Myra has been angel on their shoulder

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
3:52
PM ET


ESPN.com columnist Greg Garber today writes a touching piece on Myra Kraft and the role of her spirit in this Patriots Super Bowl run. The piece also includes a heartwarming video feature (above) with Robert Kraft and several Patriots talking about what Myra meant to them. Here's an excerpt from Garber:

Five years ago, Fortune Magazine estimated the (Kraft) family's worth at $1.3 billion. In the preceding four years alone, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Krafts gave more than $100 million to charity.

It's easy, (Myra) freely acknowledged, to write a check. It's another thing to put in the time. She was the first female president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, from 1995 to 2002. She was also the president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and served on numerous boards. She was an irresistible force for New England arts and education, women's and U.S.-Israel issues, quality health care and children. After she got sick, she helped create the NFL's "Kick Cancer" campaign in 2010.

At the same time, she was a powerful influence on the Patriots' organization. She didn't often get involved with roster decisions, but in 1996, after the Patriots drafted Nebraska defensive tackle Christian Peter, Myra -- after learning of his history of violence against women -- asked Robert to reconsider. Demanded, actually. Peter was released, the first time in NFL history a drafted player was waived before training camp.

"She was a warrior, a tough young lady," said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. "One of the biggest hearts you can imagine. The things she did for people, it went beyond camera and it wasn't all about the media. She just did a lot for people.

"She wanted to be out in the community. With people that make a difference, going to the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, going to these shelters, all the type of places that need help. She was right in the middle of it. She branded us for life."

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