Perhaps Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was sending a tribute of sorts to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who once confused the hallowed Lambeau Field with "Lambert Field." Perhaps Mayor Menino didn't think the underdog Boston Celtics, a team that was below the .500 mark at the All-Star break, would turn out to be just a game away from the NBA Finals a few months later. Perhaps he once dreamt of watching fellow (Sacramento) mayor and former All-Star guard Kevin "KJ" Johnson play alongside former Celtic John "Hondo" Havlicek in a modified version of NBA Jam.
Whatever the inspiration, Mayor Menino totally boofed on getting Kevin Garnett's nickname ("KG") and Rajon Rondo's last name correct, in an interview filmed on Wednesday, calling the Celtics superstars "KJ and Hondo." It sounds like a 1970s cop show, which is kind of cool, but not cool enough to make up for screwing up the names of the two most popular athletes in your sports-mad city. Watch:
In Menino's defense … he's a mayor. He's a mayor of a major city, and as important as it is to get the nicknames of last names correct of your city's famous athletes, it's much more important to remember names and dates and voting cycles and whatever else goes into being the mayor of a major city. We wouldn't know, because we're not the mayor of a major city. Our job is to remember Kevin Garnett's nickname ("KG") and Rajon Rondo's last name (um, "Rondo"). And then mock the very important people that have a bit of a freeze remembering those names, deep into what he probably thought was going to be baseball season in Boston.
Then again, as it is with most politicians who are trying to be all things to all constituencies, perhaps Mayor Menino should just decline on acting like a sports know-all. From Sports Illustrated:
ESPNBoston.com reports that this is just another in a series of sports-related mistakes from the mayor. He has previously referred to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as "Grabowski" and wide receiver Wes Welker as "Wes Weckler." He also said that Jason Varitek, the long-time Boston Red Sox catcher, kicked the game-winning field goal in the 2002 Super Bowl. It was actually Adam Vinatieri.
I am a sports writer. "Sports" comes with a plural designation. And yet, because I don't follow much outside of the NBA, I don't know what position Gronkowski and Welker play. I don't know if Jason Varitek is still an active player, much less a member of the Red Sox.
I don't pretend to know, though. I probably have a whole heck of a lot to learn from Mayor Menino, about myriad subjects surrounding the idea of civic duty. That said, he could stand to learn something from me — it's OK to shrug your shoulders, and admit to not knowing, when it comes to sports figures. Because there's no shame in knowing a whole lot about mayor-ing, and not a darn thing about point guards or placekickers.
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