Myra Kraft's legacy lives on in the NFL - Ingles

It has become popular for the New England Patriots to be considered villains, largely due to the monosyllabic ruthlessness of Bill Belichick. And then, this year, the world learned about Patriots owner Robert Kraft. He helped broker the agreement to end the lockout, even as his wife of 48 years, Myra, was dying. She passed away from cancer on July 20; the lockout ended five days later, with Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jeff Saturday hugging Kraft. This week, Kraft has re-told his story, and people have had a chance to express their appreciation of him. Here they are, in their own words:

Kraft: “[The Patriots] saved me. I never understood what the word heartbroken meant; it’s hard for anyone to relate to it. My wife was 19 and I was 20 when she proposed to me. We had five kids right away. Then they left and we became best pals for 25 years. She was 98 pounds, read four books a week and was healthy. I thought she would outlive me for 30 years. This horrible cancer came and it’s wrecked my life. Having this team has been a savior for me.”

Giants owner John Mara: “I’m not necessarily happy to be playing Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, I’ll tell you that. But yeah, I’m very happy for Bob because he put his heart and soul into those negotiations during a very difficult time for him and his family. So I think the success they’ve had is well-deserved.”

Kraft: “She thought I was a little nuts when I bought the team, but I told her that if we did a good job of managing the team, we could have a greater impact on our community than if we gave a half a million dollars to charity. You can see what it’s meant to our community and our fans throughout the country. The fact that she was so dear to me and all of our players are wearing her initials above their heart is an endearing thing. What she represented is important and I hope that special sense of spirit comes through.”

Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork: “You would see her around the stadium, but she spent most of her time in the community just helping folks. That was her biggest thing, you know, making a difference in the world, just helping people that weren’t able to help themselves—were it physical or financial or whatever it may be. She just had a big, big heart for being such a small woman. She is absolutely missed from all of us, and I’m pretty sure from around the world because of what she meant to a lot of people. My wife and I always were true believers in helping people, and it’s just like we’re the same people as Mr. and Mrs. Kraft.”

Mara: “I don’t think we get to the finish line without Bob Kraft. The message that he kept delivering to the players, which I think really resonated, ‘We’re not going to let you do a bad deal. We need to do a deal that works for both of us and we need to make it a long-term deal, because that has such a huge effect on our business which, in turn, helps you.’ That message came across over and over again, and I think it made an impression on them, and I think they all respected the amount of time he was putting in. Everybody knew what he was going through and he still found the time to be there with us. Like I said, I don’t think we get the deal done without him being there.”

Kraft: “It was a tough time in my life because my sweetheart was ill with cancer. I didn’t do anything for four and a half months. She knew how important this game is to America, and she gave me more credit in my ability to help negotiate things. She thought I was better than maybe I really was. That’s the only thing I ever left her side for. When things got a little cuckoo with the lawyers, I wasn’t going to waste my time. I think the players and [NFLPA executive director DeMaurice] Smith understood that. I hope in a small way that helped us to get a resolution. Jeff was very kind to give me that hug right after she passed away.”

Wes Welker: “She has definitely left her mark on a lot of guys in that locker room. The way she gave back, volunteered, and the way she was the first person to hug and kiss you after games whether it was a win or loss — she was a very inspirational woman, and we’ll look for her to be with us on Sunday again.”

Kraft: “She was my best pal.”

This article was written by Bruce Arthur and appeared in the National Post.

Posted by Necesitamos Mas Football on 08:29. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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