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Top 10 All-Time Boston Clutch Sports Performers

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Armen Da Pats Fan, May 19, 2006.

  1. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    Inspired by mikey's report of the FOX Sports Poll and the obvious omissions of some BIG-TIME Boston guys (Orr, Bird, Russell, et al), I decided to go with my own list of Top 10 All-Time Boston Clutch Sports Performers.
    ----------------------------------------
    The quick list:

    10. Dave Cowens
    9. Bobby Orr
    8. Kevin McHale
    7. Curt Schilling
    6. Bill Russell
    5. Adam Vinatieri
    4. John Havlicek:
    3. David Ortiz
    2. Larry Bird
    1.Tom Brady
    ----------------------------------------
    The Expanded List:

    Criteria:
    1) Has to have won a championship WITH Boston (sorry, Ray Bourque!).
    2) Must be a guy you want in there at crunch time.
    3) Must embody the spirit of Boston in some way.
    ----------------------------------------
    10. Dave Cowens:
    1) Ship: Won NBA titles with the Celtics in '74 & '76
    2) Clutch: Was always on the floor with the game on the line - in the crunch, his nasty rebounding and willingness to mix it up in big games separated him from the pack.
    3) Boston: With that red hair and tough guy attitude, he could have just as easily been from Southie as from Kentucky!

    9. Bobby Orr:
    1) Ship: Won Cups in '70 & '72
    2) Clutch: Look no further than his famous horizontal Stanley Cup clincher vs. the Blues in '70. Forget about the fact that he was a stout defender and constant scoring and assist threat.
    3) Boston: He was the face of Boston during the Bruins last true glory years. Even my grandmother knew who he was. She used to say this little ditty, "Bobby Orr, Number Four, Watch Him Score!"

    8. Kevin McHale:
    1) Ship: Along with Larry Bird and The Chief, led the Celtics to five NBA finals and took home three of them (1981, 1984 and 1986)
    2) Clutch: McHale used to call crunch time the "torture chamber" and he was torture on the opposition, shooting over 60% in the postseason in his career.
    3) Boston: He did a guest spot on "Cheers", fahchrissakes! How much more "Bahstahn" can you get than that!

    7. Curt Schilling:
    1) Ship: Sox in ‘04
    2) Clutch: He’s a pompous ***** to be sure, but he is most definitely clutch. Forget the bloody sock – it’s just his whole pitching attitude of “If you **** with me, you’re gonna pay!” His postseason performance in ’04 was the stuff of Boston legend. To steal a line from the movie “Swingers”, he’s money, babe. Pure money!
    3) Boston: He inspired us in the spring of ’04 with that Ford ad (“I’m going to Boston to reverse a curse”) and then he goes and friggin DOES IT!

    6. Bill Russell
    1) Ship: Won an amazing 11 NBA championships with the Celts ('57, '59, '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '68, '69)
    2) Clutch: His matchups with (and dominance over) fellow NBA superstar Wilt Chmaberlin ring out in memory. Russell was never the big scoring threat (15 points per game regular season career average; 16 points in the playoffs), but this was not due to lack of talent as much as committment to his role and his grasping the concept of t-e-a-m. He was a tenacious defender and led the NBA in rebounding five times and recorded 40 or more rebounds in one game an astonishing SEVEN times!
    3) Boston: Russell had his problems with Boston's racist idiots, but eventually overcame that with his intelligence and boyish charm. Being a favorite of Red Auerbach didn't hurt him, either!

    5. Adam Vinatieri
    1) Ship: ’01, ’03, ’04 with the Pats
    2) Clutch: The Snow Game; three Super Bowls all won by the margin of his foot; countless regular season wins, and just the general feeling that when AV stepped on the field, you were in.
    3) Boston: He was the golden child of Boston and he never should have left. He should have played here for minimum, if need be. Indianapolis will never give him the juice and love he got in Boston.

    4. John Havlicek:
    1) Ship: Won EIGHT NBA titles with the Celtics in '63, '64, '65, '66, '68, '69, '74, '76!
    2) Clutch: How about this? '65 Eastern Conference Finals, Hondo steals Hal Greer's inbound pass and hits Sam Jones on the fly. Ball game! Or, '76, second OT vs. the Suns, Havlicek drains a 15-footer, seemingly for the championship. Fans go nuts. Refs say there is 1 second left! Celts win in triple OT! MVP of the '74 Finals.
    3. Boston: Oh yeah. Auerbach's favorite son! The guy has Celtic green and parquet running through his veins! How quickly we forget!

    3. David Ortiz
    1) Ship: ’04 – Sox
    2) Clutch: Um, where do I start. Angels, ALDS ’04; Yankees – three times – ’04 ALCS; 20-something homeruns last year where he either tied or won a game, and that’s not even counting all the clutch hits to keep rallies going or move RISP!
    3) Boston: I love the way he says “Bow-stone” with that Dominican accent. “I lubb to play in Bow-stone!” We love you, too, Big Papi!

    2. Larry Bird
    1) Ship: Celtics – ’81, ’84, ‘87
    2) Clutch: Every game he ever played in he did something clutch, but in the Finals he was truly at his best. Who can forget him b!tch-slapping Kareem & Rambis to show them that the Celtics were not gonna be pushed around. All the pull-up clutch 12-footers! God, they just run together in your memory!
    3) Boston: A Hoosier to the bone, Bird nonetheless became our redneck golden boy. His country charm and undying work ethic made him a centerpiece of the Celtics organization and the city.

    1.Tom Brady
    1) Ship: ’01, ’03, ’04 with the Pats
    2) Clutch: The numbers alone speak the truth: 10-1 lifetime in the postseason; undefeated lifetime in OT. Even in losing to Denver last year for his first playoff loss, he still threw for 360-something yards and TD (plus one very ugly INT to Champ Bailey!). Here’s what makes Brady clutch: you’ve got two minutes left in the game and 70 yards to go to tie or win. Who do you want behind center? Peyton Manning? Ben Rothlisberger? Michael Vick?
    3) Boston: This kid is going to be mayor of Boston, governor of Massachusetts, and a US Senator from the state, if he wants. Tom Brady can do no wrong in the Bay State. Tom Brady is a New England icon.
    ----------------------------------------
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  2. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    What about BILL FREAKIN' RUSSELL?
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  3. Garbanza

    Garbanza Rookie

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    I'll give you criteria #3 (although I think he represents what is WRONG with Boston).....but please do explain how the Mighty Midget, Doug Flutie, meets your other criteria. Please pay special attention to "wins championship with a Boston team."
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  4. scout

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    #15 Jersey

    If Flutie is included (No championship) then you have to admit ........gee, I don't know, Ted Freakin' Williams!
  5. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    Rocky Marciano, only undefeated heavyweight champion, from Brockton.
  6. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    many of you are too young, but that yaz dude pretty much carried a crappy team to game 7 of the world series by himself
  7. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    Yea, I gave him a pass becuase of all the post-retirement rigamoroll (sp?)!

    I probably should have put Russell on there instead!
  8. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    Big four...

    (Baseball, Football, Hockey, Basketball)
  9. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    Yaz was great, no doubt, but he never won a championship. I couldn't give out two passes!
  10. Kdo5

    Kdo5 Rookie

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    Brady is very clutch! But I'd actually put Larry Bird there at #1
  11. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    Actually, that team wasn't that bad with the direction of a hard nosed manager in Williams. But, Yaz was unbelievable, not only in winning the triple crown, but what he did in the final drive to win the pennant. That was clutch!
  12. DarthPatriot

    DarthPatriot Banned

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    Include Yaz, Russell,and remove flutie please thats embarrassing...Nothing clutch about a Hail Mary..except maybe the guy catching it.If the receiver lets it slip through his hand is Flutie such a big deal?.No..He threw the ball to an area..A rather large area.He did not aim it at one guy.Not Clutch...Its like talking to small children.Damn flutie flakes
  13. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    i forget who said it about yaz, but someone said that never before had one player taken a team, thrown them on his back, and carried them to the world series the way he did in 67...

    and russell simply has to be there. all he did was win championships... i remember being at a semi-recent celtics playoff game, and they were showing former players on the jumbotron.... the crowd cheered as they showed JH, bird, cousey, etc... then they showed russell and the entire place gave him the only standing O... it was cool to see that the fans understood
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  14. Armen Da Pats Fan

    Armen Da Pats Fan Rookie

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    At #6...

    Took Flutie off, put Russell on!

    I stand corrected!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2005
  15. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    it's certainly tough, but i'd put AV at #3... brady and bird are incredible, so they get 1 and 2... but those kicks AV has made (i was at the snowbowl, when he made not 1, but 2 impossible kicks), make him a strong candidate for even #1
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  16. DarthPatriot

    DarthPatriot Banned

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    Does Russell win without Bob Cousy? I was wondering In colorado is Kordell considered clutch?
  17. sieglo

    sieglo Rookie

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    I could not agree more. Hitting three pointers to win at the buzzer. Stealing the ball from Isaiah.... Bird was Mr. Clutch in so many ways. I am (no longer) a basketball fan, but Bird wins this one by a MILE.
  18. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I think you would have to put Bobby Orr at least into the top 3. He was a GOD while he played here. I mean the dude owned the city, and is still highly revered to this day.
  19. Flying Fungi

    Flying Fungi Rookie

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    love papi, but not a top 5...in fact...no way should the sox have 2 top 10s from that one team...

    cousy belongs i think, heinsohn, sam jones, loscy all rival mchale...cheevers, esposito in black and gold...tris speaker and babe ruth did more for the sox than ortiz and schilling...
  20. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yaz was great. Among the greatest ever to set foot between the foul lines at Fenway. He is one of the best to ever play the game, anywhere. So, please don't crap all over me, but Yaz made the last out in both the '75 World Series and the '78 Bucky Bleeping Dent playoff game...He belongs in Cooperstown, he belongs in the hearts of Boston fans, but he doesn't belong on this list...
  21. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It is understandable that our patriot board would put Brady as #1. Personally, I think Larry Bird and Bobby Orr are the clutch players of all time.

    I'm glad that Flutie is gone. There are proably 50 players more deserving, starting with Ted Williams, and even Babe Ruth :)

    I'd put Cousy in instead of Cowens.
  22. scout

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    #15 Jersey

    Evidently you were not around in 67. So, because he made the last out 75 and 78 he's not clutch? Down the stretch in 1967 they could not get him out. Check his stats. He carried that team which was a last place team the year before, and brought the pennant to Boston. You want to pout about '78, then pout about Torrez, the idiot who didn't think he needed to warm up after a delay before he pitched to F'ing dent.
  23. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Bill Russell is not only the #1 clutch Boston athlete, but the #1 clutch athlete in pro sports history. Without him, this list is just the top ten all-time Boston non-african american clutch sports performers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2005
  24. onegameatatime

    onegameatatime Rookie

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    Russell is perhaps the greatest winner of all time. 2 NCAA Championships, Olympic Gold medal, and 11 Championships in 13 years. However, he was surrounded by HOFs in the pros.

    Basketball is the best game for a player to say "carry me" and dominate a game or series.

    I'd have to go with Bird first, Brady second.
  25. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Absolutely. The ignorance of Boston fans on this matter is abyssmal. Like Bird, but moreso, Russell made everyone around him play better. Never, ever lost a 7th game playoff.
  26. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    Exactly.

    And, to address the poster who ignorantly asked if Russell wins without Cousy, yes, Russell actually won 5 of his 11 championships after Bob Cousy retired in 1963.

    The main point being that while all great players in team sports must have a strong supporting cast, how many of the Russell-era Celtics would be in the Hall of Fame if the team hadn't won 11 championships in 13 years? In other words, does the clutch leader of the team makes the HOF'rs or is it the other way around?

    Where would Jordan be without Pippen? Bird without McHale and Parish? Montana (or Steve Young) without Jerry Rice? Magic without Worthy and Kareem? To diminish Bill Russell's unparalleled accomplishments just because he had a good supporting cast is just plain ignorant.
  27. AStack75

    AStack75 Rookie

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    I agree. A buddy of mine has a DVD of Larry's career and you forget how freaking incredible Larry Bird was. I guess he was also one of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA too.
  28. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Virtual Internet Person

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    No doubt Larry Bird was a great clutch performer. But anyone who doubts that Bill Russell was the greatest clutch performer and greatest winner in Boston sports history and probably in the entire history of American team sports should read this by the estimable Bob Ryan. Go read it, and then come back here and see if you still think it was Larry Bird. History didn't start the day you were born. :)

    In fact, Bird was arguably not even the greatest player of his era. I'm a lifelong Celtics fan and love Larry, but to be objective I would have to give that honor to Magic Johnson, whose team defeated Bird's for the 1979 NCAA Championship and whose Lakers won 4 NBA titles in the 1980's to 3 for Bird's Celtics. The Lakers also won two of the three head to head Finals matchups against the Celtics. Compare this to Russell's performance against his greatest "competitor" (to use his own word). There was no more dominant player in NBA history than Wilt Chamberlain, yet Russell's Celtics defeated Chamberlain's team 9 out of ten times in their playoff matchups.

    Orr, by the way, was very great indeed, but he played on a dominant team which was expected to win (and flopped a la 2005 Colts in the playoffs during their dominant 1971 season) during an era in which the finals were always played against an expansion team, due the NHL's strange decision to double its size all at once by adding six expansion teams and putting them all in the same (Western) division.

    Given that, my list looks like this:

    1. Russell
    2. Brady
    3. Bird
    4. take your picks from here on down
    Last edited: May 20, 2006
  29. Patsfanin Philly

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2005
  30. PromisedLand

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