The things Boston sports figures say sometimes make bigger waves than the things they do, and 2012 was no exception, especially with a quote machine like Bobby Valentine at the helm of the Red Sox.
Although it seemed like Bobby stole the show at every turn, there was no shortage of watercooler comments from the rest of the Boston sports scene, from Tom Brady’s wife after the Super Bowl to an unapologetic Celtics point guard.
What follows is a collection of the most notable sports quotes we heard and discussed throughout 2012. Next
The enigmatic Bruins goalie made national headlines in January when he decided to skip the Bruins' visit to the White House to celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup with President Barack Obama. He explained his decision on a post to his Facebook page.
“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
“This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
“Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
“This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT” Next
The Patriots tight end was injured in the AFC Championship game, in which the Patriots defeated the Ravens, and was in fairly good spirits after the game. When he was interviewed by a reporter for ESPN Deportes in both Spanish and English, he happily played along, and delivered the one line that perfectly summed up exactly who he is. Asked if he would celebrate the victory, Gronkowski replied in Spanish.
"Si. Yo soy fiesta."
Translation: "Yes. I am party."
The phrase stuck with him, and he even wore a t-shirt with the phrase on it during the runup to the Super Bowl.
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After the Super Bowl in early February, the wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, was given the business by some fans in the tunnels as she tried to leave. The taunts got to be too much for her, and she couldn't hold her tongue.
"My husband cannot throw the ball and catch the ball," she said.
Some believed the comment was a reference to a missed pass play late in the game between Brady and receiver Wes Welker. Next
Bobby Valentine never met a microphone he didn't like, kicking off his tenure as Red Sox at the 2011 baseball winter meetings with gems like "I hate the Yankees."
There were more interesting comments in spring training, but he really kicked his game up a notch the night before Patriots Day when he called out third baseman Kevin Youkilis on a television interview.
"I don't think (Youkilis) is as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason." Next
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia quickly came to his teammate's defense when reporters asked him before the Patriots Day game about Bobby Valentine's comment about Kevin Youkilis the night before.
"I really don't know what Bobby is trying to do. That's not the way we go about our stuff here. He'll figure that out. … Maybe that works in Japan," Pedroia said, referring to Valentine's long stint as a manager in Japan.
Pedroia's comment was dissected every which way possible, and he later said he regretted saying it the way he did, but was caught off-guard at the time. Next
Kevin Millar and Pedro Martinez
Two members of the Red Sox' 2004 World Series championship team got the call to deliver a toast at Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebration April 20. After combining on an expected message while prancing on top of the Red Sox dugout like a couple of boozy groomsmen at a wedding—"Fenway Park, we want to thank you for the last 100 years," Millar began, "and the next 100 years," Martinez concluded—Millar ressurected the phrase the 2004 team made famous.
"One last time, it's time to cowboy up!" Next
After the Boston Globe's Bob Hohler wrote a detailed expose of the Red Sox' consecutive-games sellout streak being fueled by ticket giveaways and justified by a definition of sellout many scoffed at, Red Sox Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy took to the local radio airwaves to defend the team's practices.
"We have a [sellout] definition that is tied to this metric which the team has used for a long, long time and again it's based upon the seating capacity at Fenway, and that goes back to if there are more standing room tickets sold, that's how you can exceed that seating capacity. It's a metric and a definition that's been used here for decades, and by other professional sports teams in town." Next
In May, reports emerged that former Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett played golf the day after it was announced he'd miss a start because of a strained lat muscle. In his next start, May 10, he was shelled by the Indians, allowing seven runs on seven hits, including two home runs, in 2 1/3 innings against the Indians.
He faced the music after the game, but his arrogance angered many.
"My off day is my off day," is how responded in a postgame interview.
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The Celtics big man was succinct when asked about Celtics grinding out a win in Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series vs. the Atlanta Hawks.
"We are all grit. All grit and balls, that's what it is, man." Next
The Red Sox were actually good for a brief part of the season, and just before Memorial Day, they'd won 10 of 13 games. In a postgame interview on NESN, Valentine was feeling pretty swell about the way things looked.
"We play like this the rest of the way this season, we're going to win a championship," Valentine said.
The fact that the Miami Heat were pushed to the brink of elimination in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics didn't discourage the young Heat fan at American Airlines Arena.
As the Heat walked off the court after losing Game 5 and falling behind 3-2 in the series, Meyer was captured on television repeatedly shouting "Good job, good effort!" as the Heat players headed into their locker room.
He was mocked in Boston, but praised for his loyalty in Miami, and his team got the last laugh, winning Games 6 and 7 to take the series.
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TD Garden fans
The Miami Heat were having their way with the Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but in the closing minutes of the Heat's convincing victory to even the series at 3-3, fans at TD Garden had their answer for the "Good job, good effort" kid.
A rousing chant of "Let's go, Celtics," thundered through the Garden, and it was a poignant sign of faith at what was the lowest point in the series for the Celtics before they lost Game 7.
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It was Bobby Valentine himself who revealed during a radio interview that during one game, after rookie Will Middlebrooks made two errors in an inning, he'd said "Nice inning, kid," when Middlebrooks returned to the dugout.
In dealing with the fallout from that comment becoming public, Valentine said it was a mistake to tell the story, but he had done so because he had been asked about whether team management had come to him about his relationship with players.
Then, in his first interview after being fired, Valentine denied he'd ever made the comment at all, and Middlebrooks confirmed it on Twitter. So in the end, Valentine misquoted himself. Next
As the season wore on, fans began to question Bobby Valentine's commitment to the team because he appeared disconnected from his team and the job at hand. When he was asked if he had “checked out” by host Glenn Ordway on WEEI's The Big Show, Valentine only fueled the speculation with his reply.
"What an embarrassing thing to say," said Valentine. "If I were there right now, I'd punch you right in the mouth. Ha. How's that sound? Is that like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing." Next
Things only got worse for Bobby Valentine as September wore on and the losses piled up. On Sept. 14, Valentine responded to a pregame question about the lineup he was sending out that night by saying, "This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball."
He later clarified his remark to say he meant weakest in terms of quantity of available players, not the quality of those in the dugout. Next
After he was fired, Bobby Valentine's first interview was on “Costas Tonight,” and he wasn't done dropping bombs. The most notable was his suggestion that designated hitter David Ortiz "decided not to play anymore" after the Red Sox traded away big-names Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford.
In fact, Ortiz had tried to return from an Achilles' heel injury and was unable to play.
"He realized that this trade meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore," Valentine said. "I think at that time it was all downhill from there." Next
In a November interview with ESPN Deportes.com, David Ortiz was asked about former manager Bobby Valentine's comments about him in his “Costas Tonight” interview. Ortiz said he did not respond to a text message Valentine sent him after the interview because, "I said to myself, this guy must have some mental issues or needs medicine or something. I said, I am dealing with someone crazy and I am not going to drive myself crazy, so it is better if I leave it alone." Next
After his third suspension in nine months, this time for instigating an on-court fight with members of the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics' point guard was asked if he'd learned any lessons.
"No," he said. Back to the beginning
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