Red Sox slugger and World Series MVP David Ortiz locked up the sports quote of the year award not just in Boston but likely the nation when he addressed the Fenway Park crowd in the first Red Sox home game after the Boston Marathon bombings in April.
“This is our [expletive] city,” Ortiz proclaimed on national television, and it became the rallying cry for Boston Strong.
But both before and after Ortiz’s passionate outburst, Boston’s sportsmen had plenty to say, or have things said about them, in 2013. Here’s a look at the most memorable and talked-about comments from the Boston sports scene this year.
“There’s point-2 on the shot clock, so nothing’s going to happen here unless it’s the best tip-in play of the century.”
The Celtics announcer was skeptical before Gerald Wallace’s alley-oop to Jared Sullinger with 0.2 seconds left in the first quarter of a Dec. 18 game between the Celtics and Pistons. Naturally the play worked, and Heinsohn set up the replay for viewers by saying “here comes the best tip-in play of the century.’’
“Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can’t be a poor sport all the time. You’re not going to win all the time. And he does this every time he loses. It’s unacceptable.’’
The CBS football broadcaster wasn’t happy when the Patriots’ coach declined to do an on-field interview after his team lost the AFC Championship at Gillete Stadium in January, so he blasted him during the postgame show.
“I had a hold of him, and I think I saw Satan in his eyes.’’
The coach of the Canadian national team in the World Baseball Classic was talking about former Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves after an all-out brawl between Canada and Mexico during the tournament in March.
“This jacket represents a lot of great things. I couldn’t think of a more worthy final recipient than you bud. @mjb_3.’’
The former Bruins defenseman had acquired an Army Ranger jacket that was a locker-room award to the Bruin who went above-and-beyond in each playoff win. Ference, who signed with Edmonton in the offseason, decided to leave the jacket with Matt Brown, a high school hockey player from Norwood who was paralyzed in a game in 2010 and was a big Bruins fan.
Anna Burns Welker
“Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids, 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay! What a hall of fame player! A true role model!”
The wife of former Patriots receiver Wes Welker took to Facebook to rant about the Ravens – and in particuar, linebacker Ray Lewis, who once was charged with murder – after they beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship in January. She apologized shortly thereafter.
“I was just trying to pitch inside.’’
Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster denied hitting Alex Rodriguez in August was intentional, but his pitches were nowhere close to the strike zone before he finally drilled A-Rod on a 3-0 count. Many speculated the plunking was baseball justice for Rodriguez’s involvement in a major PED scandal and the subsequent dishonor it brought to the game. Dempster was suspended five games.
“The most important statistic was the final score.’’
The Celtics legend, regarded as one of the most accomplished sportsmen ever with 11 NBA championships, was as humble as ever at the unveiling of a statue in his honor at City Hall Plaza.
“I’m just another day closer to the parade’’
That was Gomes’ response to Ryan Dempster when Dempster asked his new teammate how he was doing one day in spring training in February. Dempster told the story at the Red Sox’ World Series victory parade.
“Connie Mack wouldn’t have won with that team.’’
Upon the occasion of being appointed athletics director at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in February, the former Red Sox manager, who oversaw one of the team’s worst campaigns in 2012, tried to justify his failure. Not many in Boston bought it.
“I think they’re waiting for the results of the swimsuit competition.’’
The longtime sportscaster was quick with a quip when Boston.com’s Steve Silva asked him in March about where things stood in his quest to become the Red Sox’ new public address announcer. Lobel ended up as one of the three chosen to replace the late Carl Beane.
“It’s frustrating because tonight, as everybody saw, there’s a lot of embellishment. This is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing. And right now they’ve got over 100 power plays so far and it’s pretty obvious why. We’re trying to clean that out of our game, and its got to be done soon.’’
The Bruins coach was pretty upset after a March game against the Canadiens, who are famous for flopping, and let his feelings be known in his postgame press conference.
“Sorry for partying’’
That was the message on a tank top worn by the Patriots tight end when he agreed to a photo with a fan named Tarah Maciel. Gronkowski had been criticized for his party animal lifestyle, especially after one video caught him doing a wrestling move despite a cast on his broken arm.
“You would have to be a descendant of Tonestradamus [Nostradamus] to know what we put in this week to be able to change that fast. It is a specific thing that was important to what we were going to do today, to how we would call the defense. They changed it up in a way to where you were in in-decision in calling the defense that way. There’s no way . . . we have not done it ever before and they had never changed it ever before. So it was just kind of fishy how it got changed. It just let me know that something just ain’t right.’’
The Texans’ defensive end accused the Patriots of spying, likely knowing that would touch a nerve, after the Patriots beat the Texans in early December. He backed off the comments the next day.
“Because I can. Because I’m the coach.’’
That was how the Bruins coach explained his decision in March to demote a slumping Milan Lucic to the third line.
“We stayed away from chicken and beer. That helped.’’
The former Red Sox managed had a good one ready when he was asked how his new team, the Cleveland Indians, was able to surge into the playoffs. Francona was at the helm of the Red Sox during their infamous collapse in September of 2011, which was attributed in part to players spending too much time in the clubhouse eating fried chicken and drinking beer, even during games.
Mayor Thomas Menino
“We’ll be rooting hard to bring back the World Series Cup to Boston …’’
The outgoing mayor, famous for botching sports names, put the wraps on his tenure with another of his patented “Menino-isms.’’
“To tell you the truth, I almost threw up.’’
The Red Sox closer told it like it was when asked about the pressure he faced in the ALCS, for which he was named MVP. After the World Series, Fox reporter Erin Andrews revisited the quote and asked him how he felt when he sealed the championship victory. “I almost cried,’’ he said.
“We don’t get here every day. Let’s relax and play the game the way we know how. We better than this right here. Let’s loosen up and play the game the way we do.’’
Big Papi’s dugout speech to his Red Sox teammates in Game 4 of the World Series was a huge turning point, inspiring a rally that turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-2 victory. Jonny Gomes belted a three-run home run in the Red Sox’ at-bat immediately following the pep talk.
“It was like 24 kindergartners looking up at their teacher. He got everyone’s attention.’’
That’s how Gomes described David Ortiz’s dugout pep talk right before Gomes delivered a three-run dinger that gave the Red Sox a 4-2 win in Game 4 of the World Series.
The entire Aaron Hernandez press conference
A day before the Patriots were to begin training camp in July, coach Bill Belichick finally spoke about the arrest of tight end Aaron Hernandez on a murder charge. Belichick was forthcoming and hit all the right notes in a rare but necessary departure from his usual approach of revealing little if anything to the media.
“This is our [expletive] city.’’
Sure, some people complained about Big Papi using a curse in such a public setting in the first Red Sox game at Fenway after the Boston Marathon bombings, but the message was so real and so genuine it resonated long and strong as Boston began the healing process. Even the head of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, gave it his OK via Twitter.
“He had a triple-double? Crawford did? Holy smokes, I had no idea.’’
The new Celtics coach showed his sarcastic side following Jordan Crawford’s 11-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist night against the Cavaliers in November.
“That’s your quarterback! Who left the building? Unicorns! Show ponies! Where’s the beef?”
The Patriots’ radio analyst went absolutely bonkers after Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to complete an amazing comeback against the Saints in October. He said some of his phrases were inside jokes with another host on The Sports Hub.