As a noted friend to Donald Trump, there won't be too many opportunities in the future for Robert Kraft to take the moral high ground,so we'll let him enjoy this one.
But last night, unlike his tyrannical mate in the White House, the New England Patriots owner showed appreciation for something unAmerican: schadenfreude.
After the Patriots' absurd comeback victory in Superbowl LI, the NFL continued their infuriating tradition of presenting the Lombardi trophy to the team owner, but if ever a trophy presentation should have closed with the theme music to Curb Your Enthusiasm, then this was it.
Relations between Roger Goodell, the NFL's Commissioner, and the Patriots have been appalling since the Deflategate fiasco, which led to Tom Brady missing the first four games of this season.
The prevailing opinion is that Goodell made an example of Brady over the incident, in which the PAatriots were accused of deliberately underinflating footballs during the AFC Championship game with the Colts in 2015. The NFL announced that they would suspend Brady for four games of the following regular season, but the issue dragged on interminably. Brady appealed, Goodell upheld the ban, so the issue was then referred to a Federal Court.
The Federal Court ruled in Brady's favour, but Goodell fought on, and on April 25 of 2016, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Brady's suspension be put in place again, this time coming into effect for the first four games of the current season. After Brady was denied another hearing, he decided against another appeal and he served his time.
Goodell does not emerge very well from the entire saga, with serious question marks surrounding his conduct in the investigation of Brady, which is well dissected by CBS here.
So Kraft and the Patriots were bound to revel in Goodell handing over the trophy. The commissioner was roundly booed on the podium, and while Kraft deigned to shake his hand, eye-contact and actual engagement was minimal.
Roger Goodell getting booed and hating life. pic.twitter.com/mGjiUVn1Mo
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 6, 2017
The Robert Kraft speech was, essentially, one long tirade against Goodell, oddly reminiscent of Father Ted's Golden Cleric speech. "And on to liars..."
The Robert Kraft Speech
The only thing deflated today is Goodell's ego.