Patriots owner Robert Kraft thinks that if his team is disliked by others in the league, it’s because others wish they had New England’s five Vince Lombardi Trophies.
Kraft said at the Bloomberg Breakaway Summit that he thinks opposing teams, jealous of the Patriots’ success, lobbied NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to come down hard on the Patriots over Deflategate not because they thought deflated footballs were serious business but because they wanted to gain an edge over the Patriots.
“Well, I don’t hold grudges, but I also don’t forget anything,” Kraft said. “Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. If I had never won a Super Bowl — I’m going into my 24th season as an owner. I’m passionate about owning a football team in my hometown. If I hadn’t won, I would be so angry at our folks and thinking about what can I do to do it. So, our competitors, I understand how they brought pressure on the league office to be very strong and not compromise on an issue that was nonsense and foolishness.”
As it turned out, the Patriots won the Super Bowl and Kraft doesn’t think Tom Brady’s four-game suspension hurt the team.
“He didn’t play the first four games, which is 25 percent of the season. The good news is, he took no wear and tear on his body,” Kraft said.
When you’re successful enough that losing your starting quarterback for a quarter of the season can seem like a good thing in hindsight, that’s the kind of success that can make other teams jealous.