The granite in which Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt’s faces are carved, represents the first 130 years of the greatest leadership our country has ever had. Boston is known for their baked beans, “pahking their cahs in Hahvad yahd,” and most importantly, their rich sports culture that lives in the hearts and souls of the many that call this great Commonwealth their home.
So, out with the old and in with the new, by honoring four Boston sports greats. As I replace the presidents on Mt. Rushmore, George Washington comes marching off the ice for a line change, replaced by the dazzling stick play of Bobby Orr. Revolutionizing the defensive game of hockey, is precisely what Orr did. His aggressive, hard-nosed play made paying customers jaws drop in the old Garden, as they watched him in awe. A competitor, leader, and playmaker are just a few of the things his teammates, the fans lucky enough to be spoiled by him, and the rest of the league, remember most. Orr, who hung up his shingle in 1979, has a statue of “The Goal”, the 1970 Cup clincher he scored in overtime, leaving St Louis singing the Blues, located outside TD Garden. This statue keeps Bruins fans forever attached to the flying, acrobatic #4. Skates come off and cleats get put on as we leave the Old Garden and walk through the tunnel at Gillette.
With a game plan in hand, Brady gallops onto the field, replacing our third president Jefferson, who had the Constitution on his mind, as he briskly walked to the sideline. This notable New England QB was chosen an unpatriotic 199th in the 2000 NFL draft. A 6th round pick is usually nothing more than a third stringer, but don’t tell that to one hidden gem from Michigan, he’ll consult Belichick and flash three ringed fingers to prove all his critics wrong. Tom Brady will one day be headed to Canton, football’s heaven, but with his helmet still strapped on ever so tight, Tom’s still got time to unleash a few more hail mary’s. All it takes is one to be caught to keep this famed signal caller on football’s mountain top. After some time at Gillette, we skip the post-game presser and head to the Garden, this time to shoot some hoops.
Lincoln, the innovator of the Republican Party and the black stove pipe that he’s so famous for, takes a seat on the bench, being replaced by William Felton Russell. Bill Russell didn’t need Lucky the Leprechaun and his shamrocks to soar into his own elite category by winning 11 NBA championships, more than any other athlete to play a North American sport. Although he doesn’t play ball anymore, he is still the center of the rich history and tradition that are the C’s. The winter is over, the flowers are blooming, the tarp is off the field, and it’s time to head to Fenway.
Theodore Roosevelt liked to quote a favorite proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The munching of peanuts and cracker jacks all but stopped when Theodore Samuel Williams stepped into the batter’s box. Williams spoke softly and let his stick do the talking. After a highlight reel of a season in 1941 in which Williams hit a record .406, he left the diamond for the battlefield. He went to bat for his country, representing a different red, white and blue during his four years of service overseas. Williams made a triumphant return to Yawkey Way, with his prestigious #9 hanging in his locker, waiting for the living legend to arrive. To this day, the slugging outfielder is viewed by many as one of “the greatest hitters who ever lived.” By hitting a home run in his final at bat, he capped off a remarkable career, full of memories. Although the four headed monstah may never actually become a landmark, this quad of greats already exists in the minds of many Boston sports fans.