type:personal-reply; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; color:1F497D; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 .MsoChpDefault mso-style-type:export-only; font-size:10.0pt; @page WordSection1 size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; AOLMsgPart_2_68591eab-3bf3-4994-b2f2-1cc5ba6b6e38 div.WordSection1 page:WordSection1; Statement from Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft: "Going into these union negotiations, I was very optimistic that an agreement could be reachedbefore the end of December if both sides were committed to the negotiations. The same was trueas we approachedthe end of the NFL calendar year. We are fortunate to be operating in an industry that is thriving and I know that there was a deal to be done that was a win-win for both sides.I know thatCommissioner Goodell and his staff invested a tremendous amount of time and resources to negotiate an agreementthat wouldbenefitboth parties and allow the league to continue to build for the future without interruption.I remained in constant contact with Roger and the members of the CEC this week andfully supported the proposal we made to the players' union on Friday.I think the actions of the union to end the mediation processand walk away fromFriday's offer clearly showed their true intentions to take this process to litigation all along. While disappointed by their action to decertify, I remain confident thatan agreement will be reached and that the 2011 season will be played. I know that the owners are committed to this process, butthat the quickest way to do so is through continued negotiation, not litigation. For the sake of all involved, the owners, the players and most importantly, the fans,I hope we return to the negotiating table very soon."
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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.
 

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether the NFL should not test for marijuana.

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether they think the Patriots will be not lose a home game during Brady’s suspension.