Somewhere out there is a place for a torch (RLRS Photo).
So the city of Boston is going to be the official bidder for the United States Olympic Committee’s 2024 Summer Olympic bid eh? I have to say I have mixed emotions on this one;
1. As a taxpayer and a resident I think it is a stupid idea financially and likely to be an absolute nightmare but…
2. How cool would it be to have the Olympics in Boston? I mean, that would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for our great little city to truly be the Hub of the Universe.
I was thinking about this riding the train home from the Bruin game on Thursday. If Boston gets the Games, who lights the torch? Nine years is a long time and things can change but I was running through some names of local legends and after eliminating several I think I have decided who should light the torch. If the USOC needs any other input they can find me here.
First the no votes;
Tom Brady – Nothing against Brady (and admittedly I’m neither a football fan nor a Patriot fan) but football is not an olympic sport. It seems silly to have someone who became famous in a sport not contended in the Olympics to light the torch.
eliminated for a similar reason – Doug Flutie though I liked the Twitter suggestion that he light the torch by throwing a Hail Mary pass into the cauldron.
It will not be his @$&@^#& cauldron (Hardball Talk Photo).
David Ortiz – Baseball at the moment is not an olympic sport though it may well be again by 2024. As great and famous as he is I do not think Ortiz has the crossover appeal to work on that kind of audience.
eliminated for a similar reason – Carl Yastrzemski, Dustin Pedroia
Bobby Orr – Orr would work really well in some respects. His greatness is that special kind of greatness where even the truly elite in his sport admire him and look up to him. His 1970 Stanley Cup winning goal is one of the iconic moments in Boston sports history and he is one of the great gentlemen of sport. Hockey of course is a WINTER sport and well…that’s a problem.
Mike Eruzione - Bill Simmons calls Eruzione the house guest who wouldn’t leave and while that is a bit harsh he has made a nice living on a nice two week run 35 (oh my god) years ago. Still, he may well be Boston’s most recognized olympian and for that he would make some sense.
But here is the thing…he’s already done it! You only get to do this once Mike.
Larry Bird – Larry checks some good boxes. He is an Orr-like legend among legends, an Olympic gold medalist in a sport competed in the summer and while not technically a Bostonian he has always felt like one of ours. Additionally with his blue collar work ethic and his simple style both on and off the court he remains a local legend. But for me, and Larry is probably one of my top three favorite non-baseball athletes ever, if we want to go to basketball I would go with…
Bill Russell – Nasty Nate will surely point out that this links to the old Dodger shortstop. That is OK, I always liked him too but I am referring to the basketball player of course. For a city that has had some criticism on race relations over the years the African-American Russell would be a proud symbol. Locally of course when you think of lighting something up the name Red Auerbach comes to mind and no one had more to do with Red lighting up most of his cigars that Bill Russell.
But he too is not my choice. Yes, I am making you click to see my choice… Continue reading