Making Pat proud...

Mike Petraglia
September 18, 2008 - 9:48 am

By his own admission, Patriots owner Robert Kraft never thought he would be where he was standing on Thursday afternoon. Kraft recalled the day in 1994 that he bought the team, before three Super Bowl titles, an undefeated regular season and a place in New England sports history. Kraft, along with Raytheon Chairman and CEO Wiliam H. Swanson, cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art The Hall at Patriot Place Presented by Raytheon. It's a 36,000-square foot facility that features the franchise's Hall of Fame, which increases to 13 this weekend with the induction of former tight end Ben Coates, a huge Pro Shop for those wanting to shop and a display of artifacts from the team's unmistakeably rich past, from 'Pat Patriot' to 'Elvis'. But Kraft and Swanson want this to be more than just about football. With the help of one of the world's biggest defense contractors, Raytheon is helping to promote math and science eduation through football for the thousands of school children officials expect to pass though each year. "The Hall at Patriot Place is not just a tribute to the greatest players in Patriots history but to every player who wore the Patriots uniform and to every fan who has supported the team," said Kraft, who of course is undisputeably the biggest fan in the team's 49 years - and as the last 14 years have shown - its most influential. And it was appropriate that the team's two inductees in Canton were on hand on Thursday as John Hannah and Andre Tippett flanked each side of yard markers with a bright red ribbon connecting the two.