FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots get a tip of the helmet today.
In past years, this would be the day in which the franchise held its Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament, the signature event of the team’s philanthropic efforts as every member of the organization would attend.
But owner Robert Kraft challenged those in the organization to come up with a new idea this year.
Part of the thinking was that the golf tournament had run its course. Another line of thinking was that in these tough economic times, innovative ideas need to be introduced to raise money through the Charitable Foundation.
What ultimately resulted was the “Leadership Blitz”, with the team welcoming contributors inside Gillette Stadium with an all-access pass, which included going through drills while being coached by Tom Brady and Randy Moss, and going through an Xs and Os meeting with Bill Belichick.
As parts of this was taking place, the Patriots escorted media members through the inner workings of the facility, taking us into areas that are off limits such as the training room, equipment room, weight room and meeting rooms.
It was an unusual sight seeing those taking part in the “Leadership Blitz” sharing the team’s locker room with some of the players on hand, or walking through the weight room and seeing the team's running backs directing a workout.
As media members finished the tour, one main question came to mind: “Bill Belichick allowed this?”
I left the tour feeling that owner Robert Kraft, Belichick and those working the “Leadership Blitz” had pulled off something unique. I was just disappointed that I left my helmet at home.