Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jonathan Kraft On WEEI Log

I'll be logging the Jonathan Kraft interview on the WEEI Dale and Holly Show as it happens. Here it goes: (click title to read more)

- Jonathan Kraft exchanges shirt complements with Dale and Holley.

- Talks about Patriots Place being a "lifestyle center" which will be a first to the region.

- Patriots Place was the brainchild of Papa Kraft who wants to make Foxboro a "destination". Getting Bass Proshops was huge and will be the anchor. God help us. Didn't we fight the Civil War to banish rednecks from the area forever?

- Asked if the current situation is better than Boston would have been (for the Pats). JK was a little apprehensive because it would have been better from the start. However, this new project would never have happened.

- Not a direct relationship with the project and the sports teams save the medical centers that will be built.

- Now talking about the Pats museum. Can't they save that for tomorrow's interview with Bob Kraft? JK seems really into it if that matters for anything. Don Shula Steakhouse should be there right next to a monument to that blizzard game as suggested by Dale. John Smith kicked the winner in that one. That's soccer related, right?

- Holley asked how the Revs turned around. JK attributes it to Steve Nicol. "He's a real mucker in the mold of the old Bruins". I have to agree. SN would dive in front of a slapshot face first. JK also talked about how Nicol is superb with American players.

- JK likes how they don't have to scour the Earth for players. Dear Lord.

- JK talks about Beckham impact and explained the DP rule. Stressed how they are meant to not only add good players, but they had to add something else off the field. Claudio Reyna? Talks about how AEG owns Beck's image rights.

- Beckham game is almost sold out. I'm thinking that's the 30k number.

- Holley asked about Joseph situation and why the Celtic offers were rebuffed: SJ is too valuable to the team. Hey JK, then freakin pay him!

- Asked if it's better if Beckham coming or big clubs wanting MLS players. JK mentioned that the goal is for MLS to be a power. He mentioned that it's important for the US to compete for a World Cup before the league is taken seriously. He believes MLS is a second tier league. Someone should force him to watch some Argentine or French league games sometime.

- Asked when the normal players will start getting recognized on the streets of Boston. JK mentioned he overheard a lot of Revs talk at a youth tournament which is a huge change from 5-10 years ago.

- TV ratings: MLS is "holding it's own" on cable. Right there with NHL's. Aspiring to approach NBA's level. People want to watch soccer and JK thinks production value will help.

- Thinks MLS will be in 16 cities shortly. Talked about how ESPN2 Thursday night is important branding, especially with the out of market audience. Sort of dissed Direct Kick as unpopular and not many parents buy it for their kids. You think?

- Dale doesn't think Gillette is good for soccer. JK agrees and thinks SSS's add atmosphere. Gives a shot out to the "fan club" in The Fort. JK wants a SSS, and mentions they are working on one.

- JK would be happy to share a SSS with the Breakers (new women's team next year).

- He would also love to get a SSS next to public transportation.

- A number of other towns have approached them. They aren't going public with it because of the Patriots experience. Brian Bilello and the company that built Gillette are leading the charge.

- Krafts were "very close" to doing something with Liverpool a few years ago. The time just wasn't right for it. They are still open to something like that in the future.

- On youth development, he talked a lot about the structural setup for some reason. He mentioned Sunil Gulati and how MLS is absorbing some of the youth setups and JK mentioned the importance of that. A lot of rambling with no specifics.

- Dale asked about hosting the World Cup. JK said the soccer bigwigs are focused at getting it in the US in 2014 or 2018. Brazil may have something to say about that.

- Holley asked about the overhyped 2006 US team and why we should think things will be different. JK pointed out that we tied Italy. Fantastic point. I'm sold.

- Kids that can be great short stops and point guards can become soccer players instead! Good luck with that, man.

That's all for the interview. Not a lot of new information. It's reassuring they are somewhat actively working towards a SSS. Besides that, it was pretty generic.


Part 1
Part 2


Anonymous said...

We tied Italy? I'm confused... what?

Anonymous said...

ahh.. pre-2006, got it. :)

Sabin said...

Good write-up. Thanks for this. I like the idea of sharing with the Breakers, and the continuing talk of an SSS is indeed something good. I'm not psyched, however, about JK insinuating that MLS is not a quality league. I mean, have some pride in your own product, right? Thanks again for the write-up.