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Robert Kraft fears league, players are close to alienating fans

Nate Solder, Robert Kraft AP

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a moderate voice in the ongoing labor dispute who has yet to truly be heard by his more headstrong colleagues, believes that the situation has approached the point at which it could become a real problem for both sides.

Speaking at the third annual Science of Sports fair at Gilette Stadium, Kraft expressed concern that the work stoppage has lasted long enough.  “We have to be very careful and I think we’re coming to that point now where we start to hurt ourselves collectively in the eyes of our fans,” Kraft said, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.  “In the end, the fans just want football.”

He’s right.  Even though plenty of fans and members of the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none sports media have assumed a “wake me up when they miss Week One” attitude toward the NFL lockout, the truth is that the 2011 season will be impacted significantly if a solution isn’t reached fairly soon.  Every year, anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of a team’s offense and defense is installed during offseason workouts; if all offseason workouts are missed, teams with new coaches, coordinators, and/or quarterbacks will suffer.  In turn, the competitiveness of the league in 2011, even if not a single game is missed, will be diminished.

It gets worse as the lockout chews into training camp and the preseason.  And if, in the end, an eleventh-hour deal is struck three weeks before Week One, a full season will nevertheless consist of haves and have-nots, with veteran teams that played into January having stable rosters and coaching staffs having a leg up.

That’s why the best solution remains a long-term, win-win labor deal negotiated sooner rather than later, with both sides thinking not about their own interests but about the long-term best interests of the game.  If either side is serious about working this thing out, they’ll have a chance to get started in earnest on Monday, when mediation resumes in Minnesota.  Though we’ve gone from optimistic to pessimistic and back and forth and so on over the last several months, we’re optimistic that we can be pessimistic about the outlook for continued mediation in the immediate future.

Until the Eighth Circuit rules on Judge Nelson’s decision to lift the lockout, neither side is going to be serious about getting a deal done.  Unfortunately, we’ve got a feeling that, after the Eighth Circuit rules, the losing party will find a way to justify digging in even deeper until the next stop on the litigation express.

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114 Responses to “Robert Kraft fears league, players are close to alienating fans”
  1. burkem325 says: May 15, 2011 5:13 PM

    He’s right.

  2. carson9 says: May 15, 2011 5:17 PM

    Wow you would’ve assumed they knew this 59 days ago.

  3. dynasty233118488 says: May 15, 2011 5:17 PM

    newflash, Robert…you selfish crybabies alienated us a long time ago…too late for that, big guy.

  4. gobolts4lyfe says: May 15, 2011 5:17 PM

    Ummm, Ya think?? I am not a patriots fan by any means, but I truly respect Mr. Kraft as an owner and as a member of the upcoming mediation team for the owners side. The man makes a ton of sense and has hit the nail on the head… If I had to pick an owner that could possibly get a deal done before the June 3rd hearing, it is this Man..

  5. raynman49 says: May 15, 2011 5:20 PM

    Duh, ya think?

  6. nflconspiracytheoristdeluxe says: May 15, 2011 5:21 PM

    The biggest danger to professional football is not anger. Anger implies passion and emotion, and passionate and emotional fans are the league’s best kinds. The biggest danger…is apathy and indifference, which is already starting to take root.

  7. 90ragtop says: May 15, 2011 5:22 PM

    Let’s face it – At this point, if the season gets played at all, it’s gonna look like sandlot football…

  8. tommyf15 says: May 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    Unfortunately, we’ve got a feeling that, after the Eighth Circuit rules, the losing party will find a way to justify digging in even deeper until the next stop on the litigation express.

    I don’t know about that.

    If the court rules in favor of ending the lockout, the owners will have no choice but to put some rules in place, play ball, and wait for the Brady, Manning, Brees, etc case to be decided upon.

  9. speedydg13 says: May 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    Close? Start? Consider it a fait accompli Kraft!

  10. derekjetersmansion says: May 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    Moderate? Except for the part where he hates lawyers…

  11. eaglesfootballfan says: May 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    They need to just get a new CBA deal done so that the Eagles can trade Kolb to the Cards.

  12. friendlylittletrees says: May 15, 2011 5:24 PM

    The only thing that keeps this league popular is how much the fans care…

    Damn right they are alienating us.

    F Them.

  13. philwauke says: May 15, 2011 5:24 PM

    File this under duh!

  14. harmcityhomer says: May 15, 2011 5:24 PM

    Close?

    The fans are upset at both sides, but like he also said, all we want is football.

    I am on the player’s side of the dispute, but do not care who wins as long as the off season starts soon.

    I think it would be interesting to see what the NFL without a CBA would look like, and doubt it would look anything like MLB.

  15. sf69ers says: May 15, 2011 5:25 PM

    I just saved hundreds by dropping the NFL sunday ticket.

  16. civilwarfish says: May 15, 2011 5:25 PM

    Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

    We just want football.

    I dont care who gets more and who doesnt. Anyone who makes more when they fart than I make in a week doesnt need more…and thats all of them.

    Play Ball!

  17. ravensfan4life52 says: May 15, 2011 5:29 PM

    yeah i’m about to buy versus so i can at least watch the UFL. and i guess if nothing else i can get into soccer if nothing else. and there’s always college football. don’t need the nfl. especially if the players are gonna be jerk offs

  18. stixzidinia says: May 15, 2011 5:30 PM

    Worse things in the world could happen than not being able to watch pro football. People would get over it quicker than they think. People in this country need a reality check anyway regarding how high they place pro sports on their collective priority list.

  19. smichalkowski says: May 15, 2011 5:31 PM

    He is very right. The draft was a dud for me since I basically ignored it when the lockout was put back in place. I haven’t a clue who the Jets drafted since I won’t care until there is a deal done.

  20. ccooww says: May 15, 2011 5:33 PM

    If Upshaw was still alive, this would be settled by now and everyone would be satisfied. Players have 0 leadership in this mess. It is a shame that everything the players have accomploshed has been destroyed in such a short time.

  21. annnann says: May 15, 2011 5:34 PM

    True, the quality of the games will diminish even if no games are missed, it could go into late June or July and preseason games starts August, with the no contact policy between players and coaches, how will that work out for teams facing big changes (new QBs, new coaching staffs, etc)?

    Both sides are to blame here and hope they get something done. But the more I follow the lockout news the more I think De Smith is way too emotional to be involved in labor negotiations.

  22. clownburger says: May 15, 2011 5:37 PM

    If only the players had ANY desire to negotiate an agreement!!!!

    The NFL is constantly saying “We want to Negotiate a deal, we want to negotiate a deal, we want to negotiate a deal…..”

    The Players response is ALWAYS …….**crickets**

    The players won’t even offer up a counter offer.

    The moment the PLAYERS decide they want to actually negotiate an agreement, it will get done within a week or so. Until then THE PLAYERS are holding everything up!!!!

  23. jbcommonsense says: May 15, 2011 5:38 PM

    Every bungled play will leave fans wondering, ”Was that because of the lack of practice time caused by the lockout?”

  24. dirtdawg55 says: May 15, 2011 5:39 PM

    Words are cheap. Actions matter Mr. Kraft. You want this thing to get done, then get it done.

  25. billinlouisiana says: May 15, 2011 5:39 PM

    Kraft is completely right. I have already decided not to attend any games or purchase anything that has a league or team logo, or anything to do with any player. This will stand for this season no matter when they finally come to an agreement. If the season is delayed or games missed it will continue next year also.

  26. detlions says: May 15, 2011 5:39 PM

    Is it possible for all NFL fans to bombard the 8th circuit court with mass emails or phone calls asking why they have not ruled on the temp. stay. The judges acknowledged the importance of a quick ruling when they worked over the weekend to grant a temp stay of the lifting of the lockout, then expediting the court date. A ruling should be DEMANDED!

  27. ravensrule1208 says: May 15, 2011 5:40 PM

    right is a understatement by now me and my freinds are planning this years Fantasy football and even thats on hold. But neither side gives a hoot about the fans ,Its getting that time for us to stand up and be heard.

  28. datdude420 says: May 15, 2011 5:40 PM

    blah blah blah same sh^t different day

  29. 7370355q says: May 15, 2011 5:42 PM

    I wish I knew what the hell we as fans could do to voice our anger, because I would be the first to jump on that bandwagon!

  30. lovesportsandsurfing says: May 15, 2011 5:42 PM

    Another hilarious post. Once you get past the lies, go back three years, you will all see too clearly whats going on,..the owners, including Kraft agreed three years ago to not have football in 2011,…Kraft is trying to have it both ways,..he wants an entirely lost year, but wants to pretend it bothers him,..sorry Bob, nobodys buyin it.

  31. ob1canobie says: May 15, 2011 5:43 PM

    He’s right, but he is speaking to deaf ears I am afraid. The owners are far more emboldened by their sense of entitlement than the players right now. Look at it this way, they sold thousands of tickets to seats that didnt exist at the Super Bowl, then simply turned away legitimate ticket holders at the door and they have already sold out next year. There were a couple of stories about it, but in the end Jerry Jones and the NFL were laughing at the fools whose money they were counting. They truly believe they can do ANYTHING and get away with it because of our lust for everything NFL. So far… they are right.

  32. tboolie says: May 15, 2011 5:44 PM

    Thank you, Mr. Kraft. In other breaking news, the sky is blue, and rain is wet. Back to you Bob!!!

  33. bearskoolaid1985 says: May 15, 2011 5:44 PM

    Both sides need to get rid of the lawers and start negotiating

  34. backindasaddle says: May 15, 2011 5:44 PM

    The lawyers have the entire process by the balls and as such it’s all very ugly.

  35. TheRealist says: May 15, 2011 5:50 PM

    If there is an alienation line you all aren’t close. You’ve crossed it awhile ago.

  36. detlions says: May 15, 2011 5:51 PM

    Quick Fix for the NFL Labor Situation

    Instead of the owners trying to squeeze money out of the players, Owners should instead squeeze it out of Al Davis and the Dan Synder’s of the football world. The deal Al Davis gave Stanford Rout is a good example of how the owners brought this on themselves. What cornerback in the league doesn’t think he is better or deserves more than Rout. Seems like owners throwing money around negligently is the reason for spiked football contracts.

  37. vexorgd says: May 15, 2011 5:52 PM

    CLOSE?!?!

  38. dirtmcgirt24 says: May 15, 2011 5:52 PM

    What would alienate season ticket holders would be to, after subjecting us to these shenanigans for months, coming to a near-term deal and making us pay full price for pre-season tickets again like nothing ever happened.

  39. jaymc1988 says: May 15, 2011 5:53 PM

    its funny bec how many owners and players have said the same thing kraft just said for the past few months? and whats the results..no results..the only reason their sayin it is so the fans will be like..ohh he gets us im on his side…were on neither of ur side..if u put money in my pocket im on ur side lol but until then i just want to watch football…stop gesturin n get somethin done..if owners really cared there wouldnt be only 4 owners ni the mediation rooms lmao..get real i see through the smoke screens

  40. jaymc1988 says: May 15, 2011 5:56 PM

    im not spendin a dime on anythin nfl relatied here on out bec i c what they really want..money. except madden and im not touchin madden this year. whats the point. no free agents or signees are in the right teams..no increase in ranks nothin..no point except losin 65 dollars ill play madden 11 for that..im done buyin nfl stuff.. i got authentic eli, nicks and osi for 50 bucks a pop..dont need anythin else:)

  41. jtfris says: May 15, 2011 5:58 PM

    Duh.

  42. mizzousooner says: May 15, 2011 6:00 PM

    Some players already have, there have been some really dumb things said by certain individuals. Many players are like kids, best seen and not heard.

  43. intherelikeswimwear says: May 15, 2011 6:00 PM

    I’m a fan and I’ve been alienated. Think I have a case, Mike?

  44. seabreezes51 says: May 15, 2011 6:01 PM

    Who cares?

  45. whatswiththehate says: May 15, 2011 6:01 PM

    Let’s be honest, this lock-out is hurting the sports media, owners, and then players, WAY more than it’s hurting the fans. Since when did entertainment become a necessity?

    At the end of the day thou, both sides need to get back to the bargaining table quick and in a hurry.

  46. theblowtorchreview says: May 15, 2011 6:01 PM

    Get to work Mr. Kraft……..that “train” is currently loading and will be pulling away from the station shortly.

  47. hendawg21 says: May 15, 2011 6:04 PM

    DUH…but how many of them really care???

  48. duanethomas says: May 15, 2011 6:06 PM

    He shouldn’t be to worried, the anti-player Pro-owner slags on this site will never abandon the NFL. As long as the owners keep making money, they will never go away. Its those greedy players and the ambulance chaser who they will not support. The owners have nothing to worry about, when this is over the pro-owner crowds will be back not matter the product an owner puts on the field. Haven’t won a Super Bowl ever, been to the playoffs in 10 years, mismanage the cap, continue to draft bad….no problem. They will be back.

  49. seanodea says: May 15, 2011 6:07 PM

    They already have alienated me.

  50. bowlhounds says: May 15, 2011 6:08 PM

    He has hit the nail on the head, the only thing i would change is instead of close to alienating fans , it HAS alienated fans. The common Joe fan has “real” worries hanging over his head, ie: the economy,health insurance for the family,food on the table etc… . The way both sides of this come off is “well we need to find a way to split 9 BILLION dollars, are you F$%#K*&g serious get a clue and put the monopoly money away.
    I guess its easy for everyone to say its his fault or their fault but in the end its we the common Joe fan who end up paying in the end. We the fans who look forward to kicking back on the couch on sundays to cheer on whatever team. We the common fan who looks forward to the game for respite from the daily grind of REAL LIFE.
    Its getting to, has gotten to , the point where fans are gonna say screw off and then the 9 billion pie will be a pipe dream for the whole league to remember as they should all remember the fans. Americas Game may go the way of the Edsel, Americas newest car back in the day, no forgotten.

  51. dwats49 says: May 15, 2011 6:09 PM

    ItS NOT THE PLAYERS ITS THE OWNER, LIFT THE LOCKOUT AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE THAT. THE FANS FEEL THAT THE OWNERS ARE HURTING THE TEAMS BY NOT LETTING THEIR TEAMS GET BETTER IN FREE AGENCY, OTA’S, ECT…….

  52. psuravens19 says: May 15, 2011 6:09 PM

    They already have.

  53. patsfan says: May 15, 2011 6:10 PM

    frankly, I say the owners and players should go with a binding coin toss.

    Heck, I’ll even pony up the two bits to help them carve up the billions.

  54. scudbot says: May 15, 2011 6:10 PM

    Some have gone over the edge already. The double whammy would be dragging this out and then losing to Brady et al and ending up like MLB. In case you haven’t noticed, MLB attendance is down for the fourth straight year, the Mets and Dodgers are broke, and huge numbers of fans who cleared out after the strike have never come back.

  55. rushbacker says: May 15, 2011 6:14 PM

    Close???

  56. canetic says: May 15, 2011 6:14 PM

    Blah blah blah. If you really care get something done TODAY. Anything. Agree on just one thing. I dare you.

  57. promin1 says: May 15, 2011 6:15 PM

    Too late dumbass

  58. dylanmusicfane says: May 15, 2011 6:20 PM

    play football. get the deal done tomorrow. I’m not buying anything NFL related until those jackholes suck it up and work it out. i hope others don’t either.

  59. harrisryan says: May 15, 2011 6:22 PM

    Close??

    Buddy that ship has sailed. Fans are pissed, fortunately for you guys the NBA/NHL playoffs are satiating most fans for now.

    Just wait till those are done and the only thing left is MLB. Just see what happens when there are no distractions, thats when the venom will be spewed.

    Im actually starting to wonder what I will do with all the money I save.

    No Sunday Ticket = +$400
    4 games a year:
    Parking = +$100
    beer/concessions = +$400
    Tickets = +$600
    Fantasy Football = +$500
    ____________________

    no NFL saves Ryan = $2100

    Even if you guys do come back, and if I cant quit cold turkey, that $2100 will be spent at a sports bar with nice TV’s. That way atleast the money is going to someone who appreciates the business.

  60. david7590 says: May 15, 2011 6:24 PM

    Close?!

  61. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 15, 2011 6:26 PM

    Correct Mr. Kraft!

    Now if only De Mo’ cared about the fans…..

  62. canadian52niner says: May 15, 2011 6:30 PM

    We will have a deal by Thursday, no one is this dumb … Not even demaurice the snake.

  63. firethorn1001 says: May 15, 2011 6:33 PM

    Close?

    The one thing that both the owners and players need to realize, it doesn’t matter who the average fan sides with. It is all one big business and negatively publicity just drives a wedge into your consumer base.

  64. bbb82 says: May 15, 2011 6:33 PM

    Too late, already happened.

  65. endzonezombie says: May 15, 2011 6:34 PM

    What proof do you have that Kraft is a moderate voice? Not only did Kraft pay for Gillette Stadium, but the Pats are one of the more aggressive and stronger franchises that have to subsidize those weaker franchises that invest less effort in local marketing to increase their revenues. It stands to reason that the Pats would be one of the franchises that want that additional 2B to compensate Kraft for his franchise investments.

  66. andrejohnsonforpresident says: May 15, 2011 6:36 PM

    Jeez this is so frustrating… If the year starts off slow i’m gonna be pissed and I know i’m not the only one. Please get a deal done soon. For everyones sake!

  67. irishgary says: May 15, 2011 6:37 PM

    Really Bob? Ya think so? Most fans think the players and owners are a bunch of whiny idiots.

  68. 2009kenny says: May 15, 2011 6:38 PM

    I wonder if anyone on this site can tell us what the possibilities are or can be if this maneuver by the NFLPA works. What will stop other sport unions, NBA, NHL, MLB from negotiating in bad faith until a time they can decertify and then file an anti trust suit. That is really my worry. Perhaps the good writers at profootballtalk can help us here with their legal background

  69. downsouth49er says: May 15, 2011 6:38 PM

    Which is why I don’t see how some fans can side with the owners and others side with the players. Both groups could care less about you the fan. I don’t side with either of them because they all are at fault for letting things get to this point.

  70. packers291 says: May 15, 2011 6:39 PM

    Yes, fans are being alienated, in that they are not being considered in the current discussion between owners and players.

    This got me to wondering. How much has the average fan actually missed out on thus far?

    Coverage of: Free agency. Rookie signings. OTA’s. Position battles on each team. And this is only the beginning… just the tip of the iceberg.

    Its not like the fans are entitled to any of this, obviously. But the longer I go without it, the more I realize that I could easily get by with just checking into ESPN once a week to see the scores. Thats what I do with NHL and NBA, why not football?

  71. axltcu says: May 15, 2011 6:42 PM

    Kraft seems to be one of the very few who has his head on straight when it comes to this whole CBA mess.

  72. jhorton83 says: May 15, 2011 6:42 PM

    As long as none of the regular season is lost, the fans will quickly forget. The only labor disputes that permanently alienate fans are the ones that disrupt the season. See the canceled World Series of 1994 and the non-existent 2004-2005 NHL season. A lot of fans never came back after that.

  73. chiroubles says: May 15, 2011 6:45 PM

    “Robert Kraft fears league, players are close to alienating fans”

    Ya think?!?

  74. bucforever says: May 15, 2011 6:47 PM

    Ya think?!

  75. goawayeverybody says: May 15, 2011 6:50 PM

    Gee ya think?

  76. shelovesfootball says: May 15, 2011 6:52 PM

    You bet he’s right!

  77. obsession55 says: May 15, 2011 6:53 PM

    so sick of all the nonsense. they’re only hurting themselves, the fans will turn on these greedy bastuurds real soon…then we’ll see how much precious revenue they bring in!!

  78. shl4vikes says: May 15, 2011 6:55 PM

    Close? Try already have. Arguing over their slices of a $9 billion pie makes me sick.

  79. kd75 says: May 15, 2011 6:55 PM

    We are alienated. But we can all make nice if we don’t miss any football. I promise.

  80. nflfan101 says: May 15, 2011 7:01 PM

    Truthfully, I am not mad at the owners or players. I am mad as hell at D. Smith because he has personally caused this whole mess.

    FACT: D. Smith walked out of the CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one court ordered mediation.

    If Smith had not done what he did, I really believe that there would be a new CBA in place right now.

    It is like another commentator said, you don’t need a lawyer as head of a union, you need a former player who has worked his way up, who actually knows and understands the players and their needs because he was one of them.

  81. dkeyser says: May 15, 2011 7:03 PM

    uhhhh little late on that thinking isnt it??…Shouldve thought about that before all the court nonsense

  82. benh999 says: May 15, 2011 7:07 PM

    For one, football was plenty popular when it was less competitive. Not that we should want it that way, but I hardly see bottom lines, by virtue of a shortened offseason that results in the bad teams staying bad for one more year, being significantly affected.

    For another, good job once again not mentioning that it was the players, not the owners who abandoned negotiations in favor of litigation. I guess this is your idea of “playing it down the middle”. If the owners turned tail and ran to the courts, you’d be bringing it up ad nauseum.

  83. scrotiemcb says: May 15, 2011 7:09 PM

    You’d think they learn from the NHL. I doubt I was the only NHL die hard who took the dare to find something else to do with my winter time and money and ran with it. The NHL went from getting a considerable portion of my expendable income to getting none of it. From scumbag players like Brandon Marshall, to the worst officiating in major sports, through the tabloidish media that covers it, the NFL offers plenty of reasons not to like it. If I were them, I wouldn’t be inviting people to find something better to do with their time. A lot of folks are going to take that offer and never come back.

  84. bcvv says: May 15, 2011 7:11 PM

    Thanks Bob, appreciate you thinking of us fans.

  85. nflfan101 says: May 15, 2011 7:12 PM

    PFT says: “If either side is serious about working this thing out, they’ll have a chance to get started in earnest on Monday, when mediation resumes in Minnesota. ”

    That is simply not true. It takes BOTH SIDES to negotiate in good faith. One side cannot negotiate by itself no matter how badly the side wants to make a deal.

    Right now, only the owners have begged for negotiations.

    D. Smith walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one of the court ordered mediation sessions. And from PTF’s report yesterday, it is clear that Smith has no intention of negotiating now. He would rather put a horse’s head in Goodell’s bed.

    Fans, players, and PFT employees that want football need to tell Smith to get his butt into negotiations.

  86. alanhb says: May 15, 2011 7:13 PM

    KRAFT DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT! my bead is with the owners for locking our the players. OF all the major sports, football players have it the worse both past and present. I have no sympathy for basketball and baseball player who all need to take less, but football is different.

  87. vahawker says: May 15, 2011 7:27 PM

    hey duanethomas(nice fumble BTW) Just to throw a little gray into your obviously black and white world….I’m neither pro owner nor pro player..but I am pro league and I watched DeIdiot and His Merry Band of Morons walk out of negotiations without making any counter offers. They ran a sham decert(complying with the letter, but not spirit of the law). then walked out of negotiations. I primarily hold DeIdiot personally responsible for the situation as it stands. The players were short sighted in picking self serving, outside lawyer twerp over a former player or someone with some sort of ties to the league who loved the game and wasn’t in it solely for the opportunity for self promotion.

    Owners suck too, but they didn’t walk out of the negotiations*

    *not really negotiations if only one side attempts to move toward a resolution and the other finds new and creative ways to thwart a solution.

  88. tjrubleysaudible says: May 15, 2011 7:31 PM

    90ragtop says: May 15, 2011 5:22 PM

    Let’s face it – At this point, if the season gets played at all, it’s gonna look like sandlot football…

    Panthers must be praying for this.

  89. deadeye says: May 15, 2011 7:39 PM

    He’s not right. As a fan who understands what makes the league fun to watch, I’d rather have a deal that preserves (or strengthens) the competitive balance. If that comes at the cost of missing preseason and at least part of 2011, then so be it.

    The owners have to get the revenue sharing aspect of the NFL corrected. Unfortunately, owners like Jerruh, Al Davis, and Daniel Snyder will oppose increased revenue sharing. Getting the players to go along with it is also problematic. The NFL is on the verge of losing what made it so great for the last 40 years.

  90. vetdana says: May 15, 2011 7:43 PM

    They truly believe they can do ANYTHING and get away with it because of our lust for everything NFL. So far… they are right.

    I have been watching posts on this and many other sites for the last 3 months and I really believe that fans are getting angrier by the day. Die hard ,loyal fans do not like to be taken for granted and have their faces rubbed in the mud! Many have already acted by not renewing season tickets, sunday ticket and NFL product purchases. But the biggest factor is now taking hold…..APATHY !…people are losing interest and that will shrink this 9 billion dollar pie !Wait until the season starts with no NFL…you are not going to believe the fan backlash !!

  91. qoojo says: May 15, 2011 7:52 PM

    I must be one of the few fans that isn’t that worked up about it either way. The only that worries me is when there is talk about abolishing the draft and salary cap. If there is no football in fall, then I will simply watch more college ball and wait for the pros to come back.

    What does make me stop watching football is all the commercials I have to endure to watch it. So I rarely watch the games live. I will record it on DVR just to avoid all the beer and dick pill commercials.

  92. dave1961 says: May 15, 2011 8:20 PM

    I think the owners that have been seen on tv like Jerry Jones, Jerry Richardson , Pat Bowlen, Kraft and the Packers President might face the biggest backlash from their fans and players. Jerry Jones comes across real bad in this greed grab.

  93. endzonezombie says: May 15, 2011 8:24 PM

    There are a lot of casual football fans who follow it because it is trendy. They will be the first who find better things to do, and be the last to come back to the game.

  94. carlsbadboltfan says: May 15, 2011 8:32 PM

    Yeah, he’s right. But where was this reasoning 2 f’ing years ago when owners opted out of the CBA? Why didn’t he urge the owners to start negotiations earlier?

  95. PFTiswhatitis says: May 15, 2011 9:05 PM

    I cant wait to make Kraft send me a check for missed games. And No I will NOT let you keep it on account for next year.

  96. duanethomas says: May 15, 2011 9:19 PM

    vahawker says:
    May 15, 2011 7:27 PM
    hey duanethomas(nice fumble BTW) Just to throw a little gray into your obviously black and white world….I’m neither pro owner nor pro player..but I am pro league and I watched DeIdiot and His Merry Band of Morons walk out of negotiations without making any counter offers. They ran a sham decert(complying with the letter, but not spirit of the law). then walked out of negotiations. I primarily hold DeIdiot personally responsible for the situation as it stands. The players were short sighted in picking self serving, outside lawyer twerp over a former player or someone with some sort of ties to the league who loved the game and wasn’t in it solely for the opportunity for self promotion.

    Owners suck too, but they didn’t walk out of the negotiations*

    *not really negotiations if only one side attempts to move toward a resolution and the other finds new and creative ways to thwart a solution.

    YOU are pro-owner, anti-players, pro-Goodell/NFL guy. DeMaurice Smith works for the players and can’t not do anything unless he has their permission. You will be back, buying jerseys, tailgating, painting your face and cheering your little head off.

  97. discosucs2005 says: May 15, 2011 10:05 PM

    If by “close” he means that happened like 4 months ago, than yes, the players and owners are very ‘close’ to alienating the fans.

  98. vahawker says: May 15, 2011 10:05 PM

    DuaneThomas..”YOU are pro-owner, anti-players, pro-Goodell/NFL guy.”

    YOU are STILL wrong….If the owners had walked out while the players were sitting there asking for continued negotiations I would be pissed at them. If they had gone into negotiations and made ZERO offers I would be railing against them. However, it was the players who did that. I don’t care what the terms of any new CBA are, it has no affect on me or 99.999% of the people on this site. I just want the dog and pony show to end and it won’t with DeIdiot leading the charge.

    It started when they selected the weasel to lead them. Just like Bush during the election made it clear to anyone who was paying attention..he was going into Iraq come Hell or High water, DeIdiot came in hell bent on decert and going to court and nothing was going to stop him.

    So, while you only see black and white there are shades of gray and my stance is firmly against the party that walked about and ran to the courts instead of acting like men and getting it done.

    I don’t buy jerseys, I don’t paint my face, and they long ago priced me out of being able to justify the cost of a road trip to see a game. Used to travel up and down the east coast and into Ohio every year the Hawks were in the area. I can stay at home and watch in the comfort of my house or go to a sports bar hang out with the other 5 Hawks fans in the area and save myself about $800.(tickets, gas, hotel, food, reaming at the concession stand). Now that’s a bargain.

    If you can only see that a person is either pro-owner/pro-player, with no middle ground, that speaks volumes about you.

  99. drasarp says: May 15, 2011 10:32 PM

    Mr. Kraft;

    I have news for you… the League and players aren’t close to alienating me. I’m long past caring. This is one NFL fan who has “left the building.”

  100. tmfchiefs says: May 15, 2011 11:29 PM

    Mr Kraft…you don’t need to worry about our anger. What you need to worry about is fans like myself…I have a stud for a son that plays tackle football at 6 yrs old. I’m the head coach & sign-ups start next week. So I’m going to be spending the next several months getting to know the kids I have coming in…and also seeing what I have returning from last year. I have several competitive HS conferences in the area…so there’s never a shortage of a good HS game I can go see. And of course there’s always college ball. So as much as I love my Chiefs…either way, I won’t be going with out football. Indifference is more dangerous than anger…for your bottom line.

  101. bluvayner says: May 15, 2011 11:54 PM

    I really don’t see why anyone is upset at this point. We are still 3 to 4 months from the beginning of the season. What has been lost, other than some organized weight lifting? The one thing that you haven’t heard about this offseason, is a player blowing out his knee in meaningless offseason practices. The NFL was still fun to watch in the 70s and 80s, before any of this offseason crap started.

    The reason this hasn’t been settled yet, is because nobody has lost any money yet, and the players couldn’t care less about attending offseason workouts. This will all be worked out before any serious money is lost by either side. Right now, there is no urgency by the players or the owners, and if the fans had any sense, they wouldn’t care yet either.

  102. MichaelEdits says: May 16, 2011 12:01 AM

    Hey, it’s not the owners’ fault they’re so darned broke. Maybe they can pass a hat around the stadium before every game. And for Kraft personally, I promise to buy more Gillette razors and to quit using Schick, so that maybe those will be so profitable that he can afford to lose money on the Patriots. Maybe we can start sponsoring teams the way we do starving children. Sally Struthers could make some commercials and Jerry Lewis could do a telethon. We’ll save the NFL.

  103. pigeonpea says: May 16, 2011 12:39 AM

    I can’t speak for the rest of the fans out there, but I have had zero interest in the NFL since negotiations fell apart and Brady launched his antitrust lawsuit. I still don’t know (or care) who the Packers drafted, and only pop in here on my break at work to see if there has been any progress in the non-existant negotiation process. However, with it now being mid-May and no end in sight to this dispute, what little interest I have in the 2011 season is diminishing almost daily. Ever pay attention to the sub-par play and injuries that affect players that “hold out” through the preseason and TC for more money? Well, you are about to be treated to the same thing happening on a much grander scale should this dispute carry on much longer. This is one of many reasons I will not be bothering to order NFL Sunday Ticket even if a deal is reached for the 2011 season. I am not going to pretend I won’t watch the NFL on regular cable this year, but you can rest assured that they won’t be getting any money out of me.

    On another note, I recently had my Argonauts jersey customized and am really anticipating the 2011 CFL season. With the money I save from the Sunday Ticket, I’ll be able to take the GF to a few Argos games this season. Seeing how the Argos made it to the Eastern Final last fall, I doubt very much I’ll miss the NFL a whole helluva lot. At least I got to see the Packers win it all one last time before greed completely ruined the greatest sports league in the world.

  104. goawayeverybody says: May 16, 2011 1:34 AM

    Once the NFL season actually starts, all the fans will come flooding back though. People in this country have an attention span of a flea on a skillet.

  105. texline1 says: May 16, 2011 6:40 AM

    This all boils down to stupidity. On our part. We can’t afford gas, but we keep paying for football. We can’t pay our teachers, but we keep paying for football. We can’t make our house payments, but we keep paying for football. We can’t feed our poor, but we keep paying for football. When the owners and players, who, btw, are geniuses, strike in order to figure out a way to make us pay more, we insist that the government step in and MAKE THEM PLAY,THUS COSTING US MORE MONEY!!!! The American dream is alive and kicking. Maybe it should be laid to rest because it has become the American nightmare for 90% of us. The other 10% got theirs by stepping on our faces while we smiled up at them and asked for more.

  106. txhc says: May 16, 2011 7:57 AM

    Just put Kraft and Demarcus Ware in a room together. Everyone else can go **** themselves. This will get done in less than an hour.

  107. rockemsockemrobots says: May 16, 2011 7:58 AM

    Consider us alienated Bobby.

  108. txhc says: May 16, 2011 8:09 AM

    Close? This is the first time I’ve seeked out a football site since the draft. I haven’t watched NFL Network in over a month.

  109. tufflynx says: May 16, 2011 8:52 AM

    Mr. Kraft is right, we are already past the point where most fans will tolerate the stupidity we have seen. I don’t care how you slice it, both sides of this dispute make a lot of money by the standards of the big majority of Americans. Our level of tolerance for this kind of infighting by the over-privileged is long past.

    I can tell you that there are some people that are thrilled about the NFL lockout though. Those would be the people that make their living in the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association. Both of those leagues are probably going to pick up some fans that are tired of listening to these rich people fight about being richer.

  110. CKL says: May 16, 2011 1:03 PM

    IMO Robert Kraft has the background to be able to say these things with credibility since he was a fan of the team he bought long before he was able to purchase them and he sat in that crappy stadium in those crappy seats in crappy weather and cheered for the crappy version of the Patriots.

  111. hrmlss says: May 16, 2011 4:25 PM

    Dropped my Packer’s season tickets after 1 year due to this, after waiting forever. No more Sunday ticket either. No post superbowl Packer Gear. No more food and beer etc… at the Stadium. I’ve saved thousands already, and thousands more in the future. Might buy a 4 wheeler to go riding on the Weekend’s instead.

  112. axespray says: May 18, 2011 2:27 AM

    90ragtop says:
    May 15, 2011 5:22 PM
    Let’s face it – At this point, if the season gets played at all, it’s gonna look like sandlot football…

    ^ So basically, Vick/Rodgers/Roethlisberger/Mcnabb type QBs will do better than Flacco/Pocket type of QBs?

  113. bozosforall says: May 19, 2011 3:43 PM

    CKL says:
    May 16, 2011 1:03 PM
    IMO Robert Kraft has the background to be able to say these things with credibility since he was a fan of the team he bought long before he was able to purchase them and he sat in that crappy stadium in those crappy seats in crappy weather and cheered for the crappy version of the Patriots.

    ______
    (su)CKL(oser), how can you even see a thing with your head so far up Kraft’s arse?

  114. walleyewall says: May 20, 2011 8:37 PM

    the most fraudulant team, owner, coches, and of course their fearless pile of a commish are worried about the fans YEAH RIGHT.. we will be back w/a bitter taste of football in our mouth but well suck it up.. you frauds need to shut up and get things done we don twant to hear your sob stories get it done.

    by the way where are those tapes you fruads

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