There may be a rather sizable segment out there that doesn't like the Patriots all that much. But apparently in some circles, owner Robert Kraft is immune.
NFL website This Given Sunday published a list of 30 NFL owners ranked on the basis of likability, using "running a respectable NFL operation" and being "someone who we'd like to share a beverage with at a local establishment" as the main criteria in determining the rankings. Very highfalutin stuff.
Anyway, Kraft comes in super strong, finishing at No. 3 overall, trailing only Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan (???) and the Rooney family, owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The post's author, Sean Tomlinson, notes Kraft's "gifting" of a Super Bowl ring to Russian president Vladimir Putin, which aided in "avoiding a conflict between America and the great nation of Russia" as his main reason for awarding Kraft with the top 3 finish. He also notes Kraft's "immense acting talent" while posting the video of the Pats' owner running lines with his girlfriend Ricki Lander from a couple years ago, before changing course and declaring the video to be "another reason why Kraft is the best." OK then.
If you're still not convinced that Tomlinson's methods aren't exactly scientific, here are a few more bits of evidence.
- Khan, the No. 1 ranked owner on the list as well as the owner of English Premier League club Fulham, is known in part for some not terribly subtle declarations suggesting a potential move of the Jaguars to London. Also, Tomlinson's main reason for Khan top-lining the list is that he has a sick mustache.
- Baltimore Ravens' owner Steve Bisciotti is No. 5 despite his and his organization's very public enabling of running back Ray Rice in the aftermath of Rice's shameful recent behavior.
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones checks in at No. 7 which has to be seen as a massive insult to Cowboys fans everywhere. The Cowboys have won one playoff game in 20 years and represent the textbook definition of a .500 team with Jones micro managing, doing everything from doling out injury information to the media to holding postgame press conferences in the team's locker room.. At least in the "Reasons Not To Like Him" section, Tomlinson cites Jones's "looming, forever meddling presence."
At least Tomlinson has the good sense to place Washington owner Daniel Snyder, at the absolute bottom of the list. Regardless of his motives/intentions regarding the list, ranking the loathsome Snyder last lends an immediate air of credibility to the proceedings.
Follow Jeremy on Twitter @jmg2776.