Patriots gather to watch film 'The Fighter'

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Patriots gather to watch film 'The Fighter'

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Bill Belichick had his team gather to watch some film Wednesday night . . . with a twist.

Instead of the usual set of shoulder-pad-wearing men running, pushing and hitting one another on the big screen, they got a chance to view a different set of characters.

Belichick and the Patriots gathered to watch the movie, "The Fighter," which is based on the life of local boxing legend Micky Ward.

Not only did the players get a chance to see the movie, but they also had a chance to meet Ward himself.

"We've been in camp for a long time; been watching a lot of film at night," Belichick said. "Practice film, opponent film. We decided to go to the movies, popcorn, candy out there, relax a little bit."

Belichick added, "Sometimes your team works hard, they deserve a break from the normal routine. They enjoyed it. It was a good night."

The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It also won a pair of Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale who portrayed Micky's older brother, Dicky Eklund) and Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo who portrayed Alice Ward, Micky's mother).

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”