Mr. Krafts Surprise Appearance at the Manning's Passing Camp is a Classic Power Move

Patriots owner Robert Kraft (l.)  chats with Manning Camp patriarch Archie Manning while Kraft’s grandson takes part in workouts.


THIBODAUX, La. — Archie Manning, sire of two Super Bowl champions, looks across the Nicholls State University football field that bears his surname to witness what he’s created. To his right, middle son Peyton, the five-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL, pushes a group of 12 campers paying $585 to be put through the Manning Passing Academy paces… [An] unannounced visitor is wearing a Brookline (Mass.) Police baseball cap and aviator sunglasses. Archie…  recognizes the face and accompanying voice as the man approaches. It is Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, long-time nemesis of Peyton, two-time victim of Eli’s Super Bowl throws, and his son, Jonathan, dressed casually with a white towel around his neck, black sandals on his feet and iPad in hand. Robert flew in the previous night on July 9 from Sun Valley, Idaho, where he attended the Allen & Company Conference — a gathering of the world’s wealthiest businessmen — to observe grandson Harry’s fourth trip to the world’s richest quarterback get-together. “You’ve created a tremendous franchise,” Kraft says. “Why thank you,” Archie says.


With all due respect to Feitelberg, you can put all the velvet ropes around all the high performance automobiles you want, but this is how winners pull a power move.  Mr. Kraft just showing up unannounced to fire a warning shot across the bow of the entire Manning family tree.  To plant his flag right at their feet to remind them what they’re up against this year.  That the 2014 Patriots are getting back a healthy Gronk, Wilfork, Mayo et al.  That they’ve replaced Aqib Fragile with Revis Island and Brandon Browner and on Mr. Kraft’s signal they’re ready to unleash Hell.  I mean, this is a classic mob boss maneuver, coming from a meeting with the heads of all the other powerful families and issuing threats.  “You’ve created a tremendous franchise… it’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it…”  Love it.  And I love the idea of having Harry Kraft, the heir to his dominion, learning all the Manning secrets.  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer and all that.  It’s just like when Ho Chi Minh lived in Boston, baked at the Parker House by day, studied the American Revolution at night and used it to kick our asses all over Southeast Asia.  I just hope when Mr. Kraft was riding around grabassing with Archie that threw in a reminder his 199th draft pick has as many Super Bowls as Archie’s two No. 1s put together.  And counting.  @JerryThornton1