Kraft returns the gesture of support

Robert Kraft and Matt LightPhoto courtesy of the Patriots

Matt Light presented Robert Kraft with this photo on Christmas Eve, a touch gesture that was reciprocated by Kraft on Sunday when the Patriots were down.Steve Buckley wrote a touching piece in today's Boston Herald on Patriots owner Robert Kraft's season of mourning after the death of his wife Myra over the summer. The most poignant nugget comes in describing the scene in the owner's box during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Bills. Buckley writes:

The flat, playoff-bound Pats were trailing the Buffalo Bills, 21-0. The crowd was booing. It was then that team owner Robert Kraft turned to longtime assistant Al LaBelle and sent him on a mission.

“I said, ‘Al, go put that picture in the locker room,’ ” Kraft was saying yesterday, sitting in his cluttered, warehouse-like office at Gillette Stadium.

The picture he was referring to was the one the team presented Kraft with on Christmas Eve, the one that shows Patriots' players hands raised in a show of unity, with his wife's initials at the top and the word "DEDICATION" at the bottom. More from Buckley:

Kraft asked LaBelle to bring the painting onto an easel in the locker room.

“From the moment it went in,” said Kraft, “(Buffalo) didn’t score a point and we scored 49 points. So I don’t know. I know that winning requires good execution, but I just believe, I just believe . . .”

Kraft paused. He broke up for a moment, took a deep breath, and then continued talking.

“I just believe she was smiling,” he said. “It was . . . it was right after her birthday.

“I miss her,” he added. “I miss her greatly. I never understood what the term ‘broken heart’ meant. But I do understand it now.”