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High-Fives and Dope Slaps: The Pats may have lost, but kudos to Bob Kraft

Posted by Alex Pearlman  February 7, 2012 06:14 PM

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robert kraft.JPGBy Jeff Fish

It’s a sad, sad week in Boston. Like many (all) Patriots fans, I’m crushed about Sunday’s defeat, once again, at the hands of the New York Giants, but that doesn’t make me love the Patriots any less, including owner Bob Kraft, who has been an extremely influential figure not only in the NFL, but as a member of the Massachusetts community.

Also, believe it or not, some political stuff did happen this week, like Gov. Deval Patrick‘s plan to revitalize community colleges, Mitt Romney winning Nevada, and Scott Brown’s STOCK Act passing the Senate. So let’s talk about that, too.

High-Five: Bob Kraft. I really can’t say enough about what the Patriots owner has done not only for the franchise, but for the state of Massachusetts in general. Kraft became the owner of the Patriots in 1994, saving them from a move to St. Louis, so it’s because of him that the Pats were able to stay in New England and enjoy so much success. He also saved football this year, as an instrumental figure in ending the NFL lockout.

But I don’t want to focus solely on Kraft’s role in the NFL. The development of Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place after that, financed by the Kraft family, created jobs and revitalized the area, turning a huge lot of land into an open-air shopping center that now buzzes with activity. He and his wife Myra, who died in July, poured millions of dollars into charity over the years.

It’s apparent just from watching interviews with Patriots players that they hugely admire the Kraft family and sincerely mourned Myra’s death. Kraft inspires loyalty among everyone that works for him, probably partially because he treats them well; every time the Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl, Kraft has sent every last one of his employees, down to those who work at the pro shop. This may be a politics column, and Kraft might not be a politician, but the impact he has had on this state and the respect he commands locally, nationally, and globally deserves a high-five.

High-Five: Gov. Patrick trying to improve community colleges. Higher education is a complicated issue, but it seems like Patrick has a solid idea of how to boost the state’s 15 community colleges. His plan would centralize funding for the colleges by giving the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education control over the budgets, based on a formula that includes enrollment and performance data.

Patrick aims to implement programs tailored to help students get jobs when they graduate by striking up more partnerships with local employers. Opponents are concerned because community colleges in Massachusetts are typically gateways for students to four-year institutions. If Patrick moves forward with these plans, he needs to make sure to keep that tradition intact.

Dope Slap: Romney wins Nevada Caucus. Yeah, Romney won another state -- big surprise. Nevada’s large Mormon population undoubtedly propelled him to victory and further cemented his front-runner status. I don’t like Newt Gingrich better than Romney by any means, but the former Bay State governor’s success nonetheless annoys me. He’s not winning because people like him or because they are in any way enthusiastic about him. He’s winning because he has the most money and the most efficient political operation. Mitt Romney, the product nobody really wants, is being shoved down our throats.

High-Five: STOCK Act passes through Senate. Last week, I reported on Scott Brown’s sponsorship of the STOCK Act. This week, I’m pleased to announce that it passed overwhelmingly through the Senate in a 96-3 vote. Now the bill just needs to make it through the House before it reaches President Obama’s desk, where he will sign it into law.

'High-Fives and Dope Slaps' is TNGG Boston's weekly politics column, written by Jeff Fish.

Photo of Bob Kraft by BrokenSphere (Wikimedia Commons)

About Jeff -- I'm a senior at Suffolk University, majoring in journalism and political science. I'm the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, The Suffolk Journal, and I did a six-month co-op at The Boston Globe. I love politics, reading, movies, TV, and anything pop culture. My mind is a font of useless knowledge.

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