Friday, June 8, 2012

Boston, I’ll Have Another

I am fascinated when sports and politics intersect (one half of the MSRP Quadumvirate), sometimes in a painfully uncomfortable way.  In Boston this week, we had a head on collision at this intersection, and if it were not for the laughter created by the impact, there would have been no survivors.  This represents a perfect “can’t look away” moment from a man who has a short career filled with them.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino was so proud of his hometown Boston Celtics that he decided to provide nightly news viewers with his analysis of the club’s successful run thus far in the playoffs.  It would have helped if he knew the roster a tad better:

As any Bostonian would know, and well as most casual sports fans, the Celtics’ stars are not KJ and Hondo.  The Celtics’stars are KG (for Kevin Garnett) and Rondo (for Rajon Rondo).  In the mayor’s defense, Hondo was once a star for the Celtics (John Havlicek – in the 1960s and 70s.  He was close, actually a lot closer than when he called NBA Commissioner David Stern “Donald Sterns” at an event before the 2010 NBA Finals.  When it comes to sports names, this guy is the Butcher of Beacon Hill.

This gaffe dovetails nicely with some of his earlier displays of Beantown sports ignorance.  It was only last year that he publicly called New England Patriot stars Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski “Wes Wreckler and Rob Grabowski”.  While there is no video proof, he probably at one time or another referred to the Pats’ Pro Bowl quarterback as “Mike Brady”.  Honest mistake.
And then there is this legendary public speech when the mayor lauded Bobby Orr’s “ionic” goal (as if it were performed atop radioactive isotopes instead of on a surface of ice), and compounded this verbal butchery by reminding Boston fans about the time that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek kicked the winning field goal in the Super Bowl:

 Use this link to watch:

For the record, the image of Orr’s goal is iconic, and Adam Vinatieri is better known for splitting the uprights in SBXXXVI (that’s Super Bowl 36 for any non-Romans in my audience).

Boston fans will give Mayor Menino a pass on his sports ignorance since New Englanders do not expect much from their politicians when it comes to sports knowledge (graft and sexual misconduct, they expect).  How do I know?  I know because this man was elected 9 times to the Senate representing the fine Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and yet here was his deep knowledge of contemporary sports personalities in all its glory:

So I toast to you, Bostonian politicians and sports fans.  In your honor, I think I’ll Have Another Sam Adams and work on my pronunciation of the funny names on the Bruins hockey team roster. 

Say it with me, Mayor Menino:  David Krejci...CRAY-CHEE (not ‘ker-jac-ee’)

Editor's Note:  I mention Boston politics and sports, and I left out the funniest flub of all - former Red Sox star and conservative henchman, Curt Shilling, sticking the government and by extension the taxpayers of Rhode Island with a large bill since his company's bankruptcy.  Gov't is clearly the enemy unless the check is made out to you, huh, Curt?

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