Sports Q: Who belongs on the Boston sports Mt. Rushmore?
Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
All right, fine, I’ll play … who belongs on the Boston sports Mt. Rushmore?
I’m sure we’ve done this one before here at Sports Q. It’s the easiest impetus for a debate in sports: Who are the four players that would belong on your city’s hypothetical sports Mt. Rushmore?
(By the way, such a thing should be built. Is there a decent rock formation somewhere near the Rt. 1 dinosaur we could use?)
I’ll admit, I usually try to avoid this particular conversation, in part because it’s such a sports radio trope, and in part because it reveals a lot of fans have no sense for history beyond what they’ve witnessed themselves.
But it can also be fun, in part because the Boston ballot is as stacked as any city’s. It turned into a thing today when NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran mentioned it on the Dan Patrick Show, and the debate sparked there eventually migrated over to Twitter.
Here are my answers: Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, Tom Brady, Ted Williams, with Larry Bird and David Ortiz making it to the final ballot.
Orr and Brady are the easiest calls. They’re the best ever to play their particular sport. Russell is the greatest winner in sports history, the greatest defensive player in basketball history, and became the first Black coach. Williams is the greatest hitter who ever lived (I bet he heard that sometimes while walking down the street).
I do appreciate the argument for Ortiz. I have long said he is the most important player when it comes to changing Sox history. He got the hits others never could. But Williams was so brilliant that he doesn’t just belong on the Boston Mt. Rushmore. He belongs on the entire sport’s Mt. Rushmore.
If we’re taking off-the-field impact into consideration, it leans even more in Williams’s favor Ortiz was beyond inspiring in 2013; he was the uniting and yet defiant voice we needed after the Marathon bombings. But Williams’s support is a huge reason the Jimmy Fund is woven into the fabric of the Red Sox. He probably also belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of fighter pilots.
I will also hear arguments on behalf of Nomar, J.D. Drew, Stephen Drew, and Butch Hobson. Not that I expect any from you jokers.
What does everyone else think? Who belongs on the Boston sports Mt. Rushmore? Make your case now, because I’m not doing this one for another five years, minimum. I’m too busy working on my quirky Celtics guards rock formation (DJ, Rondo, Marcus Smart, and who else?). I’ll hear you in the comments.
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