8. Robert Kraft
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft could easily be much higher on this list. His donation of protective masks to New York City during the pandemic (all be it in a big Patriots semi) has endeared him to the people of NYC. Those good feelings should last until November 19 when his team comes to MetLife for Sunday Night football.
Putting the whole mask thing on a shelf for a minute, Kraft has a very long rap sheet of offenses against the New York Jets. While some of the shenanigans fell at the feet of other people, it’s hard to know where to start. For example, Kraft had to be well aware of the 2007 “Spygate” scandal in which New England got caught filming Gang Green’s sideline to steal signals, and more than likely signed off on it.
One word that comes up when using Kraft and the New York Jets is tampering. One party seems always to be accusing the other of tampering. His two most significant infractions have to do with that subject.
Earlier it was mentioned that Parcells joined the Jets after quitting his job as New England’s head coach in the spring of 1997. Kraft immediately accused Gang Green of tampering. The Jets begrudgingly compensated NE with several draft picks. Their total bill was a third and fourth-round pick in 1997, a second-round pick in 1998, and a first-rounder in 1999.
This next part comes under the category of hypocritical. Bill Belichick signed a six-year contract in 1997 to be the Jets defensive coordinator under Parcells. There was a clause in it that named Belichick as Parcells’ successor, one his mentor hung up his whistle. As noted above, the Tuna left Gang Green after the 1999 season.
Bellichick got the New York Jets job, as promised, and he held it for all of a day before bolting for Beantown (sounds better than Foxboro). Kraft swooped in and stole the man who is now the third-winningest coach in NFL history. As compensation, New York got their first-round pick back that was surrendered when they brought in Parcells.