AP
New England Patriots' Kyle Van Noy speaks with members of the media during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, ahead of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

With Super Bowl LIII less than a week away, a game that will pit the New England Patriots against the Los Angeles Rams, media outlets are providing inside looks at athletes on both teams that have risen dramatically.

The Boston Globe was one of said outlets and columnist Kevin Cullen did just that. His chosen athlete? Patriots linebacker and former BYU standout Kyle Van Noy.

In his column on Van Noy, Cullen mostly ignored football, however.

Instead, he detailed Van Noy’s upbringing after his adoption, his time at BYU, good and bad, and a Christmas party put on by Van Noy and his wife Marissa this past December.

The Christmas party drew the bulk of Cullen’s attention, in large part due to the impact and meaning of it.

Per Cullen, despite the fact that Van Noy is in the midst of his “best season as a professional” his on-field accomplishments pale in comparison to what took place “at a hotel conference room in Foxborough last month, before Christmas.”

The Van Noy’s, who founded the Van Noy Valor Foundation — the foundation’s stated mission is to “encourage personal valor in the lives of adopted children, those in foster care and disadvantaged youth by armoring them with success through resources, mentors and opportunities.” — hosted 1,300 people, a total of 253 families, in said conference room all in an attempt to help “kids find families and families find kids.”

For the Van Noy’s there is nothing more important.

“These families, these kids, need support,” Van Noy told Cullen. “The issues and challenges around fostering and adoption are not talked about enough. For me, it’s about giving people a smile.”

Known cheater

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Van Noy’s teammate and legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was the target of both some good and bad media attention at Super Bowl LIII Media Day.

The latter was reported by SB Nation’s James Dator, who pointed out early Tuesday morning that Brady was designated as a “Known Cheater” by Pittsburgh television station KDKA.

“KDKA was covering the Patriots on Super Bowl media night when they showed No. 12 with the title “Known Cheater,” Dator wrote. “Let’s be honest, between SpyGate and DeflateGate this take is a crowd-pleaser, especially in Pittsburgh where Brady is loathed about as much as any sports figure in the city’s history.”

Brady is well accustomed to dealing with such vitriolic behavior, however, as he adroitly explained to a young fan during media availability.

Other links aka podcasts aplenty

Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux, hosts of the Dunc’d On NBA podcast, were joined by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman to discuss the NBA’s upcoming trade deadline.

Among the many deals posited by the quartet was one that would bring Memphis Grizzlies’ star point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, as well as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, also discussed possible trades ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline on the Lowe Post Podcast, namely those involving New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

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Once again the Jazz were brought up, along with the near impossibility, according to Lowe, of Donovan Mitchell being used as a trade chip in any possible transaction between New Orleans and Utah.

And finally…

Former BYU, Kansas and Miami (FL) quarterback Jake Heaps took to Twitter Monday night to reminisce about the moment he and his wife met nine years ago to the day… when she almost hit him with her car while perhaps driving absent-mindedly through a parking lot. It worked out well enough for both parties.