Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

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Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

The funeral for Myra H. Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was held on Friday, July 22.

Service attendance was massive, but a number well short of all those touched in some way by her passion and generosity.

New England players of present and past fame were there to pay respects, from Tom Brady to Troy Brown (her "favorite Patriot").

Separate sides of the NFL labor battle -- DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell -- came together on a matter more important than football.

And famous faces from outside the sports world, like Donald Trump and Governor Deval Patrick, took time to look in on the memorial.

She was a celebrity, not for her name, but for the scope of her philanthropy. The funeral's program -- white with Tiffany blue trim -- describes, at its heart, the woman mourners knew.
During her 40-plus year career as an active philanthropist, Myra served on and chaired boards and committees for virtually all of the city's major non-profit organizations. The one position of which she was most proud was becoming the first woman to serve as Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston in their 110-year history.

But the first pages showed more intimate scenes.

Myra standing between her four sons: Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David.

Myra sitting with her eight grandchildren: Jessica, Alison, Harry, Rebecca, Sadie, Anna, Jacob, and Joey.

Frozen in black and white, holding her youngest in front of a tree where the three elder boys perched, Robert looking on.

She sorted clothes, watered Marigolds. And in three different frames from three different eras, she stood beside her husband -- ever smiling, ever his blushing bride.

Robert walked behind the coffin as his grandchildren bore it to the hearse. He laid a kiss on the closed door between him and his wife before the hearse left for the cemetery.

His sweetheart needed him one last time.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed. Time for a rematch!'

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Brady to Amendola on Facebook: 'Paddle's fixed. Time for a rematch!'

When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening. 

On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.

Talk about intimidation.

Wilfork embracing modeling, tells Brady to put him in touch with Gisele's people

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Wilfork embracing modeling, tells Brady to put him in touch with Gisele's people

Vince Wilfork will be one of many well-known athletes to strip down and pose nude for photographs in ESPN The Magazine's's Body issue, joining a group that includes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta, Broncos defensive end Von Miller and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Judging by his latest tweet, the former Patriots defensive lineman -- who is listed at 325 pounds -- is getting pretty comfortable with the idea of becoming a model.

Now it's up to Tom Brady to play match-maker, it seems. Gisele retired from the runway last year so maybe her people are on the lookout for some new talent.

Belichick: Buddy Ryan a father to 'a great football family'

Belichick: Buddy Ryan a father to 'a great football family'

Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon. 

"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."

Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.

Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.

Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there. 

For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."