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A Career After Politics for Boston’s Mayor


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Big Menino showing off his skills to Big Papi

In honor of the Red Sawxxx game one win over the St. Louis Cardinals (how I loathe thee,) it’s about time we honored a political figure who defies the stereotype of the New England elite by being accessible, and truly relating to the people the best way he knows how–talking sports.

Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston has been in office since 1993 and is serving in his fifth and final term. In 1993 I was about to turn three and “I Will Always Love You” spent 14-straight weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts. There’s some perspective.

Having been in politics longer than Emperor Palpatine and Hosni Mubarak combined has given Mayor Menino ample opportunity to give the people what they want–brilliant sports sound bites.

Tuesday, the 70-year old Menino told reporters he hopes that Red Sox fans are responsible when they win “the World Series Cup,” which is almost as cool as winning the coveted SuperWorldBCSCupSeriesUEFAOlympicsFAStanleyCup.

John Kerry, George W. Bush, John McCain, the late Ted Kennedy, and many more politicos have had their share of sports ball analysis highlights during their political careers, but I am going to focus on the greatest of these (not love)–Thomas Menino.

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I worked really hard on this. Don’t make fun.

– Menino talks football:

“We have Tom Brady here, we have Tom Brady here, we have Tom Brady here. He’s been our point person all season long,” Menino said. “And Stevan Ridley, he’s been another great guy. And Wilcock.”

Watch the full video here.

Through some complicated word-smithery a la Thomas Pynchon, Mayor Menino truly captured the Patriot’s chances of acquiring football points with Tom Brady at the helm. And Wilcock aka Wilfork, is Menino’s favorite All-Pro defensive lineman. The guy’s a beast, and although his name is actually Wilfork it’s clear that Menino knows this Patriots’ team. I mean he kind of name dropped a defensive player, while wearing his jersey no less.

Menino is also a big Rob Gronkowski fan and I’m sure can’t wait to see him back “doing what he do” in the Super Cup this January. His pet name for Gronk? Gonk of course. In 2012, Menino came up with another nickname for Tom Brady’s weapon–“Grabowski,” because….he’s good at grabbing things? Also in Menino’s world, Wes Welker=Wes Weckler because of course he does.

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Microsoft Paintin’ since 97

– Menino talks basketball:

Don’t worry, there’s much more Menino still to get to folks. Clearly the man is a big fan of Rajon Rondo and the Celtics, who won a title during his tenure in Boston. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

When speaking to reporters in 2012, Menino had this to say about the Eastern Conference Finals bound Celtics,

There’s a lot of heart in this team, let me just tell you. KJ is great but Hondo is really the inspiration. Hondo drives that team.

You can watch the interview here.

Mayor Menino met with Rondo a year earlier to discuss the former Kentucky star, (also known as Hajon Hondo by true Celts fans,) to discuss Hondo’s valuable work with youth charity organizations in Boston.

The Hondo in the above photo does bear a striking resemblance to Celtics’ great and eight-time champion, John Havlicek, whose nickname happened to be Hondo. Must be how Menino came up with the name, he’s that good. He’s even on a first name basis with Commissioner David Stern, whom he knows fondly as Donald.

hondo

They could be twins!!!

– Menino talks hockey:

If you’re on KSR, there’s a high probability that you are a hockey fan, I mean, who didn’t love the Thoroughblades? That’s hockey right?

There are a few hockey players in particular that frequent trivia night questions at every bar in the country–one of them, is Bobby Orr.

On the 40th anniversary of Orr’s diving overtime goal to beat the St. Louis Blues in 1970, Menino was present at the dedication of a statue honoring the historic moment. As Menino eloquently stated, the goal was one of the most “ionic” in Boston sports’ history.

Bostonians continue to refer to the goal as one of the most ionic in its history, as Menino’s speech truly did capture the sports spirit of Beantown with the charisma of a fellow Massachusetts man, John F. Kennedy. Bravo sir.

– Menino talks soccer

*Crickets

There’s an MLS team in Boston right? The New England Revolution? Welp, guess we’ll skip that.

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Jason Varitek is such a Renaissance man.

– Menino talks… all the sports

My personal favorite Menino talk moment came from the very same “ionic” press conference.

As the Boston Globe put it, the mayor was attempting to put Orr’s goal into context by discussing the greatest moments in Boston sports history saying:

Havlicek stole the ball; Fisk waving the ball fair; Flutie launching the Hail Mary pass; Varitek splitting the uprights.’

Menino was of course referring to Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal against the favored St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, but he just wanted to check that the audience was listening when switching Vinatieri’s name for Boston catching great Jason Varitek. This was a savvy move on Menino’s part as who cares about some kicker? The people love Jason Varitek.

Even more impressive is Menino’s use of the letter V in a public address; perhaps only the great Hugo Weaving can successfully say the letter V in a speech without looking a fool.

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Most career politicians spend the remainder of their careers making millions on K Street or the state-level equivalent lobbying or “lobbying.”

But I think Thomas Menino can do something more, for the greater good.

Because we all know Kentucky fans ALWAYS win the Internet,  if you fine people get on board and sign my petition to the White House, I have faith that we can make Thomas Menino the Walter Cronkite, no, the Ron Burgundy of the sports world.

One down, only 99,999 more to go.

My next mission? Get Mitt Romney into NASCAR’s inner circle and America’s hero of the 2012 Olympics, Rafalca, back in time for Rio; Big Blue Nation could undoubtedly make dressage the nation’s newest pastime.

 @BrennanKSR

Article written by Brennan English

Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. @BrennanKSR