Category Archives: New England Patriots

Fantasy Focus: New England Patriots

With the start of the NFL Season quickly approaching with teams heading to Training Camp, we will begin to look at teams from a Fantasy Football standpoint.

Coming off a 12-4 season and a trip to the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots headed into the off-season with a huge question.  Will they resign Wes Welker and if they don’t how do they replace him?  Well back in March the first question was answered and they didn’t. The second part of the question was answered with the signing of Danny Amendola and seemingly moving Aaron Hernandez to the slot, with a hopefully healthy Jake Ballard into his spot on the line.

Rob Gronkowski‘s broken forearm didn’t heal as the Patriots and he would hope, after having multiple surgeries to clear up infections, and then stunning people with a precautionary trip back under the knife to clean up his back.

The biggest shock of the off-season happened in mid June when Aaron Hernandez was being investigated in relation to a homicide and then a week later charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd.

The Patriots have done a good job since in distancing themselves from the former TE that wore #81, and the players are trying to remove the the distraction.  But let’s look at the depth chart and try to help you with your fantasy drafts.

POS FIRST SECOND THIRD OTHER
WR Danny Amendola Michael Jenkins Matthew Slater Kenbrell Thompkins
Quentin Sims
LT Nate Solder Will Svitek Kevin Haslam Elvis Fisher
LG Logan Mankins Nick McDonald Tyronne Green Josh Kline
C Ryan Wendell Nick McDonald
RG Dan Connolly Marcus Cannon Chris McDonald
RT Sebastian Vollmer Marcus Cannon Markus Zusevics R.J. Mattes
TE Rob Gronkowski Michael Hoomanawanui Daniel Fells Jake Ballard
Zach Sudfeld
Brandon Ford
WR Julian Edelman Aaron Dobson Josh Boyce Lavelle Hawkins
Kamar Aiken
Mark Harrison
Perez Ashford
QB Tom Brady Ryan Mallett Tim Tebow
RB Stevan Ridley Brandon Bolden LeGarrette Blount George Winn
RB Shane Vereen Leon Washington James Develin Ben Bartholomew

 courtesy patriots.com

Tom Brady is still a top 3 NFL QB, brain wise.  This season will most likely not prove to be the past 3 years of Brady, fantasy wise.  I believe you can still pencil him in for 3500+ yards, 30 TD’s and less than 8 interceptions. but in saying that most of those will come post October 1st.  Getting Gronkowski healthy hopefully by then, acclimating Amendola to the offense to fill the Welker role.  The questions in the passing game, may be relieved by the emergence of the running game last season.

Stevan Ridley isn’t a 350+ carry back, but he is a guy who should be able to carry rock 250-300 times and score you 10 TD’s and gain you over 1100 yards.  A good 2nd back or 1st in a deeper league.  Shane Vereen proved he could catch the ball on swing routes and you saw that in two memorable catches against the New York Jets in the now infamous “Buttfumble” game and against Houston in the Divisional Round.  If he shows the durability to carry the ball 150+ times and catch 50 passes, the Patriots offense should be fine and in position to win a sort of strengthened AFC East, and make a run into the Playoffs.

When it comes to Rob Gronkowski’s fantasy outlook, it all depends on when he makes his way back onto the field.  With the Patriots first two games coming within 5 days of each other against the Bills and Jets, expect Gronk to be back onto the field anytime after week 3.  If he plays in 12+ games, you can pencil in #87 for 800+ yards and 10+ TD’s.  The Patriots TE’s won’t have the same dynamic effect as it has had since 2010, but with Gronk, Ballard, Hooman, and Daniel Fells. expect the Patriots TE’s as a whole to have 100+ receptions, 1500+ yards and 15 TD’s.

Patriots WR’s since Randy Moss haven’t been down the field threats. The biggest question there is, Can they find a way to replace Wes Welker’s sure hands on 3rd and medium.  If Amendola can produce at 75% of Welker’s production, that’s good for nearly 90 catches and 900 yards.  A healthy Julian Edelman can be counted on for 50 catches and 600 yards.  the Patriots have waited a long time to see if drafting Edelman can prove to be a productive WR.  With the acquisition of Leon Washington, Edelman will not have to handle the kick return duties.  Aaron Dobson and Michael Jenkins are tough to call fantasy wise, because of as you’ve seen in the past, if #12 doesn’t trust throwing them the ball, they won’t see it too often.

Where should you draft the Patriots?

Tom Brady 4th or 5th Round

Stevan Ridley 8th-12th Round

Shane Vereen 16th-20th Round

Rob Gronkowski 10th-14th round

Danny Amendola after the 15th Round

Julian Edelman free agent pickup

Stephen Gostkowski top 5 K

What makes an Elite QB, Ranking the NFL Quarterbacks

What makes a Quarterback “Elite”?  Ask Eli Manning and Giants fans they will tell you that 2 Super Bowl Wins and MVP Awards do it, ask fans of other teams they’ll give you another answer.  In judging and naming who is “Elite” it really is up to what you treasure and value in a QB and it’s all opinions.

Well here is my opinion and definition of “What makes an “Elite” QB.  To me there can only be one “Elite” QB, the creme de la creme, the best and right now in the NFL that player wears # 12.  No, not Aaron Rodgers, it’s Tom Brady.

Elite QB

brady-throw

 

Why is it Tom Brady, 3 Super Bowl wins, 5 trips to the big game, 6 AFC Championship Games (5 wins), 10 Division Championships (most in NFL History).  Stats alone are not what gives Brady the edge in my opinion, they don’t hurt his case but the teams that Brady has played on are what put him in this position.  The New England Patriots team first attitude and Bill Belichick’s mantra of “Do Your Job” and ” next man stops up” has always kept New England in the playoff hunt and perennial Super Bowl hopes.  When you look at the weapons around Brady short of Randy Moss and now Rob Gronkowski, Brady has never had a Hall of Fame cast of weapons around him.  He has the ability to make players better, from Troy Brown to Danny Woodhead.  It’s hard to imagine where the Patriots would be today without the scrawny 6th round pick that was waiting in the wings after Drew Bledsoe’s Patriot career ending injury in Week 2 of the 2001 season.  An even stronger case for Brady is made in Sean Glennon’s book, “Tom Brady vs. The NFL”.

Great QB’s

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Excellent QB’s

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Ben Roethlisberger*, Pittsburgh Steelers

Very Good QB’s

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Andy Dalton, Cincinatti Bengals

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Good QB’s and too early to fully tell

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Average QB’s

Alex Smith*, San Francisco 49ers

Michael Vick*, Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Runaway, Runaway if you want to survive it’s time to break free

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals

Remember rating QB’s in the NFL is opinion based and these are my opinions. What’s your list

 

*Currently Injured and not starting

Re-Gronk-ulous Reactions

We all know the story by now. New England Patriots star Tight End Ron Gronkowski had an ankle injury that may, or may not, have limited his ability in the Patriots 21-17 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis.

What we do know is that Gronk likes to take his shirt off in the club and do some, shall we say, ‘interesting’ dances moves.

Gronk going out to a night club and getting crazy is nothing abnormal for a 22-year-old these days. What was perceived by some in the sports media and former players, and most notably former Patriot Rodney Harrison, who ripped Gronk to shreds on a Chicago radio station.

What I find strange and downright hypocritical about Harrison’s comments was talking about how young players are a problem in these situations, and that veterans like himself,Willie McGinest, and Teddy Bruschi would never EVER let this happen, was that Gronk was not alone in his Dancing With the Stars audition gone wrong.

Where was Harrison’s outrage towards VETERAN Matt Light, the guy who was a 2nd round pick of the Patriots in 2001 and has been an important VETERAN of this team for years? Where was the outrage from Harrison there? Why the focus on Gronk?

Puzzling.

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From this vantage point, I see no issue with Gronkowski and Light blowing off some steam at a night club after a tough Super Bowl loss. Any of you had a very rough day at work, maybe lost the most important sale of your life, or lost the account you worked on for years, and then decided to kick back and have a few beers? Why must we judge what these two do after they have fulfilled their obligations to the New England Patriots for the 2011 season? Why MUST that be questioned?

And what relevance does this have to how Gronkowski or Light played on Super Bowl Sunday? It is not as if, Gronk and Light made this decision BEFORE the Super Bowl and that decision cost them the game. The game was lost before that.

Another sign that this is a non issue…any comments from Bill Belichick?  Tom Brady? Robert Kraft? Or better yet, Gisele? (sarcasm off)

The fact that this story has gotten so much attention proves one thing: The sports media is paying far too much attention to the NFL at the wrong times. The season is over. Free agency begins in March. Let it go.

And as soon as Gronk has a 2 TD game in September 2012, this will all be forgotten.

Today in Patriots History December 12

Thanks to our friend and Author of the Total Patriots book Bob Hyldburg for the make you smarter facts about the winningest NFL team of the 2000’s.

December 12th

1952:  Allen Carter was born.  (RB: 1975-1976)

1965:  Defeated the Denver Broncos 28-20 @ Bears Stadium

Larry Garron caught a 30 yard touchdown pass from Babe Parilli

Jim Nance barrelled 1 yard for a touchdown

Gino Cappelletti caught a 25 yd TD pass & a 13 yd TD pass & kicked 4 extra points

Houston Antwine intercepted a Jacky Lee pass for his only career pass interception

1966:  Boston Patriots running back Jim Nance was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Magazine 

1971:  lost to the New York Jets 13-6 @ William A. Shea Municipal Stadium

Charlie Gogolak kicked a 34 yard field goal & a 47 yard field goal

John Outlaw recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchback to stop a Jet drive

Larry Carwell intercepted a Joe Namath pass on the 7 yard line to stop another Jet drive

1976:  Defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14 @ Tampa Stadium

Andy Johnson ran 69 yards for a touchdown (His career longest run) & ran 9 yards for another TD

Sam Hunt returned a Steve Spurrier pass 68 yards for a touchdown

Steve Grogan ran 1 yard for a TD to set NFL record for TD runs in a year by a QB

John Smith kicked a 30 yard field & 3 extra points

(LB) Steve Zabel kicked an extra point for the final point scored in the game

Andy Johnson’s best rushing day with 127 yards rushing (on 14 carries and 2 TD’s)

Andy Johnson had his longest reception of 53 yards on a pass from Steve Grogan

(QB) Steve Grogan broke a 22 year old NFL record with his 12th rushing TD in a season

Steve Grogan set the Team Record with 13 TD’s scored in a season

Mike Haynes set the Team Record with 45 punt returns in a season

Mike Haynes set the Team Record with 608 punt return yards in his rookie season

1982:  Defeated the Miami Dolphins 3-0 @ Schaefer Stadium in the Snow Plow Tractor Game

John Smith kicked a 33 yard field goal during a blizzard snow storm

Don Blackmon intercepted a pass on the Patriots 10 yard line with 37 seconds to go

Roland James intercepted a David Woodley pass on the last play of the game

Julius Adams blocked a 45 yard field goal attempt by Uwe von Schamann

Mark van Eeghen ran 22 times for 100 yds & Mosi Tatupu had a 26 yd run & 81 yds rushing

Steve Grogan’s only 2 completions were to Lin Dawson

Clayton Weishuhn had 15 tackles and a QB sack

1993:  Defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 7-2 @ Foxboro Stadium

Ben Coates caught an 8 yd TD pass from Drew Bledsoe & Scott Sisson kicked the extra point

Terry Ray intercepted a David Klinger pass on the last play of the game

1999:  lost to the Indianapolis Colts 20-15 @ the RCA Dome

Adam Vinatieri kicked a 28 yard FG, another 28 yard FG & a 26 yard field goal

Shawn Jefferson caught a 10 yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe

2004:  Defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 35-28 @ Gillette Stadium

(Willie McGinest recovered a Rudi Johnson fumble on the Patriots 12 yd line to stop the Bengals 1st drive)

Corey Dillon scored on a 1 yard run to extend the Patriots streak of scoring 1st in their 18 consecutive game

David Patten caught a 48 yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady

Asante Samuel returned a pass by Carson Palmer 34 yards for a touchdown

Kevin Faulk ran 4 yards for a touchdown

Christian Fauria caught a 17 yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady

Adam Vinatieri kicked 5 extra points

2009:  Beat the Carolina Panthers 20-10 @ Gillette Stadium

Kevin Faulk ran for a 3 yard TD

Benjamin Watson caught a 5 yard TD pass from Tom Brady

Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 48 yd FG and a 47 yd FG in the 4th Qtr

The Patriots had 185 yards rushing and 192 yards passing

2010:  Buried the Bears 36-7 @ Soldier Field

Rob Gronkowski had a 7 yd TD reception, Danny Woodhead ran for a 3 yd TD

Gary Guyton returned a fumble by WR Johnny Knox 35 yards for a TD

On the last play of the first half, using the no huddle, Deion Branch caught a 59 yd TD

Shayne Graham kicked 3 field goals and 3 extra points

 

http://www.totalpatriotsbook.com

Today in Patriots History December 10

Thanks to our friend and Author of the Total Patriots book Bob Hyldburg for the make you smarter facts about the winningest NFL team of the 2000’s.

 

December 10th

1953:  Dave Tipton was born.  (NT: 1975-1976)

1960:  Ronnie Lippett was born.  (CB: 1983-1988 & 1990-1991)

1972:  Defeated the New Orleans Saints 17-10 @ the Louisiana Superdome

Honor Jackson returned an Archie Manning pass 55 yards to help set up a TD

Reggie Rucker caught a 31 yard touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett

Rick Cash recovered a fumble to help set up the Reggie Rucker’s 2nd TD

Reggie Rucker caught a 25 yard touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett

(Reggie Rucker caught 2 TD passes within a minute of each other)

Mike Walker kicked a 36 yard field goal & 2 extra points

Dick Blanchard intercepted an Archie Manning pass for his only NFL pass interception

1978:  Beat the Buffalo Bills 26-24 @ Schaefer Stadium as the Patriots won their 1st AFC Divisional Championship

Sam Cunningham ran 4 yards for a touchdown

Steve Grogan ran 4 yards for a touchdown

Tony McGee sacked Joe Ferguson and Ray Hamilton recovered the fumble

Horace Ivory ran 20 yards for a touchdown on the next play

Tim Fox chased the Buffalo Bills Punter Rusty Jackson out of the end zone for a safety

David Posey kicked the 21 yard field goal with 8 seconds to go to win the game

David Posey kicked 3 extra points

1989:  lost to the Miami Dolphins 31-10 @ Joe Robbie Stadium on Sunday Night

Jason Staurovsky kicked a 36 yard field goal

John Stephens ran 1 yard for a touchdown

Jason Staurovsky kicked the extra point

Eric Sievers had 6 receptions for his career high 117 yards receiving in a game

1995:  Defeated the New York Jets 31-28 @ Foxboro Stadium

Hason Graham caught a 37 yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe

Curtis Martin ran 9 yards for a touchdown

Matt Bahr kicked a 31 yard field goal

Troy Brown returned Dave Meggett’s kickoff return fumble 75 yards for a touchdown

Curtis Martin ran 1 yard for another touchdown

Matt Bahr kicked 4 extra points

Drew Bledsoe became the youngest NFL QB with 10,000 career passing yards

(Drew Bledsoe threw a 6 yard pass to Ben Coates to set *NFL record)

Curtis Martin ran 31 times for 148 yards & 2 TD’s

Curtis Martin was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week

Curtis Martin set the Team Record with his 14th rushing TD in a season

Ty Law intercepted a pass in the game for the 3rd consecutive game

2000:  lost to the Chicago Bears 24-17 @ Soldier Field

Terry Glenn caught a 12 yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe

Adam Vinatieri kicked a 40 yard field goal

Troy Brown caught a 7 yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe

Adam Vinatieri kicked 2 extra points

2006:  lost to the Miami Dolphins 21-0 @ Dolphin Stadium

Kevin Faulk had 29 yds rushing, 12 yds receiving, 21 punt return yards & 80 kickoff return yards

 

www.totalpatriotsbook.com

This Month in New England Patriots History

Thank you to our friend and Author of The Total Patriots book, purchase on amazon.com Bob Hyldburg for the look into the past December’s in New England Patriots History.

Every regular season game in December that the Patriots shutout their opponent

1961 regular season

The Boston Patriots shutout the San Diego Chargers 41-0 @ Balboa Stadium on 12-17-61

1982 regular season

The New England Patriots shutout the Dolphins 3-0 in the “Snow Plow” Game @ Schaefer Stadium on 12-12-82

The New England Patriots shutout the Seattle Seahawks 16-0 @ the Kingdome on 12-19-82

1983 regular season

The New England Patriots shutout the New Orleans Saints 7-0 @ Sullivan Stadium on 12-04-83

1993 regular season

The New England Patriots shutout the Indianapolis Colts 38-0 @ Foxboro Stadium on 12-26-93

2003 Championship Season

The New England Patriots shutout the Miami Dolphins 12-0 @ Gillette Stadium on 12-07-03

The New England Patriots shutout the Buffalo Bills 31-0 @ Gillette Stadium on 12-27-03

2008 regular season

The New England Patriots shutout the Buffalo Bills 13-0 @ Ralph Wilson Stadium on 12-28-08

 

Every regular season game in December that the Patriots scored more than 40 points

1961 regular season

The Boston Patriots destroyed the San Diego Chargers 41-0 @ Balboa Stadium on 12-17-61

1963 regular season

The Boston Patriots defeated the Houston Oilers 46-28 @ Jeppesen Stadium

1965 regular season

The Boston Patriots defeated the Houston Oilers 42-14 @ Fenway Park on 12-18-65

1987 regular season

The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 42-20 @ Sullivan Stadium on 12-13-87

1994 regular season

The New England Patriots routed the Buffalo Bills 41-17 @ Rich Stadium on 12-18-94

1996 regular season

The New England Patriots destroyed the San Diego Chargers 45-7 @ Jack Murphy Stadium

2004 Championship Season

The New England Patriots routed the Cleveland Browns 42-15 @ Cleveland Browns Stadium on 12-05-04

2008 regular season

The New England Patriots smashed the Oakland Raiders 49-26 @ Oakland on 12-14-08

The New England Patriots smothered the Arizona Cardinals 47-7 @ Gillette in the snow on 12-28-08

2010 regular season

The Patriots defeated the New York Jets 45-3 @ Gillette Stadium on 12-06-10

 

The only Patriot Player who was named the NFL Player of the Week in a game played in December

Drew Bledsoe tossed 4 touchdown passes in their 45-7 rout of the San Diego Chargers on 12-01-96

 

The only Patriot Player who was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Week in a game played in December

Jim Plunkett tossed 2 TD’s including 1 for 88 yards to defeat the Baltimore Colts 21-17 @ Memorial on 12-19-71

 

Every Patriot Player who was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week in a game played in December

1995 regular season

Curtis Martin had 148 yards rushing & 2 TD’s in their 31-28 victory over the NY Jets @ Foxboro on 12-10-95

2003 Championship Season

Tom Brady tossed 4 TD passes in the 1st half in their 31-0 shutout of the Buffalo Bills @ Gillette on 12-27-03

2007 undefeated regular season

Tom was 32-46 for 399 yds & 4 TD’s in their 34-13 rout of the Pittsburgh Steelers @ Gillette on 12-09-07

Tom was 32-42 for 356 yds & 2 TD’s (inlcuding his 50th TD pass) in their 38-35 win over the Giants on 12-29-07

2010 regular season

Tom was 21-29 and threw 4 TD passes in the Patriots 45-3 thrashing of the NY Jets @ Gillette on 12-06-10

 

 

 

 

www.totalpatriotsbook.com

 

Every Patriot Player who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in a game played in December

1971 regular season

Julius Adams led the Patriots defense in their 34-13 drubbing of the Dolphins @ Schaefer Stadium on 12-05-71

1996 regular season

Willie McGinest recovered a fumble in the end zone for a TD in their 45-7 rout of the Chargers on 12-01-96

1997 AFC Wild Card Playoff Game

Chris Slade recovered a fumble & returned a pass 22 yds in their 17-3 win vs Miami @ Foxboro on 12-28-97

1998 regular season

Chad Eaton had 3 sacks, 8 tackles & forced a fumble in their 23-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on 12-06-98

Willie Clay caught a Steve Young pass to set up the game winning FG in their 24-21 win vs the 49’ers on 12-20-98

2003 Championship Season

Tedy Bruschi returned an interception 4 yards for a TD in their 12-0 shutout of the Dolphins @ Gillette on 12-07-03

Willie McGinest returned an interception 15 yards for a TD in their 21-16 win over the New York Jets on 12-20-03

 

Every Patriot Player who was named the AFC Special Team Player of the Week in a game played in Dec.

1994 regular season

Pat O’Neill booted 3 punts for 143 yards including one for 67 yards in their 41-17 rout of the Bills on 12-18-94

1996 regular season

Dave Meggett returned a punt 60 yards for a TD in their 23-22 comeback victory over the NY Giants on 12-21-96

2000 regular season

Chad Eaton blocked 2 field goal attempts in their 13-10 Overtime win vs the Buffalo Bills on 12-17-00

2001 Championship Season

Adam Vinatieri kicked 4 field goals including the game winner in their 12-9 Overtime win vs the Bills on 12-16-01

Ken Walter had 2 of his punts downed within the 20 yard line in their 20-13 win vs Miami @ Foxboro on 12-22-01

2002 regular season

Adam Vinatieri kicked 4 FG’s including the game winner in their 27-24 OT win vs Miami @ Gillette on 12-29-02

2008 regular season

Ellis Hobbs had a 95 yd kickoff return for a TD in the Patriots 49-26 win over the Raiders @ Oakland on 12-14-08

Chris Hanson had a 45 yd Ave in their 13-0 win vs Buffalo @ Ralph Wilson Stadium in 60 MPH winds on 12-28-08

2010 regular season

OL Dan Connolly had a 71 yard kickoff return in the Patriots 31-27 win over the Packers @ Gillette on 12-19-10

 

The only Patriot Player who was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month in December

Corey Dillon rushed for 398 yards & scored 5 TD’s in the 3 victories for the Patriots in December 2004

 

The only Patriot Player who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in December

Mike Vrabel had 4 sacks, a fumble recovery & an interception in the 4 victories for the Patriots in December 2003

 

Every Patriot Player who was named the AFC Special Team Player of the Month in December

1996 regular season

Dave Meggett returned a punt for a TD & had 335 combined kickoff & punt return yards in December of 1996

2001 Championship Season

Troy Brown returned a punt for a TD and had 175 punt return yards for the Patriots in December of 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.totalpatriotsbook.com

Pinstripes With A Side Of Snark #5

Way back in my first post on this site, I talked about how excited I was about the prospect  of writing a weekly Yankees blog, and that I was really going to commit myself to staying on a schedule. Suffice to say, that hasn’t  worked out. So, where the hell have I been? Well honestly (maybe too honestly) I’m about to tell you. To put it bluntly, my father’s health is failing. He’s been plagued by kidney issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a chronic nerve disease that leaves him in crippling pain over the past year. Over the course of August we had to rush him to the hospital on three different occasions, and watched his daily medication count balloon, culminating to a point where he basically needs someone around 24 hours a day, which has been my life for the last three or four weeks, which has clearly cut into my blogging time. I tried writing a few entires during this period, but it seemed like every time I got a piece near-done, something new would happen in my home life and overshadow it. Luckily, the situation seems to have settled itself for now, or at least enough that I can take the time to do this. Now, I’m sure there’s a lot of people reading this asking “Why’re you putting this on the internet, and why on a sports site?” To answer the first part, I’ve always been a pretty public person. I have an active Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook  life, and I often use them to vent (while keeping things still private enough in my mind, though I’m sure others disagree.) As for why on a sports site, honestly I can’t think of a better venue to talk about my dad. For better or worse, my relationship with my father is inexorably linked to sports. Not that there aren’t other aspects to our relationship, but almost of best memories with him relate to sports. It was through watching baseball with him that I learned to love the sport. I was with him for every major moment of the last Yankees dynasty, and eventually co-opted him into my New England Patriots fandom, and we enjoyed that dynasty together to. We’ve been to countless Yankee games together, in both the old and new Stadiums, the last being Game 3 of last year’s ALDS against the Twins. On top of that, he sat with me in the upper deck of the old Giants Stadium to watch the Pats go 16-0, even though we were surrounded by  angry Giants fans, vowing I’d be hearing from them a few months later after the Super Bowl… like that could ever happen. All kidding aside, those memories of live sporting events will be with me forever, but they’re sadly over now. While my dad will (hopefully) still be around for a very long time, the odds of him being able to actually attend anything on that level again are slim to none. I do take comfort in the fact that his passion is still there. He listens to/watches every Yankees game, and is psyched for the Playoffs and the upcoming NFL Season. In the end, I’m thankful for that.

Well, that’s what I’ve got for you right now. I’m hoping to have a Yankees piece up at the end of this week (not to mention a couple of smaller Patriots pieces I’ve been working on), but obviously that may be subject to change.

 

 

 

Patriots sign safety James Ihedigbo

http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Patriots-sign-safety-James-Ihedigbo/4ab03944-ba86-4338-a285-bd6cd04a30d2

Haynesworth to New England

NFL Network insider Albert Breer had confirmed that veteran NFL Defensive Lineman Albert Haynesworth has been traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for the Patriots’ 2013 5th round pick.
Haynesworth, who signed one of the largest contracts ever give to a defensive lineman after stellar years in Tennessee, had fallen into Mike Shannon’s doghouse in his 1st year in Washington give the Patriots a force in the middle of their defense, IF he wants yo play.

Myra H. Kraft biography and service information

Posted from http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Myra-H-Kraft-biography-and-service-information/f9f6ba23-c1bf-46bf-af56-d59ed553c2aa

The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family mourn the passing of Myra H. Kraft.

While petite in size, no one ever questioned Myra Kraft’s stature in the many global communities in which she did her work. She devoted her entire professional career to philanthropic pursuits, touching lives across the world, from Boston to small towns in northern Russia to Israel to South America and beyond.

Her ingenuity and passion helped an untold number of people across the globe. However, the projects closest to her heart, and in which she invested the majority of her time, energy, passion and love, were in the Greater Boston community. 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. During her tenure, the club enjoyed significant growth and improved the childhoods of tens of thousands of youth in the city, forming the foundation for productive adult lives. Over the course of her philanthropic career, she invested tens of thousands of hours in charitable causes. In addition, Myra and Robert contributed well over $100 million to the organizations and causes that were most important to them. The primary focus of their giving has been on improving the lives of children and enhancing their educational opportunities. She was a passionate believer that when you help a child, you not only make their lives better, but generate a societal dividend that is incalculable.

Myra H. Kraft was born December 27, 1942 and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jacob and Francis Hiatt. She graduated from the Bancroft School and attended Brandeis University. While earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, Myra met and then married Robert Kraft. The couple raised four sons – Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David – in whom she instilled the values of family, faith and philanthropy and was a constant in the lives of her eight beautiful grandchildren. Family was always paramount in Myra’s life. She was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother. Just last month, Myra and Robert celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary.

The base from which she operated her philanthropic works was the Robert K. and Myra H. Kraft Family Foundation, which focuses its philanthropic mission on furthering educational initiatives and the advancement of medical care and science. Through their private foundation, Myra and Robert endowed chairs and built buildings at a variety of institutions of higher education, including Boston College, Brandeis University, Columbia University, the Harvard School of Education, the Harvard Medical School and Holy Cross. In 1984, the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center was established at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which has grown to become one of the largest platelet donation centers in the world. Its leader, Dr. Kenneth Anderson, the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has used it as the platform to do groundbreaking research in the area of multiple myeloma.

Earlier this year, Myra and Robert Kraft committed their last major philanthropic act together when they announced a $20 million gift to Partners HealthCare to create The Kraft Family National Center for Leadership and Training in Community Health. The Center’s mission is to improve access and quality of health care for the neediest people in our community. The gift will fund an innovative fellowship program aimed at training a new generation of community-based physician leaders to practice in community health settings. The goal is to provide the best in quality care to patients in inner cities while teaching physicians and young residents the importance of giving back to their communities through their field of medical care. Over time, the effort will help to make significant strides toward addressing and eliminating specific barriers to quality health care, not just in Boston but in communities throughout New England with a vision and hope of expanding the model to cities across America. It is designed to be a lasting legacy and could very well be the crowning achievement of a lifetime of philanthropic projects with which Myra was associated.

In 1994, after the Kraft family bought the New England Patriots, Myra took an active role in forming the mission of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and served as its President. Through Myra’s mission statement, the foundation is committed to bettering the lives of needy families and youths across the New England region and has donated millions of dollars to nonprofits and charitable organizations throughout New England. Prior to the 2010 NFL season, as Myra battled with her own cancer, she wanted the focus of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to help raise the awareness about the importance of not just prevention, but early detection of all forms of the deadly disease. Throughout the 2010 season, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation teamed with three prominent local hospitals to help raise that awareness through a season-long initiative to “Kick Cancer.”

At the time of her passing, Myra sat on and held leadership positions with numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees at Brandeis University, where she was also Vice Chairman and a member of the Executive Committee. She was also on the Board of Trustees at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and The Boston Foundation. In addition, she served as Chairman of the Board of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Chaired the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee supported by the Jewish Federation of North America.

In 1995, Myra became the first female chair in the history of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. She realized that in order to have the greatest impact in her local community, she needed to focus her efforts in conjunction with an organization that actively reached and engaged a large audience of youth for significant amounts of time each day. She supported the Boys & Girls Clubs because they shared her vision and belief in the potential far reaching impact that educating and inspiring youth can have not only on their individual lives but on their communities as a whole. The Boys & Girls Clubs define engaged giving and Myra understood the exponential impact that the clubs have in our society.

Her work for the organization was so meaningful and successful that the by-laws of the organization’s government were changed in order to allow for more than a four-year term. She stepped down as chairman in 2002 after six years, but remained very involved and served as one of the co-chairs of the Major Gifts Capital Campaign. She remained an ex-officio member of all committees and continued to serve on the Board of Directors.

In her role of the Boys & Girls Club, Myra worked closely with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, an organization that she had contributed to since the early 1980s. In her role as chairman of the Boys & Girls Clubs, she saw the power of the United Way organization and its impact on funding numerous grassroots charities that served the youth of our community. That impact was the impetus of her joining the board of directors and ultimately becoming Chair of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay.

Of the many educational institutions that were recipients of her time and largess, she held her alma mater, Brandeis University, the most dear. She joined the Board of Trustees in 1988, and has served continuously since, assuming the role of Vice Chair of the board and a member of the executive committee. In her time on the Brandeis board, she sat on the Honorary Degrees Committee, Development Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee and most recently became Chair of the Students and Enrollment Committee.

Aside from her family, the greatest passion Myra had in life was the state of Israel. Over the course of her life, she worked tirelessly for Jewish and Israeli-focused philanthropies. The Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston was the platform from which she conducted her work starting in the 1960s, when she chaired the Young Leadership Committee. Since then, she had chaired and served on nearly every Combined Jewish Philanthropies committee. Her work for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies led her to become an international leader in the global philanthropic Jewish world, serving on the Joint Distribution Committee. She has earned numerous awards and honors from organizations throughout the state of Israel. In May 2005, she was conferred with an honorary degree from the University of Haifa in Israel and also received an honorary degree a year later from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel.

By 2000, Myra’s role in the Jewish community and Jewish philanthropic circles had become more global. At that point, Myra was the National Chair for the United Jewish Communities General Assembly. It was the first time that this position was singularly chaired and Myra organized what is to this day considered the most successful annual meeting with over 6,000 people and students from Jewish Federations all across the United States, Canada and Israel.

From an early age, Myra loved to read and had an insatiable desire to learn. She studied history, current events and politics. She also had a deep appreciation for the arts and was a regular at the symphony and museums around the world. While not initially a big fan of sports, she enjoyed playing tennis and golf. In 1994, after the family purchased the Patriots, she attended her first football game, even though Robert had been a season ticket holder since 1971. Soon thereafter, she began to teach herself about the game of football and quickly became an educated and passionate Patriots fan and enjoyed watching football at all levels.

Myra’s intellect and candor earned her great respect in the philanthropic community, as she was described by many as the “perfect” chairperson. She was always engaged in the discussions and asked important questions. She spoke with conviction and was direct in her comments, but always made sure that opposing viewpoints were heard. She led by example, immersing herself in many of the day-to-day tasks that come with overseeing nonprofits. She led fundraising efforts, often making the hat-in-hand calls herself, and helped create the strategic business plans for many of the nonprofit agencies with which she was associated. She defined engaged giving, helping and encouraging philanthropists to be more engaged for a greater impact. She described philanthropy as her occupation starting at a time when few did and she worked tirelessly at it in hopes of helping to improve the lives of others.

Myra was honored by dozens of organizations for her lifetime of philanthropic endeavors, including the Camille O. Cosby World of Children Award, presented by the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston. She will be remembered as one of New England’s greatest philanthropists, but more so as a loving wife, mother and grandmother.


Public services for Myra H. Kraft will be on Friday, July 22 at 10:00 a.m. at Temple Emmanuel, located at 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA  02459.

In lieu of flowers, the Kraft family has asked that donations be made in Myra’s name at the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund
50 Congress Street
Suite 730
Boston, MA 02109
http://www.bgcb.org/donate_special_endowment.cfm