Election Day 2012 is upon us, and that can only mean one thing... it's time to pick the commander in chief from the world of Boston sports. Forget about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, let's talk about what really matters. Which current owners, coaches or players would make the best presidents from each team?
New England Patriots: There are three names that come to mind, and honestly, all three of them are excellent choices -- Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. All three have impressive resumés. Kraft turned a franchise on the bring of leaving town into a permanent fixture. Belichick has put together three Super Bowl-winning teams and has reached the big game five times. Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of his generation. All are leaders in their own unique way. Who wins out from this group? It's Kraft, because his impact on his team -- and the sport of football in general -- outweighs everyone else's accomplishments. Top Choice: Robert Kraft. Honorable Mention: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady.
Boston Celtics: Just like the Pats, the Celtics boast a healthy list of potential presidential candidates. We'll limit this list to three as well, and the top three choices are Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo (kidding) ... Paul Pierce. Rivers is a coach that players will run through walls for, as Garnett often likes to say. Garnett has been around seemingly forever, and his unique and methodical way of thinking (just listen to any of his post game quotes -- hyenas, cycles of the moon, etcetera). Pierce, like Garnett, has a lot of experience, and he has been the longtime captain of the always-contending Celtics -- and a darn good one at that. Who's the best of this bunch? Rivers gets the nod, having the tough task of managing a locker room full of egos and sometimes strange personalities. Top Choice: Doc Rivers. Honorable Mention: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce.
Boston Red Sox: Well this one is an obvious choice -- Bobby Valentine. Oh, wait, nevermind... the category is best presidential candidates, not worst leaders in the history of the world. Seriously, though, the Red Sox have had their character issues ever since that epic collapse in 2011, but don't be fooled -- they still have some quality guys within the organization. Dustin Pedroia is that man that most assume will become the next captain of the Red Sox, replacing Jason Varitek (who also qualifies for this election because he's technically still a member of the team). Even the newly hired John Farrell is a guy who commands respect in the clubhouse (at least that's what they're telling us), but he hasn't had enough time on the job for us to tell whether or not he's a true leader. For now, the choice is Varitek, who barely beats Pedroia. 'Tek meant so much to that franchise and city for so long, and truly personified the title of captain that was bestowed upon him. Top Choice: Jason Varitek. Honorable Mention: Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell.
Boston Bruins: Well, considering that the B's are locked out, this is a tough (and depressing) category to talk about. Still, the show must go on. Tim Thomas was the unquestioned leader of the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run, and he is technically still with the team. However, his foray into (ironically) politics damaged his reputation in Boston and made some question his leadership ability. Zdeno Chara is the captain of the Bruins, and while he hasn't ever been considered a superstar, he has proudly worn the 'C' and done his job. Claude Julien deserves to be in the conversation, since he coached this team to a championship. Don't forget about Cam Neely, either. And, of course, there's longtime assistant captain Patrice Bergeron, who has not been a superstar like Chara, but has been a valuable asset and leader by example during his long career here in Boston. There are a lot of choices here, so who gets the nod? I'm going to go with Bergeron, a player who has never caused a stir and has always showed up, played hard and tried his best. Who better than a leader by example? Top Choice: Patrice Bergeron. Honorable Mention: Zdeno Chara, Cam Neely, Claude Julien.
College Sports: We all know Boston is a pro sports town, but that doesn't mean you should overlook and of the coaches or players at the college level. You have Jerry York, the legendary coach of the Boston College hockey team who has pocketed five championships (four as a coach, one as a player) and is on the bring of becoming the all-time winningest coach in his sport's history. Jack Parker has racked up the wins, and a title too, over at Boston University. Tommy Amaker led the Harvard men's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since the last 1940's, as well. Nevertheless, it's an obvious choice -- York. The man is probably going to go down as the greatest college hockey coach in history, and he always maintains a positive attitude and is darn good at what he does. Top Choice: Jerry York. Honorable Mention: Tommy Amaker, Jack Parker.
So many great names, but we can only choose one. Who's it going to be?
In the end, it's Robert Kraft. When he traded in his season tickets for an ownership share in the team and eventually became the principal owner of the Patriots, the team was a basement dweller. New England never was able to gain any traction, and very well could have been relocated. Kraft took over and turned the franchise into one of the greatest sports entities in history. Not to mention, Kraft's influence amongst fellow owners and players was a critical one during last year's NFL Lockout. Most think Kraft is one of the biggest reasons that the two sides were able to solve their differences. In summary, you have a man who took a terrible team and turned it into a global icon and an individual who saved the NFL -- the most profitable sports league in the world -- from an inevitable work stoppage before any regular season games were missed. Sounds like a pretty darn good leader to me.
Do you agree? Let us know who you think would be the top choice below!