NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

July 11, 2013

Column: Hernandez shows perils of hero worship

(Continued)

“What we’ve generally seen in the past when athletes run afoul with the law, teams generally stick with their stars especially through the legal process like the Ravens did with Ray Lewis,” said Ramsey Poston, a crisis communication expert who heads Tuckahoe Strategies, a public relations firm in Denton, Md. “This is a very different move, one that suggests to me that the organization takes its reputation very seriously.”

The Patriots should have quit there, but Kraft talked to a select group of media on Monday and said Hernandez seemed like a nice enough guy. Respectful, likable, he even gave Kraft a check for his late wife’s charity after signing a new contract.

Maybe Kraft didn’t read the psychological review, though it hardly matters. Because in football — in all sports, really — the urge to win trumps everything and teams with the most talented players win more than others.

It’s why baseball teams reward known steroid users with fat new contracts, and why players such as Pacman Jones keep getting chances in the NFL.

Indeed, Hernandez was a winner on the field, helping the Patriots get to their last Super Bowl, where he caught a touchdown pass and led the team in receiving yards.

Sometimes, though, there’s a price to pay for putting winning ahead of everything.

Fans, meanwhile, probably won’t give it a second thought except to ponder who the Patriots might find to replace Hernandez. Not their fault he was drafted by the team, certainly not their fault he was charged with murder.

Besides, when it comes to hero worship, there’s always another player.

And, of course, another jersey to be had.

---

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
SNC Minute: Phils lose; Lee set to return Eagles less than a week away from training camp Could Cliff Lee's health affect trade value? McCarthy and Stairs break down the Phillies' loss 105-year-old woman throws first pitch McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th Astros, Aiken fail to reach deal Could Rousey beat Mayweather? Can the Panthers replace Steve Smith? Will Bengals sign Dalton to long-term deal? Offseason Report: Biggest Question Marks in the AFC West Ole Miss facing increased expectations Derek Jeter Respect Ad Delivers Larry’s Notebook: Is Jimmie Johnson Behind the Curve? Wainwright, King Felix named All-Star starters Can Tiger Woods recapture British Open magic Will Mickelson win the British Open again? Jeter soaking in final All-Star Game Jones and Altidore react to Germany's win Favorite moments from Brazil 2014
Special Features