Two Cents Top 5 Boston Sports Stars Of All Time
July 21st 2009 13:04
#5) Tom Brady (2000- present) 3x Superbowl Champion; 1x NFL MVP; 2x Super Bowl MVP
I can already hear the older guys, aka the ‘Smitty’ types of the world(haha), jumping up my ass for this selection and quite honestly, that’s fine with me. No problemo. Tom Brady is a 3x Super Bowl Champion for a team that was considered one of the sorriest ass franchises in pro sports not too long ago. The arrival of Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe took some of that sorry reputation away, but Brady and Bill Belichick permanently cemented New England as a football dynasty throughout this current decade. The quintessential winner, there isn’t a quarterback in the league that I want with the ball in his hands more than this guy when a game is on the line---nobody. Lets go get our 4th title of this decade this year Tommy Boy.
‘Two Cents’ on Brady That You Might Not Know : According to San Mateo, CA lore, Tom Brady once dated an ugly chick who was a little on the hefty side back in 1987 when he was 10. It supposedly mentally scarred the poor kid and he vowed to never date anyone other than hot actresses or supermodels from that point on.. I couldn’t confirm this but my scouts and I are still working on it.
#4) Ted Williams (1939-1942, 1946-1952, 1953-1960….Red Sox) 2x A.L MVP; 17x All Star
Teddy Ballgame is probably the best all around hitter of all time. I go back and forth between Ted and The Babe all time when it comes to the best hitter ever. To be honest, I really struggled while making this list between Williams and Bird and who would be ahead of the other. Ted is the only guy on this list without a championship though, and at the end of the day Bird’s championships put him over the top but trust me I was second guessing myself over and over but I feel I made the right choice. That aside, can you believe Ted Williams had a lifetime .344 batting average to go along with 521 HR’s and he MISSED a chunk of seasons in the prime of his career due to his military service? He missed all of the ’43, ’44, ’45 seasons as well as the majority of the ’52 and ’53 seasons. Incredible to think about where he would’ve ended up if he didn’t miss that time. If I could get in my Michael J. Fox ‘Back to the Future’ DeLorean and with the help of ‘Doc’, go back in time, I would love to hit up Boston while Teddy Ballgame was tearing up AL pitching back in the day. Wow.
‘Two Cents’ On Williams That You Might Not Know : Carl Yastrzemski said: "They can talk about Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial and all the rest, but I'm sure not one of them could hold cards and spades to (Ted) Williams in his sheer knowledge of hitting. He studied hitting the way a broker studies the stock market, and could spot at a glance mistakes that others couldn't see in a week."
#3) Larry Bird (1979-1992---Celtics) 3x NBA Champion; 3x MVP
Larry Bird was the man when I was a kid.. His mixture of pure shooting ability and out of this world court vision and smarts--- to go along with the swagger of a champion and his widely known reputation as one of the best trash talkers in the history of the NBA-- made him incredible to watch. His desire to win at all costs… His ability to make EVERYONE of his teammates better…His hatred of losing… and his release of that 3-Point shot in the corner in the 3- Point contest on All Star Saturday and sticking up his index finger indicating he just won while walking away before the shot even was on the way down yet are the things I’ll never forget about Larry Joe Bird. A definite member of the ‘All Ugly ‘ Team but also my favorite Celtic to watch of all time.
‘Two Cents’ On Bird That You Might Not Know : During one game on Christmas Day against the Indiana Pacers, before the game Bird told Chuck Person that he had a Christmas present waiting for him. During the game, when Person was on the bench, Bird shot a three-pointer on the baseline right in front of Person. Immediately after releasing the ball, Bird said to Person, "Merry fuckin' Christmas!", and then the shot went in. This was no doubt inspired by Person (nicknamed the "Rifleman") stating prior to the game that "The Rifleman is Coming, and He's Going Bird Hunting."
#2) Bobby Orr (1966-1975---Bruins) 2x Stanley Cup Champion; 8x Norris Trophy Winner (Best Defenseman); 2x Art Ross Trophy Winner (Single Season Scoring Leader)
What Orr did for a Bruins organization that was always in the cellar every year in terms of overall standings is astounding. He single handedly revolutionized the Defenseman position in the NHL. He made playing street hockey on the streets of Boston an everyday activity, from what I’m told. I’m sorry but if you win the Norris Trophy eight times and you also win TWO Scoring Titles, along with winning two championships while in Boston---you are a hockey God. Can you imagine a defenseman today outscoring the likes of Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin ? Orr lead the league in scoring twice. That blows me away. Simply amazing… All the while being one hell of a lockdown defender as well.
‘Two Cents’ On Orr That You Might Not Know : He was signed by the Bruins at age 14 and as a 16-year-old, played for the Oshawa Generals in the junior league Ontario Hockey Association, competing against eighteen-, nineteen- and twenty-year-olds; National Hockey League rules dictated that he could not join the Boston Bruins before reaching eighteen.
#1) Bill Russell (1956-1969---Celtics) 11x NBA Champion including 8 titles in a ROW! 5x MVP…
To me, it was a no-brainer to have Russell listed as number one. He was the ultimate winner who made playing ferocious defense ‘cool’ in the NBA. He changed the mindset of the whole league and showed that games could be won by dominating defensively. All the running up and down the court and scoring was great but defense was going to win games for you and be a deciding factor in what was an ‘offense first’ type of league at the time. He showed the world that you could dominate a game on the defensive side of the ball and by intimidating many a player with his unbelievable shot blocking skills. Let’s not forget that Russell also averaged 15 points per game as well over the course of his career. I am completely blown away by the 8 NBA Championships in a ROW and 11 overall. Truly unheard of and will never happen again. One of the best rebounders and defensive beasts to ever lace up the sneaks and one of the best leaders in sports history for one of the most storied franchises in professional sports. Russell was as intense as they came on the hardwood floors. A good modern day example of someone who has that type of intensity and drive to win would be Kevin Garnett, which would explain Russell’s affinity with Garnett. Russell’s teams NEVER lost a deciding game in a series. His teams were 10-0 in Game 7’s and 1-0 in a deciding Game 5. As Celtics player Don Nelson told the Boston Herald, "There are two types of superstars. One makes himself look good at the expense of the other guys on the floor. But there's another type who makes the players around him look better than they are, and that's the type Russell was."
‘Two Cents’ On Russell That You Might Not Know : In his first NBA full season (1957–58), Russell became the first player in NBA history to average more than 20 rebounds per game for an entire season, a feat he accomplished 10 times in his 13 seasons. Russell's 51 rebounds in a single game is the second highest performance ever, only trailing Chamberlain's all-time record of 55.
So, what do you think? I want to hear all of your opinions on this list.. Who do you think should be on there that I didn't include? Did you agree with the order I put them in? Speak up and be heard people!
(Thanks to Wikipedia for all of my 'Two Cents That You Might Not Know' factoids EXCEPT the Tom Brady one!)
Two Cents From Beantown
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