How a Harvard-trained heart surgeon made Nick Folk the most accurate kicker in Patriots’ history – Boston Herald



Three years ago, two brothers paced through Plymouth’s most famous cemetery on a mid-morning pilgrimage.

Frozen earth crunched beneath their sneakers. Wind tickled the branches of leafless trees overhead. Gray clouds coated the winter sky, as daylight waned almost as quickly as it had arrived.

The brothers’ journey ended at an eight-foot obelisk looming over its neighboring gravestones, but worn by weather and time just the same. It honored William Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth Colony in 1621. To the brothers, Bradford represented more than a historical figure.

He was an ancestor.

The day was Dec. 9, 2019, and Nick Folk had kicked in his fourth game with the Patriots a day earlier. His youngest brother, Erik, a former college kicker, had traveled from California to witness the ongoing resurrection of Nick’s NFL career. A rare off day gave the Folks a chance to connect with their heritage, perhaps

But the distance four centuries puts between a person and their ancestor is not bridged so easily. Standing above Bradford’s buried ashes in the cemetery, Nick and Erik hardly felt closer to Bradford than they did reading about him in a textbook.

They felt like tourists.

“We took pictures and stuff,” Folk remembered of the day. “That was neat.”

Erik dropped one picture in the family group chat. An uncle replied with a dry wisecrack.

“Then we just walked around for a little, got a coffee,” Erik remembered.



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