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They Call Me Mr Kraft


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#1 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:19 PM

Robert Kraft is the cover of the upcoming SI:

Posted Image

Peter King writes the article:

On the last day of the 1993 NFL regular season, Patriots players and die-hard fans seemed resigned to losing their team. Absentee owner James Orthwein, a Missouri native who had bought the club two years earlier, intended to move it to St. Louis, which had lost the Cardinals in '88. "We were as good as gone," said Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett. But the fans wouldn't go down without a fight. Though they had the league's worst team (13--50 over four seasons heading into that game, against playoff-contending Miami) and worst venue (dumpy, no-frills Foxboro Stadium), damn it, this was still their bad team and their crappy stadium. Before the game they burned empty cases of Budweiser in the windswept parking lots. (Orthwein was a great-grandson of brewing mogul Adolphus Busch and sat on the board of the St. Louis--based brewing company.) And once the game ended, victoriously, on a Drew Bledsoe overtime touchdown pass to Michael Timpson, the fans wouldn't leave. "Don't take our team!" they chanted. "Don't take our team!"

Robert Kraft, the owner of Foxboro Stadium, was getting in an elevator when he heard the crowd. It had been a frenzied time for Kraft and his family, as they watched Orthwein shop the Patriots to prospective owners who would take the team to St. Louis. Kraft was a potential buyer, but he felt the deck was stacked against him because he would keep the Patriots in New England. As the elevator door closed, he turned to his son Jonathan and said, "There's no way we're not winning this."


Here is a link to the complete article:
http://sportsillustr...94463/index.htm

I was going to put this in the Peter King section of the media forum but I thought the Pats owner probably deserved his own thread.

Edited by BannedbyNYYFans.com, 01 February 2012 - 08:21 PM.


#2 The Allented Mr Ripley


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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:22 PM

"Don't take our team!" they chanted. "Don't take our team!"


I was at that game. The above is incorrect; we were chanting, "St. Louis sucks!"

#3 Oogies Loogies

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:25 PM

I was at that game. The above is incorrect; we were chanting, "St. Louis sucks!"


I was there, too, in the end zone where Timpson caught the TD. Everyone there was chanting "Don't go!"

This was the first Patriots game I ever attended and still one of my favorites. Thanks to a healthy mix of Dolphins fans desperate for their team to win and clinch a playoff spot, the crowd was as intense as any regular season game I've been to (admittedly only about a dozen).

I went into the stadium that day fearing it would be the last we'd see of the Patriots and I left completely confident there was no way they would leave. And I barely even had any idea who Robert Kraft was. I always got him confused with Steve Karp.

#4 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:16 AM

Ha, I was at that game too. Dammit Rip, why didn't we get drunk together?

After the OT TD catch I turned to a buddy and said I had never felt such a stadium shake for a 5-11 team. Really remarkable.

#5 drleather2001


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

I thought there were no Pats fans until the 1997 Super Bowl? Or was it the 2002 Divisional Game against Oakland? Or was it after SB XXXVI?

Christ, I forget.

#6 soxfan121


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

That's a weak profile piece - I expect more from SI, usually. Nothing wrong with the content that is there, but shouldn't there be more? Two paragraphs about "saving the 2011 season"? Weak.

#7 Corsi


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:04 AM

That's a weak profile piece - I expect more from SI, usually. Nothing wrong with the content that is there, but shouldn't there be more? Two paragraphs about "saving the 2011 season"? Weak.

Hey man, Peter King has to dedicate a 1000-word opus to his freaking barista and his pumpkin spice latte selection, so what do you expect?

#8 BannedbyNYYFans.com

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

That's a weak profile piece - I expect more from SI, usually. Nothing wrong with the content that is there, but shouldn't there be more? Two paragraphs about "saving the 2011 season"? Weak.


When I posted the link I originally wrote something like "Nice article by Peter King"...then I realized it wasn't really a great piece and took out the complimentary adjective. I still thought it was worth posting because the thread topic of Bob Kraft is worthwhile but I think King mailed it in (as usual).

#9 Carmine Hose

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

Nobody anymore seems to mention his attempt to fleece the State of Connecticut and move the Patriots to Hartford when the MA legislature didn't fall for his story that they couldn't compete unless the taxpayers built a stadium for him. $50 million of state infrastructure later and he's sitting on a gold mine.

The point - Nobody who succeeds in big business is wholly benevolent.

#10 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

Nobody anymore seems to mention his attempt to fleece the State of Connecticut and move the Patriots to Hartford when the MA legislature didn't fall for his story that they couldn't compete unless the taxpayers built a stadium for him. $50 million of state infrastructure later and he's sitting on a gold mine.

The point - Nobody who succeeds in big business is wholly benevolent.


Well, to be fair, he did end up building Gillette with his own money. Yes he got money from the state for the infrastructure improvements. He's not benefiting from a free $500 million stadium like some other owners are.

Your latter point is spot-on, of course. But if all the owners are bastards, I'm glad this particular bastard is my football team's owner. Would you rather have Jones/Snyder/Al Davis Jr?

#11 steveluck7

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

I was also at that game, under not-so-great circumstances. My dad and I and a few otehrs were scheduled to go. A week before the game, my dad suddenly passed away. A friend of his worked security at the stadium and found out that we were still going to go. He ushered us around the stadium and ultimately got us inot a spot in the end zone where Timpson caught the TD. It was really cool just being there as a 13 yr old kid, now, looking back at how much was on the line that day makes it all the more special

Edited by steveluck7, 02 February 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#12 Carmine Hose

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:49 AM

Well, to be fair, he did end up building Gillette with his own money.


Agreed. But that was only after he tried to float a tale of woe that they couldn't compete in the NFL if the state didn't build it for him. That proved absurdly false.

Regardless, in addition to the direct $50 million the state spent on and around Route 1, he also has a virtually never-ending property tax break where he pays $0 in tax to Foxborough on all his property and receives a corporate tax credit (5% of what he spent there).

I'm happy he's the owner because he's put together a winning organization with a good chunk of that due to incredible luck (the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft becoming arguably the best QB ever0.

#13 Average Reds


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

Nobody anymore seems to mention his attempt to fleece the State of Connecticut and move the Patriots to Hartford when the MA legislature didn't fall for his story that they couldn't compete unless the taxpayers built a stadium for him. $50 million of state infrastructure later and he's sitting on a gold mine.

The point - Nobody who succeeds in big business is wholly benevolent.


As someone who has no dog in this hunt, I will disagree (mildly) with your premise.

The fact that he played a bunch of CT politicians for the amiable dunces they are doesn't exactly speak well of his character. But I don't think his objective was to fleece the State of Connecticut. (For that to be true, he would have to have acted on the deal he negotiated.) His real objective was to use CT as a stalking horse to allow him to squeeze as much as possible out of Mass. He was only partially successful in this.

And yes, he's a ruthless business person trying to squeeze any and all potential "partners" for the best deal he can for his franchise. As much as I dislike the practice, I can't say I blame him.

#14 jacklamabe65


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

Ha, I was at that game too. Dammit Rip, why didn't we get drunk together?

After the OT TD catch I turned to a buddy and said I had never felt such a stadium shake for a 5-11 team. Really remarkable.


I was there as well in Section 318, Row 6, Seat 7 - my old season ticket. So was Cousin Frank. We shouted out, "Don't leave!" repeatedly.

#15 Harry Hooper


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

And yes, he's a ruthless business person trying to squeeze any and all potential "partners" for the best deal he can for his franchise. As much as I dislike the practice, I can't say I blame him.


Kraft could have squeezed more. He could have had raked in more cash from season ticket holders via the extortion of PSLs for the new stadium's seats. He didn't.

#16 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

Holy shit, Jack, a link would have done just fine.

#17 JimD

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

Not much new in this article. The anecdotes about Brady as an ultra-confident unknown have been told elsewhere, and Kraft's relationship with BB in '96 when the latter was on the staff under Parcells was told in much more detail in on eof the books (Halberstam's book, I believe).

#18 quint


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:17 PM

Holy shit, Jack, a link would have done just fine.


Seriously.

There's no way I'm reading any of that.

#19 BrazilianSoxFan

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

Seriously.

There's no way I'm reading any of that.


Well, I just did and it's a great read. I recommend.

#20 Dogman2


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

Well, I just did and it's a great read. I recommend.


I'm making a list of your other recommendations, help me out.

#21 Al Zarilla


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:17 PM

Getting testyier around here. Start the freaking game already.

#22 Bucknahs Bum Ankle


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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

Getting testyier around here. Start the freaking game already.

Lets leave your balls out of this, okay?

#23 PseuFighter


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

trolling youtube; can't seem to find any video of this miami game. i actually remember kids talking about it the next day in school, so it was that big of a deal.

would be nice to look at some of the tapes...

edit: here it is; best part, the game was blacked out in boston.


Edited by PseuFighter, 03 February 2012 - 01:09 AM.


#24 Hoya81

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:08 AM

trolling youtube; can't seem to find any video of this miami game. i actually remember kids talking about it the next day in school, so it was that big of a deal.

would be nice to look at some of the tapes...



ESPN highlight package of the game.

#25 kenneycb


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:14 AM

Irving Fryar "sliced" his way for 19 yards. First time I've ever laughed at Berman.

#26 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:22 AM

Goddamn Leonard Russell...

#27 weeba

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

Did Bledsoe always side arm the ball that much or was he injured?

#28 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

Did Bledsoe always side arm the ball that much or was he injured?


Always. His mechanics and footwork were never, ever very good. Also note well the awful decision-making at times. He was a rookie in that clip and he did improve, but then reverted to EXACTLY that form by the end of his time here.

#29 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

Look how much smaller guys were back then. They all look so skinny compared to the freaks we see in the NFL today.

I loved Vincent Brisby.

#30 8slim


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

Did any designer ever look at those jerseys from more than 6 feet away and realize it was totally f'ing impossible to read red numbers on a blue background?!

I was at the game the week prior when we lit up the Colts 35-0. That was a blast, grabbed $20 end zone tickets about an hour before kickoff (remember those days?!) and there couldn't have been more than 30,000 people actually in the stands as it was around zero with the wind chill. I believe we ran the ball around 50 times that day.

Looking back it's really incomprehensible as to why Parcells came to coach the Pats. We had almost no talent on the roster, and an owner who was intent on moving the team.

#31 khalid1973

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

I was also at that game sitting at the opposite end of the Drew bomb. The other crazy thing about that day was the weather was really warm for January. One of those 60 degree days you get out of nowhere. But man were those jerseys ugly...good thing they didn't stay with those too long.

#32 MarcSullivaFan

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:14 AM

If you're looking for a good listen, Simmons did a nice job interviewing Jonathan Kraft yesterday on his podcast. His questions were a little awkward at times, but I give him a lot of credit for asking some tough questions.

Also, Robert Kraft's "interview" (more of a monologue) with the Big Show yesterday (available on demand) was very candid, and actually quite moving.

I was very impressed with both of them, in particular the way they gracefully handled the "win it for Myra" narrative. Neither took the easy road of making her out to be a sentimental mascot, and they managed to downplay that angle without sounding snobby or ungrateful.

#33 DrewDawg


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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

Always. His mechanics and footwork were never, ever very good. Also note well the awful decision-making at times. He was a rookie in that clip and he did improve, but then reverted to EXACTLY that form by the end of his time here.


Yeah. But, DAMN, there were times when he could really sling that ball around. He did A LOT for this franchise.

Edited by DrewDawg, 04 February 2012 - 10:05 AM.


#34 baruch20

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:46 AM

Yeah. But, DAMN, there were times when he could really sling that ball around. He did A LOT for this franchise.


Seconded. It wasn't always pretty but sometimes watching those lasers come out of his hand was sublime. It was wierd. The ball seemed like it had turbines.
I'm glad we got that one last laser for a TD in Pittsburgh to propel us into our current "Dynasty" That throw in the AFC championship was one of those type that only he could zip in there.

#35 BigSoxFan


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:54 AM

Losing your wife and then the SB in terrible fashion when a win would have meant so much. I truly feel for this man.

#36 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:57 AM

Losing your wife and then the SB in terrible fashion when a win would have meant so much. I truly feel for this man.


I hate to say it, but I am not sure how long he will last. He is an older man, and men tend not to outlive their wives for very long, statistically.

I hope he finds a way to get through this.

#37 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:00 AM

I hate to say it, but I am not sure how long he will last. He is an older man, and men tend not to outlive their wives for very long, statistically.

I hope he finds a way to get through this.


I hope he doesn't get a pity casino development just because of this. In any case he has the best doctors, I'm sure, he'll be fine.

Damn SI cover jinx.

Edited by Hendu's Gait, 06 February 2012 - 01:00 AM.


#38 soxhop411


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:00 AM

I hate to say it, but I am not sure how long he will last. He is an older man, and men tend not to outlive their wives for very long, statistically.

I hope he finds a way to get through this.


I wouldn't be shocked if all the players and coaches told Kraft, that if he needed anything at all, that he could call them at anytime.

Edited by soxhop411, 06 February 2012 - 01:01 AM.


#39 BigSoxFan


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:01 AM

I hate to say it, but I am not sure how long he will last. He is an older man, and men tend not to outlive their wives for very long, statistically.

I hope he finds a way to get through this.


I actually discussed this with my brother tonight. Myra plus the lockout took a huge physical toll. I'm now at the point where I'm cutting myself off emotionally from pro sports. He may be that way with real life.

#40 ilol@u

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:58 AM

Did anybody see the replay NBC showed after the game? It showed Kraft's reaction during the Hail Mary. As soon as the pass was incomplete he just looked at the field solemnly, closed his eyes, and looked up towards the roof/sky. This guy is a millionaire, but holy shit, I feel so bad for him, that was absolutely heart-breaking to watch that reaction.

#41 Kull


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:11 AM

Losing your wife and then the SB in terrible fashion when a win would have meant so much. I truly feel for this man.


I'll just say that when you are comparing existential pain, one isn't even in the conversation with the other. I'm sure he feels much worse for his players than he does for himself. Bob's focus right now is almost certainly on consoling and "putting things in perspective" for those guys - the players will love him even more when this is all said and done.

#42 Norm Siebern

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:38 AM

I have thought about what Kraft said a lot this evening (it is 2:30 am and I cannot sleep). Something to the effect of he gets by because of this team, and it is only when he goes home to the empty house is when he cries. God be with him, that house is a lonely place right now. I hope he somehow knows that people who have never met him care for his well being.

#43 abty

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

Did anybody see the replay NBC showed after the game? It showed Kraft's reaction during the Hail Mary. As soon as the pass was incomplete he just looked at the field solemnly, closed his eyes, and looked up towards the roof/sky. This guy is a millionaire, but holy shit, I feel so bad for him, that was absolutely heart-breaking to watch that reaction.


On the Giants board, there's a big thread about this and you can see how upset they were for him. It's obvious he is well respected around the league. It was impossible to not have your heart sink.

Edited by abty, 06 February 2012 - 10:02 PM.


#44 Billy R Ford


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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:42 PM

Bumping a thread: I can't help but read this thread and notice there's not a mention of the "other" team Bob Kraft owns, the New England Revolution.

I'm not sure how to put this, since I'm also a Pats fans, so I'll just say it bluntly: Kraft is widely considered the worst, and most despised, MLS owner. I love Kraft for what he's done with the Pats, but I've also heard the Revs called (on this board, by a universally respected poster) the LA Clippers of MLS... and that's being generous. Grant Wahl (a soccer equivalent to, say, Ken Rosenthal) rated the Revs last in terms of "team ambition" recently:

No fan base sends me more complaints about its own team ownership than New England's. The Revs play in an NFL stadium far from any city, and any hopes for an urban soccer stadium in Boston remain talk and little more. Spending some money to make Shalrie Joseph a DP has been the exception to the rule in New England. Winning seems terribly important to the Kraft family when it comes to the New England Patriots, but how much do the Krafts care about the Revolution?


I think of this because a friend on Facebook recently posted that Kraft was the best owner in all of sports, period. When I pointed out his lackluster ownership of the Revs, the friend said that his history with the Patriots compensated for that.

Again, I don't post here in BBtL much, but I'm a huge Patriots fan, so I like Kraft overall. But I'm curious as to what other Pats fans are to these charges? Do others also consider him an elite owner, regardless of his Revs ownership? You don't have to care about soccer, I'm interested in whats exclusively Patriots/football fans think of his record as a soccer owner.

#45 TheoShmeo


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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:49 PM

Again, I don't post here in BBtL much, but I'm a huge Patriots fan, so I like Kraft overall. But I'm curious as to what other Pats fans are to these charges? Do others also consider him an elite owner, regardless of his Revs ownership? You don't have to care about soccer, I'm interested in whats exclusively Patriots/football fans think of his record as a soccer owner.

It do find it odd that Kraft would own a team in any sport and put little or nothing into it.

But, as a Pats fan, Kraft's ownership of the Revs means as much to me as Henry's ownership of Liverpool: I care only to the extent that it impacts the team I care about.

#46 jp9183

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

I think it`s more business. He cares more about football than soccer. The Revs don`t pull in anywhere near as much money as the Pats. The Revs were a business move with what they thought would be the booming soccer industry in NE, while the Pats are his heart and soul. Theres a difference.

#47 NortheasternPJ


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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:52 AM

I'm not saying he's a good owner but when part of their argument is not having a stadium in Boston it's hard to take the rest of it seriously. First budding a stadium in Boston is a political landmine many have tried to get around and second he jus built a stadium and complex in the last 10 years.

#48 jsinger121


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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:49 AM

His Revs team from 2002-2007 went to the MLS Final 4 times in 6 years along with reaching the conference final in those other 2 years.

#49 Royal Reader

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

Isn't MLS still single-entity?

#50 PedroSpecialK


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Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:09 PM

Isn't MLS still single-entity?

Yup - and Jonathan Kraft is the team's operator. I don't know how much (if any) involvement is there from Bob's end.

Edited by PedroSpecialK, 19 February 2012 - 02:09 PM.