By Matt Noonan
It began as a list, but now, I’ve decided to write out my thoughts.
The question… name 10 significant Boston athletes in the 21st century, which should be simple, right? I don’t think so.
Looking back on the past 10-years of Boston sports, Bostonians, New Englanders and yes, “Mass-Holes” have been spoiled. We’ve seen all four teams capture at least one, two or three trophies, which again is incredibly special.
Players like Tom Brady, Curt Schilling and Kevin Garnett were instrumental in this entire process, but again, they didn’t win it themselves. They used all their resources, meaning teammates, duh, as well as went above and beyond when needed. Yet, while these three names are the first to top my list, I believe there are others that deserve the same recognition.
Adam Vinatieri helped start the Boston sports championship revolution with his historic kick against the Oakland Raiders at good old Foxborough Stadium during the “Snow Bowl.” He also kicked two significant field goals in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, which helped the New England Patriots beat both the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers.
So, surely, Vinatieri should be on the list, right? I mean, seriously, the guy is folklore and certainly someone that should be compared to the great Bobby Orr?
Hmm… I may have gone somewhat too far with that statement, but anyways, let’s continue.
How about David Ortiz? He totally deserves to be on this list, especially after his heroic at-bats against the New York Yankees in ’04 during the ALCS (American League Championship Series). Had Ortiz not connected on Paul Quantrill’s pitch, the Sox would have most likely been swept at Fenway Park, but again, I digress.
Ortiz was a superhero. He was the Gentle Green Giant, but while his “bat powers” helped the Sox offense, players like Schilling, Billy Mueller and Dave Roberts pitched in too. In fact, if Roberts hadn’t stolen second base in Game 4, would the Sox have still won the World Series?
It’s quite possible to believe that all of the so-called “idiots,” ’04 Red Sox could be on this particular list, but I’ll save that for the Noontime Sports baseball guru, Mr. Andy Lindberg.
Hey Andy, what are your thoughts?
There’s other names that also should be recognized, such as, Ray Allen, Dustin Pedroia, Ty Law and yes, Tim Thomas.
Thomas totally deserves to be on the Top-10 list, especially since he was forced to stand on his head during three Game 7’s this past April, May and June. Had Thomas neglected that duty, well, then the Bruins would have not won the Cup.
All in all, this list isn’t easy to construct. There are so many names, faces and players that helped shape, “Title Town USA,” so to limit it to 10 is rather hard. I mean, everyone, that’s right, everyone should be on this list.
So, I’ll put it on our fans to help construct this list. Noontime Sports wants to hear from you, as we slowly decide, who are the 10 biggest Boston sports athletes in the 21st century?
Email us (NoontimeSports@gmail.com), send us a tweet on Twitter (@NoontimeSports) or even, write on our Facebook wall (search “Noontime Sports”).
Our plan is to have this list constructed at the end of July, so, don’t just sit there, but instead, help us put together the ultimate list and yes, you can brag to your friends and say, you were apart of the process!