Tuna regrets 'misunderstandings' with Pats


Tuna regrets 'misunderstandings' with Pats

By TomE. Curran

I guess the current term you'd use for the way Bill Parcells exited New England in early 1997 is that he "wishes he had that one back."During a conference call Monday morning discussing his nomination for induction to the Patriots Hall of Fame, Parcells reflected on his messy departure from New England after the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to Green Bay. "As you know we had domestic misunderstandings with ownership I do regret," he said. "Those things since have been resolved. I think retrospectively, I would have handled things substantially different than I did. I was always saddened by the fact I had to leave there. In all honesty, I really didn't want to. I'm sure (owner Robert Kraft) would say something along those lines. We have talked about that. I did regret that. That's life. You learn from things as you go on."

Parcells left the Patriots in a huff after the 1996 season after months of closed-door feuding with ownership over - basically - who had final say over player acquisition and the philosophy the team would employ in team-building. That led to the infamous "if they want you to cook the dinner, at least they should let you shop for the groceries" line. Rankled as Parcells was over what he saw as a challenge to his power, he sullied his legacy in New England by negotiating privately to take over the Jets as the Patriots were preparing to play the Packers in Super Bowl XXX. There are plenty of people who don't fully forgive him for that around here. And that swath of folks will quite likely be dismissive of Parcells' epiphany over the things he did wrong. Parcells says there was never any one air-clearing meeting with Kraft.
I dont know if there was any definitive time (that the two men spoke)," Parcells explained. "We just kind of ran into each other a few times. You know, you cant help but talk things over a little bit. We never had a lengthy conversation about it. Certainly I know, I would have probably handled things differently." The irony is, had Parcells handled things differently, the succession pattern of Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick would have been drastically altered. And there's a lot of reason to believe the banners and excellence that followed wouldn't have been the same.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

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.”