Elton sings Pats' praises; homer was a boon for author

By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / September 10, 2004

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Introduced by his old friend Robert Kraft as "my favorite entertainer on the planet," rocker Elton John sang the praises of the Patriots yesterday at a pre-kickoff press conference at Gillette Stadium. Sir Elton, a hard-core NFL and Major League Baseball fan -- he follows the Pats and the Atlanta Braves religiously -- accepted a New England jersey marked "Elton" from the team owner and kissed Myra Kraft afterward. (John performed at the Krafts' 40th anniversary party last year.) Asked about the Janet Jackson wardrobe incident at the Super Bowl, John joked: "I'm not gonna get my [chest] on TV." He went on to say that while he might write a song about the Pats someday, that's up to his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, who's an Oakland Raiders fan. John admitted the two did not speak for a while after the infamous "tuck rule" playoff game two years ago. The singer left Foxborough before kickoff to fly back to Gibraltar, where he's performing today in preparation for a tour of South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. One more thing: John predicts the Pats will be even stronger this year and should win another Super Bowl. Their secret? "They play as a team."

Bank of America chairman Chad Gifford presented the Kraft family with a Higher Standards Award in a pregame ceremony for their pursuit of sports excellence and community service last night at Gillette Stadium. In the bank's luxury box, Gifford admitted the choice of the Krafts made bank officials "a little tense" since the bank is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the home of the Panthers.

Opening-night nerves weren't limited to the football players last night. Destiny's Child, reuniting for their first album in three years, felt the jitters, too, as part of the pregame concert at Gillette Stadium. "Of course we were a little nervous when we started. But it felt amazing," said Beyoncé. About that new album, the group's fourth? The singer said "it's very soulful, with amazing harmonies."

He's made 40 ads for John Kerry, but judging from recent poll numbers, filmmaker Errol Morris still has work to do. "I wouldn't say I feel completely OK about the campaign, because I don't," said the Oscar-winning director whose spots for feature Republicans who are not voting for President Bush. But Morris's favorite ad is the one he hasn't made -- not yet, at least. "It's called `Two Rights Don't Make a Wrong,' " he said. "Kerry fought in Vietnam, and that took courage. And when the war no longer made sense to him and his fellow soldiers, he spoke out, and that also took courage." Asked about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads questioning Kerry's military record, Morris said he's surprised that anyone would take such a tack considering the president's military record. "It proves that people who live in glass houses should throw stones," he said.

He was the only diehard Red Sox fan who actually applauded when Aaron Boone took Tim Wakefield deep last October, ending the team's season. "I hated myself," said author Howard Frank Mosher. "But I jumped right off the couch and cheered." Why? Because Mosher, who lives in Irasburg, Vt., was writing a novel in which the Sox win the World Series, and it would have been very bad if they did win. A satirist who is sometimes compared to Mark Twain, Mosher will read from his new novel, "Waiting for Teddy Williams," Monday at the Newton Free Library. He said the team's recent success has him once more believing this is the year. "In my heart, I'm 100 percent sure they're going to win," Mosher said. "But I know they probably won't."

Joe Kahn of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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