INDIANAPOLIS — Patriots owner Robert Kraft stopped to chat with reporters today after the team’s media availability. Here’s a bit of what he had to say, via Patriots beat reporter Shalise Manza Young.
Talking about rally
“At the stadium today was so special – the times we’re in now, to have 25000 of our fans come to the stadium and cheer our team off and they were chanting my sweetheart’s initials as well…it was a very emotional experience and very special. We have a very special locker room and a very special team this year and a team who they like each other and they work together and the offense and defense respect one another, and I was just mentioning – think about it, in the last (regular season) game we were down 21-0 after the first quarter and we came back and won 49-21, so this team has a mental toughness and believes in one another.”
Four years ago you were favored…is there uncertainty this time?
“There’s always uncertainty because no matter what anyone tells you – I have the privilege of being chair of the broadcast committee, and the reason the networks pay us the fees they pay us (is because) no one – there’s no owner, quarterback, head coach, anyone that knows what’s going to happen in the game. That’s why it’s the best appointment television product. It’s the only product on free TV that people will make an appointment to watch, and the reason is no one knows what’s going to happen, so all you can do is prepare hard, get the best people, prepare hard and then hope you execute well. One thing I learned is that you can practice very hard and do very well and still lose, but if you don’t practice well, you have no chance of winning. So I’m rooting for good practices this week.”
Twenty-five thousand at rally was good crowd for a game in the “dark days?”
“I sat in those crowds. I sat with those crowds. I sat in the stands for 34 years and we had one home playoff game, in 1978, which we lost to Houston and then last Sunday we were privileged to host our 15th home playoff game. We won that thank goodness, so our record since we’ve owned the team is 13-2 in home playoff games.”
On the year he’s had
“Very long year. So we’re happy we’re at this game that we’re at right now. We look forward – I think it’s going to be a great game, and we’re very respectful of both…I’m very fond of the ownership on the other side. The Mara family has done so much for the league over the last 90 years, they’ve put the league first; the Tischs are a great family and they have a great team and coach Coughling, Tom and Bill (Belichick) worked together. I think the fans of the NFL are going to have a great football game.”