Add the Providence Journal's Bill Reynolds to the list of ESPN-like media jerks, who are trying to use the Hernandez situation as a meat clever to hack away at the area's most successful sports franchise, the New England Patriots. The media did damage, but failed to destroy BB and the Pats with the trumped up Spygate matter. Now, there's a effort to do it again, via Hernandez. Here is the text of the Reynold's muck-raking article...with my commentary interspersed therein, in bold black. You be the judge:
BILL REYNOLDS: PATRIOTS CAN'T SEVER LINK TO HERNANDEZ
Right now Aaron Hernandez is the Patriots' brand, like it or not. At least when it comes to popular perception. (RESPONSE: Says you. Polls amongst Patriot fans strongly disagree. Furthermore, based on what I've read here from fans of other teams, and at other media web cites discussing Hernandez, this is overwhelmingly not the case. Fans see this as it is...an act by a player that no one one saw coming, and that had nothing to do with the team, or it's "brand". The truth of the matter is that this is the opinion and the agenda of the NY media, that hates BB and the Patriots...as it continues in it's endeavor to tarnish and destroy the accomplishments of this great franchise).
It has become as big a sports story as there is in country, this amazing tale of Aaron Hernandez, now in jail on a murder charge, one of the biggest stories in the long history of New England sports.
This story of murder, a high-profile professional athlete with a checkered past, guns, drugs and the NFL, all coming together in the American intersection of celebrity and the 24-hour news cycle.
And you know what?
It’s not going away, no matter how much the Patriots want it to.
RESPONSE: True...but, so what?
And there’s no question they want it to, no question that they are now unofficially in damage-control mode. The Hernandez jersey buy-back deal was the first sign. Monday’s public admission by Robert Kraft that he “was duped” by Hernandez was another.
RESPONSE: The first sign?? What about the immediate release of AH, once he was arrested? Don't you agree that that, along with the things you mentioned above, were the right things to do...as well as being wise PR moves, on the part of the Patriots? In fact, the media has begrudgingly credited the franchise for these actions. Theses things have in fact served to distance the Patriots from AH. But, that's not what the media wants. They are looking for a hook to blame the Patriots for the actions of AH.
They were both attempts at public relations, of course, attempts to stop the damage.
RESPONSE: No...they were the right things to do...and the Pats got good PR for them...which the media does not want to see.
Whether are they are too little, too late, is another matter.
RESPONSE: Too little, too late? What else could they do?The media wishes to push the agenda that the Pats were at fault for drafting AH, and for not keeping seveillance on him...as if NFL teams are now being charged with watching their players, 24/7.
Then again, it’s become obvious that the Patriots have never been through anything like this before.
RESPONSE: No one else has, either. How else could the Patriots have reacted?
It took Kraft too long to publicly comment on it. Bill Belichick has yet to comment on it.
RESPONSE: Too long? Who knows all the facts? I saw nothing wrong with what Kraft said, or the timing of his statement. The media and Patriot haters are trying to make an issue out of Kraft saying that he was "duped" by AH. Anyone who knows Kraft will likely tell you that he is generally a fair, benevolent kind of guy...who won great praise from the NFLPA for his leadership and fair-handed ways in successfully concluding the latest NFL players' strike. Obviously, Kraft WAS duped by AH. Why else would he have signed off on that big money contract extension? Yet...instead of holding onto AH in hopes of recouping his money, Kraft chose to write it off as a loss...and do the right thing by immediately terminating AH.
For an organization that’s always taken so much pride on controlling both the conversation and the message, they are walking on new terrain here.
RESPONSE: And oh...how you media jerks hate it! And you hate the fact that the Pats' have made all the right moves thus far in dealing with the situation...from both a righteous and PR standpoint.
It is what it is?
RESPONSE: Yes, the Hernandez matter it is what it is...an unforseen act by an indivual, who happened to be a star player with the Patriots.
What it is is the biggest scandal in Patriot history.
RESPONSE: LOL!!! How is this a "scandal" for the Patriots? They had nothing to do with the actions of this individual, Aaron Hernandez. I have seen no evidence that the Patriots were involved in any way regarding these murders. Again...the media is attempting to push an agenda on the sports public, to damage or destroy the Patriots.
Training camp is only a couple of weeks away and rest assured that Hernandez is always going to be the elephant in the locker room, the one everyone’s trying not to look at. And for an organization — and a coach — that’s always prided itself on circling the wagons, an organization that’s always considered distractions just one more opponent, this is different.
RESPONSE: You wish. Keep it up. You media idiots are going to inspire the 2013 edition of the Patriots to greater heights.
This will be Hernandez always in the news.
RESPONSE: True. It's quite a story.
This will be Hernandez in the center of what is still an active murder case.
RESPONSE: True...Hernandez will be at the center of it all...but not the Patriots...unless you media morons manage to successfully push your agenda.
This will be stories about Hernandez every step of the way until his case is resolved, stories that will be on the front page. Not the sports page. The front page.
RESPONSE: True...but how will that negatively effect the 2013 Patriots?
The Patriots’ brand?
Right now Aaron Hernandez is the Patriots’ brand, like it or not. At least when to comes to popular perception.
RESPONSE: This is a flat out lie...as I have previously stated, above. But, the media will strive to convince the sports public of this.
And this is not some run-of-the-mill drug story, the kind that has almost become a cliché in the NFL. This is a man dead. This is murder. And this is a Patriots star in jail.
RESPONSE: Correction...former Patriots' star in jail.
This is as ugly as it gets. And for a franchise that’s always been so concerned with its image, the so-called “Patriot Way,” this is the worst-possible black eye.
RESPONSE: Again...says who? But keep trying, you media jerks!
Rest assured the Hernandez story will follow the Patriots around all year like some afternoon, something they will never be able to shake, even if Belichick will avoid mentioning it and the players will quickly come to realize it is off-limits. Rest assured, the wagons will close.
RESPONSE: You wish. The Hernandez story will be around all year...but it's not going to "follow he team around all year", and be a big negative. If anything, it's going to be a rallying device, which will serve to bring the team together.
But the Patriots can try to ignore it all they want. The players can hide in the locker room and refuse to talk about anyone not in the room, which might just be the new code to say that Hernandez is off-limits. The Patriots can act as though Aaron Hernandez is like someone in some old Eastern European country, someone who simply disappeared, now a non-person.
RESPONSE: I don't see how the Patriots have "tried to ignore it". On the contrary, the team has met it head on...and done all the right things, thus far...both righteously, and PR wise. And now, according to Reynolds, BB and Bob Kraft are Eastern European dictators?? LOL!!! We can only wish that folks running those "Eastern European countries" which you speak of, would act in a similar righteous manner, as the Pats' management has, when making their worldly decisions. Doesn't this referral to the Pats as member of the Eastern bloc tell you all you need to know about the anti-Patriots/BB media bias?
The story won’t go away.
RESPONSE: Of course it won't. No one expects it too. But, no matter how hard you media jerks try, you can't tie the murders by Hernandez to the Patriots.
Because the Patriots can try to ignore it all they want. They can say they are going to talk only about football, and that Hernandez is no longer a Patriot, and they talk only about guys on the roster. They can try to ignore it all they want, and Belichick can say it is what it is, and they all can hope it goes away.
RESPONSE: Again...the Pats haven't "ignored it", but met it head on.
But it’s not going to go away.
No how, no way.
Elephants in the middle of the room never do.
RESPONSE: Keep hoping...Reynolds and you other media jerks! LOL!!