Why Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Should Buy the New York Mets

Nick "Fitzy" Stevens
April 13, 2020 - 9:23 pm

Following the departure of Tom Brady from his football franchise, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has his hands full. He’s lost the greatest quarterback of all-time, a man he’s said is “like a son” to him, placing his faith for continuity and competitiveness in coach Bill Belichick.

With a rebuild-from-within underway, after setting a championship standard, this is rather the daunting task. Not to mention countless business and philanthropic pursuits. The man we call Mr. Kraft is pretty pret-tay busy. Which is why it’s downright insane to suggest he consider purchasing another major American sports franchise. And yet, at the risk of sounding crazy (won’t be the first time), and possibly downright traitorous (probably the only time), I would LOVE if New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft were to purchase the New York Mets.

DISCLAIMER: I lived in New York City for some time, but in no way shape or form am I a Mets fan, nor sympathist.

Given their years of ineptitude and always playing second fiddle in the largest media market to The Evil Empire in the Bronx I would “root” for them in the Subway Series, or to just be competitive or entertaining if possible. Which they often were, usually in the clown car on fire by the side of the road capacity. I’d go to a couple games a year out of convenience. But I’m a Red Sox fan through and through. And these are the Mets, a formative part of my sports childhood, the team that came from behind and defeated the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, forcing me at age 12 to miss a day of school for bereavement (my mom wrote me the note and everything). That’s something the Yankees or even Ei Manning can’t claim. Twice. That son of a ... anyway, not a fan. 

The idea of RKK purchasing the NYM isn’t a twisted Boston sports fantasia. It was first proposed last Saturday in a piece by Ken Davidoff of the NY Post. At first glance, I thought it was a joke. Something cooked up for levity’s sake during a time of crisis by a freelance writer for The Onion who landed the back page, known for puns and twisted wit. Turns out it was a suggestion in earnest, and after scoffing initially at the thought I have to admit I began to embrace it. From a two-fold regional perspective, for both New England and the metropolitan New York area. As I paint myself further into an unexpectedly awkward corner, allow me to explain.

This purely speculative move makes the most sense for The Mets, a team whose fans have suffered for decades (sound familiar, New England?). The Mets have been to just two World Series since the ’86 Series, winning zero. They’ve jockeyed between punchline, sad-sack and also-ran for most of that time. They’ve squandered a few prime opportunities, floundered in the face of success, switched stadiums (lukewarm take: Citi Field is a great ballpark), and seen their ownership get fleeced in The Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. For many being a Mets fan is a burdensome birth rite and inescapable fate.  So who better to step in and reverse the course than the man who leads the Patriots, in the published words of a dear friend, from darkness to dynasty? 

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but all Robert Kraft does is win.

He’s a homegrown, hard-working businessman turned magnate, celebrity, and diplomat. The success that Mr. Kraft has experienced in his almost three decades of owning the New England Patriots alone, the gold standard of the NFL for the past two decades, would have Mets fans dreaming of dynastic success. Or at least not being the cage-liner for the NL East time and again. Couple his success with his recent surge in popularity in New York due to his charitable COVID-19 efforts and suddenly Mets fans would be willing to rename The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway “The Patriot Way” if need be. It’s delightfully twisted, but hey - this is 2020. We’re conditioned to expect only the unexpected. 

How would this move sit with Mets fans? Well, if the reaction of sister station drive-time host, Joe Beningo of WFAN in New York, a long suffering Mets and Jets fan, is any indication, then they can’t roll out the red carpet quickly enough. “I’m all for Robert Kraft buying the Mets”, the famously emotional and impassioned Beningo wrote today when reached for comment. “I’m in! Where do I sign?” Considering how the Patriots sat on the Jets like an obnoxious older brother for the better part of the past twenty years, that speaks volumes. And I imagine the zest for winning, let alone change and a chance, would inspire one and many a member of The 7 Line Army to do the same.

OK, again, makes all the sense in the world for Mets fans. But why would any Pats fan care about their owner buying a losing team in what’s considered “enemy territory”? I put that very question to the masses Monday (typo and all) and the responses varied wildly:

As far as I’m concerned, with what he’s done for the Pats, our region and us as fans? Whatever team Mr. Kraft puts his money and effort behind I’m into...even if they helped ruin a part of my childhood. Plus the Sox and Mets could be like sister teams or make friendly trades. With all we’ve been through would New York and Boston getting along from opposite leagues be such a bad thing?

And maybe, just maybe, Mr. Kraft could persuade his greatest player ever to finish his career where his professional career almost started; behind home plate. After all it wasn’t Kraft who first drafted Tom Brady, but the Montreal Expos in 1995 who took Brady to be a catcher. He chose football, and dare we say chose, wisely. Would Brady be willing to follow in the footsteps of Gary Carter and Mike Piazza in his 40’s when his football career is over? I wouldn’t put it past him, just like I wouldn’t rule out calling the Mets a perennial contender if Mr. Kraft opened his mind and his checkbook.