Bobby Orr is the greatest player I've ever seen in any given sport. He literally changed the way his sport and his position is played.
Orr's impact on this region is also unrivaled.
Hockey rinks were built all over New England because of Bobby Orr and the Big Bad Bruins and that was before the advent of cable TV and 24/7 sports media. If you lived 60 miles outside of Boston then you either got a roof top antenna so you could get a clear picture or you fought through wavey, snowy bad TV reception. Never been another athlete who owed this town and this region the way Bobby Orr did.
Bill Russell was the greatest Celtic. Larry Bird was the best passing/jump shooting big man I've ever seen play.
Tom Brady is one of the greatest QB's ever to play the game. Adam Vinatieri is one of the greatest clutch kickers in the history of the NFL. Both are all-time Patriot greats and future HOFers. Btw, Tom doesn't come close to owning this town or this region the way Orr did. Not even close.
Ted Williams was the best pure hitter the Sox have ever had. Big Papi David Ortiz is the best clutch hitter I've ever seen. Unreal how many big hits in big spots Papi's delivered over the years.
Orr owned the town at the dawning of an age when the media wasn't as influential let alone vs. a blue collar sport just emerging from relative infancy in this country. And Ted never did because even then the baseball scribes wielded enough influence even back in the day to skew opinion where that sport was concerned. I had uncles who detested Ted simply because a handful of print media conditioned them to. Pedro owned this town momentarily until Shank and Co. decided he shouldn't because he didn't kowtow to them...kinda ditto Nomar and even more briefly Manny and bloody sock. But Petey did truly own it for a few glorious albeit largely gutwrenching seasons in which he subjugated even the mediots... Papi isn't in the conversation.
The sports media won't allow any athlete own this town any more... Despite the fact that their accomplishments have saved their careers in a time when print jobs were disappearing and competition for multi media slots was intensifying nationally. I assume it's primarily because in this market controversy still ultimately fuels ratings and mediots (as opposed to actual journalists of which few remain) are in it for themselves, period.