It was a trying year for Patriots owner Robert Kraft as he dealt with the sickness and then death of his wife while negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
His ability to do both well made him a natural candidate for the George Halas Award. It is awarded every year to the NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. While quantifying adversity seems difficult, Kraft certainly had a lot on his plate this year so it is no surprise that the Pro Football Writers of America announced Monday that they have selected him as the 2012 recipient of the award.
The Patriots wore a patch in memory of Myra Kraft throughout the 2011 season. Mrs. Kraft died on July 20th last year, five days before the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that brought the lockout to an end. Jeff Saturday, then of the Colts and representing the NFLPA, made special mention of Kraft’s dueling responsibilities during the announcement of the agreement which led to a hug that became the only heartwarming byproduct of the lockout.
Past winners of the award include Mike Heimerdinger, Mike Utley, Tony Dungy, Joe Namath and Mark Fields. Joe Montana is a two-time winner thanks to a pair of comebacks from injuries during his playing days.