Super Bowl 2012: Memory of the Late Myra Kraft Driving Patriots' Title Run

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJanuary 31, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Robert Kraft, team owner of the New England Patriots celebrates with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after his team defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens 20-23.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The memory of Myra Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who died last summer, has been fueling the team's run towards a Super Bowl this season, and you can bet the players will be motivated to lift the Lombardi Trophy for her.

The Patriots have played with "MHK" patches on their jerseys this season, the initials of the late Myra Kraft. This was one way the team dedicated the season to her.

Throughout the year, and in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, Mrs. Kraft has been on the players' minds.

“For Mr. Kraft, the pain that he’s been through, we want to bring a smile to his face every day, and we know she’s up there watching and we want to make her happy, too,” said defensive back Sterling Moore via the Boston Herald, the hero of the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens last week.

“She’s just been a wonderful influence on every guy that’s been part of this team,” [Tom] Brady said last week at Gillette Stadium as the team prepared to head to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. “We wear her initials (on a patch) on our jersey. It’s certainly been a meaningful year for Mr. Kraft and his family, and we know how important this season is to him. We hope we represent them well by wearing that patch.”

It's really quite fitting that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl this season after how important Robert Kraft was to there even being an NFL season in 2011. His role in ending the lockout and helping the players and owners craft a new CBA in the summer was vital, and even in her last moments, Myra wanted her husband to help the sport he loves save its season.

Now the Patriots have a chance to finish this historic season with the perfect ending for Mr. Kraft and his family, one that is highly respected not just among NFL people, but throughout sports.

Kraft is an owner you want to play for: He spends money to keep good players around and he doesn't hold on to players who are past their prime. These are just two reasons the Patriots are the most successful NFL franchise since 2000 and having a winning mentality.

Mrs. Kraft was a huge inspiration to these players, and the fans have also rallied around the team in their support of the Kraft family. At the team's rally over the weekend before they boarded a plane to Indianapolis, about 25,000 fans attended and chanted "MHK" as Mr. Kraft got to the podium.

It was a spontaneous moment that was touched the hearts of everyone there, including Mr. Kraft. It was an unscripted event that displayed how much she meant to the team.

As the Patriots play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, there is no question the players will have Myra on their minds. After all the Kraft family has been through this season, it would be fitting if Tom Brady lifted the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night and shouted, "This one's for Myra!"