All season long, the New England Patriots played with a patch bearing the initials "MHK" over their hearts in tribute to Myra Kraft, the late wife of team owner Robert Kraft.
Now New England is headed to Super Bowl XLVI after Billy Cundiff's missed field-goal attempt sealed a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. At least a couple of Patriots believe a higher power helped push Cundiff's kick wide left.
Mayo wasn't alone in that sentiment.
After the game, Robert Kraft tapped the "MHK" pin on his lapel, kissed his fingertips and pointed to the sky. When asked about the Patriots' good fortune to have an opposing kicker miss a short field-goal attempt at the end of the game, Kraft said: "There are forces at work beyond anything we can understand."
"She's really happy tonight," Kraft told NFL Network's Stacey Dales about his late wife, who died July 28 at age 68 after a battle with cancer. "Thank God for that last kick."
But before Kraft, who later fielded a congratulatory call from singer Elton John in the postgame locker room, fully let himself enjoy his sixth AFC championship in the 18 years since he bought the team, he cut short his interview with Dales and took a moment to embrace his close friend, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
"I think Steve is a terrific owner. He's been a wonderful friend," Kraft told the newspaper. "He came in (to the league) in a unique way; he was very wise the way he purchased the Ravens. He had time to learn on the job. He's created stability in the front office there. He's really one of my favorite owners. He was very kind and generous when my wife passed to make a generous donation in her memory. We've been good friends."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.