It's Going To Be Hard For The Patriots To Hate Peyton Manning This Year

FOXBORO MA - NOVEMBER 21: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots on November 21 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 31-28. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Marima over at Pats Pulpit shared this with us today (via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston):

"We lost our ability to win Super Bowls back-to-back years to Manning brothers, and then to see each of them send very generous checks to this fund . . . and Peyton wrote me a beautiful note," [Robert Kraft] tells [The Boston Globe's Greg A.] Bedard. "They’re sort of two people that broke my heart on the field in back-to-back years, and then they warm my heart with generous donations. It’s something special about this NFL and the great people associated with it.

"It’s sort of the great part of football, the fact that it’s a team sport and you have all these rivalries but they together - with people like Matt Cassel and Junior Seau and Tom Brady and just a ton of guys - have made contributions, dozens of Patriots players, that are going to allow us to keep the spirit of Myra’s giving back to the community live for generations to come."

The image of Colts center Jeff Saturday hugging Patriots owner Robert Kraft outside the NFLPA's offices following the agreement to the new CBA will stand as a symbol for labor peace in the NFL for a decade. Now, with Peyton writing a generous check to the Myra Kraft fund, in honor of Bob Kraft's recently departed spouse, it adds to the new perception that the rivalry between the Colts and Patriots (which is, without question, the greatest rivalry in modern sports) is a friendly and respectful one.

I will admit that the thought of the Patriots owner having his heart broken by Peyton Manning in the playoffs does make me feel the tinge of satisfaction. We Colts fans had to endure years of the Patriots beating our guys.

But, really, in the grand scheme of life, none of that really matters.

Bob Kraft's wife is gone after fighting through a long and difficult illness. Football really becomes pretty insignificant in the face of that kind of loss, and it is a kind, honorable gesture on Peyton's part to pay his respects and condolences to the Kraft family in this way.

Bravo.

Thanks to Marima for letting us know about this.

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