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New England Patriots Links 6/22/11 - Patriots DL Ron Brace Helps His Hometown

Ian Rapoport reports Ron Brace became emotional as he helped kick off a drive to raise $200,000 to assist victims of the tornadoes in Springfield.

"It just hits me more because I see that there’s people who actually want to help and I just want this to keep going," Brace said once he gathered himself. "Don’t let this momentum stop. We got to keep rebuilding this city and make it better than what it was before this tornado came in and destroyed so many memories. I just can’t say ‘thank you’ enough."

"I grew up literally not too far from here, and there’s so much damage," Brace said. "Just seeing the devastation . . . I’ve seen houses blown away that I’ve been in before, doors on the street, cars flipped, houses ruined. It hits you."

"This is when you appreciate everything. It gives you drive to do more helpful stuff. So that’s what I want to keep going." "It’s a long road," said Brace, who already organized a fashion show to help raise funds. "But I always wanted to do something for my city. I just wanted to see guys start helping each other. If nobody starts, it’s not going to happen."

Christopher Price notes Boston is next on the NFL's "Negotiations Across America" tour.

"It was a good day in the sense that we had a full discussion on the issues, and I think our ownership continues to be determined to reach an agreement and play that full season," [commissioner Roger] Goodell said. "I think it’s a tremendous positive that the principals are talking. Players and owners are talking to one another and negotiating, and I think that’s a positive step. Hopefully we’ll all be successful in reaching an agreement that’s fair and balanced for everybody.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ve got to do it right," Goodell added. "The agreement that we’re focusing on and negotiating has got to address several issues.  Those issues are complex and it needs to be done in a way that is fair to the players, fair to the clubs, and most importantly allows us to continue to have that full 2011 football season. That’s what we want, that’s what the fans want, they want football and it’s our job to try to make that happen."