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As the Red Sox continue their plunge into chaos and ruin on the likes of which a team can never recover (emphasis on never), the Patriots appear to be cruising along to another playoff run. I can’t help but compare them. Two months ago, if you asked the experts to name some of the model sports franchises, both of these teams would have been somewhere high atop that list. Some people would probably say the same thing today. They’re horribly wrong. The differences between how the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots franchises are operated are strikingly different–and one of these teams does a far superior job.
Let’s start at the top. Both of these teams allegedly have competent, wealthy owners, who have multiple championships on their resumes. As cynical and disrespectful as it may seem, I automatically assume that sports owners know little to nothing about sports. All they (should) decide is how many buckets of hundred dollar bills they want to pour into their franchises. The more they care about winning, the more money they will
burn on overpriced, prima donnas spend (Them’s fighting words, sabermetrics). You may be insanely wealthy, but I don’t give a hoot about your philosophy of the game.
That brings us to difference #1 between the Patriots and Red Sox. Bob Kraft surrounds himself with smart football people. Shockingly, he let’s them do what’s best. That’s unheard of! Never mind, I was too busy thinking about the cold blooded John Henry. He’s got this kooky idea that advanced metrics are more important than home runs. As a result, he hires puppets to carry out his totalitarian demands.
There’s nothing more important than PR in sports. It’s the only way teams can heartlessly satiate their hunger for more money without letting their dimwitted fans catch on. Yet again, the differences are glaring. Remember when Randy Moss went insane or something and the Patriots traded him for dirt? We still don’t know what exactly happened. It was a football decision and it was portrayed as football decision. Amazing. Or when the Patriots parted ways with Deion Branch, Ty Law, or anyone else? They may be stingy, but at least the Patriots admit it. The Patriots simply did not place the same monetary value on the players that the athletes or other teams did. Very professional.
Now think about the Red Sox signature smear campaigns. Manny, Pedro, Damon. Most of these decisions were probably money-related. But being the Red Sox, PR felt the need to bring people’s characters into question. Nothing makes their day like tarnishing someone’s reputation. Classic Red Sox.
Additionally think about, the relationships these teams have with their former players. Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, and Troy Brown, etc. Most appear to be on good terms with the Patriots. The Red Sox…not so much.
We’ve all heard about the Patriot way. When you put on a Patriots jersey, it means something. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you think you accomplished. You take in pride in that, you honor the team. And if you don’t, have fun getting cut.
Now when you’re on the Red Sox, things are a little different. First you get piles of guaranteed money thrown at you for multiple years. Then you call up KFC. Then you start playing COD5. Then you enjoy a couple Natty Lights. And if there’s a game that day? Whatever, you just gained 70 pounds–you don’t need to deal with those shenanigans. Fake and injury or something.
I’m generalizing, but the Patriots clearly run a tighter ship. There’s order and discipline and a lot less BS. Of course the nature of the different sports dictates things as well. The Patriots have several major advantages in the genius mastermind that is Bill Belichick and the greatest Quarterback of all time that is Tom Brady. Nevertheless, which administration would you rather have operating your favorite sports team?