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Kraft fears alienating fans, but has that already happened?

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  May 16, 2011 07:12 AM

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Yesterday Robert Kraft again declared that if the NFL and players would kick lawyers out of the negotiating room the two sides could get something worked out. The Patriots' owner has consistently called for that to happen, even as his side - the league/owners - have been adding bold-faced attorney after bold-faced attorney to their roster of lawyers and has taken the Brady et al vs. NFL case to a federal appeals court.

While generally remaining optimistic in his comments at the Patriots/Raytheon Science of Sport science fair at Gillette Stadium about the likelihood of the 2011 season starting on time, he also had a warning for all involved: the time has come where the game may suffer because fans have had enough.

"The problem can be solved. I really believe that," Kraft said. "One of my concerns is we not aggravate our fan base, because they don’t understand and they don’t want to understand whether it’s the owners, the players [at fault], they just want to have football.

"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. Because in the end, the fans just want football. They don’t want to hear about all of this meaningless squabbling."

But while Kraft said that point is coming, are fans already past the point of aggravation? I've heard from some fans via Twitter and email, as I'm sure colleague Greg Bedard has as well.

Weigh in now in the comments section: are you aggravated with the NFL and players? Has it impacted your interest in the game? To what extent?

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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