It’s President’s Day in America, and with most of the country off from work to honor our nation’s past leaders, it’s also a great day to watch, and argue, about sports.
Mount Rushmore, the sculpted rock that sits high above the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota, has the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into it as a homage to what they’ve done for our county.
Current faces of Boston sports, ranked:
— Mike Kadlick (@mikekadlick) February 20, 2023
Some may argue, however, that the likes of John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, or James Madison may deserve a spot up there as well. That’s where the debate comes in. “Mount Rushmore” has become a way to discuss the “top four” or a certain category, particularly in sports.
So let’s embrace debate on this holiday: here’s a look at the Mount Rushmore of current Boston sports athletes:
Since becoming the third overall pick in the 2017 draft forward Jayson Tatum has started every game for the Celtics, has been to three Eastern Conference Finals, one NBA Finals, and has Boston as the current favorite to win this year’s championship.
Tatum has cemented himself as a top-five player in the NBA this season. He’s averaging 30.6 point-per-game, is a top-five MVP candidate, and he just won the NBA’s All-Star game MVP on Sunday night. Tatum is the most important player the Celtics have had since Paul Pierce and is without question the face of their franchise.
Patrice Bergeron is 37 years old and has played with the Bruins since 2003. He’s also been the team’s captain since Zdeno Chara retired in 2021, but he really should have been the captain all along. He’s always been Boston’s leader.
After propelling Boston to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011, Bergeron has been to two more Finals with the team (2013, 2019), and in 2023 has the Bruins leading the NHL with the best record in hockey. He’s third in Bruins history in points behind only Ray Bourque and Johnny Bucyk, and is fourth in assists behind only Bourque, Bucyk, and Bobby Orr. He’s a Boston legend.
The Red Sox signed Rafael Devers to a ten-year contract extension worth $313.5 million, which will take effect in the 2024 season, cementing him as the franchise cornerstone with Xander Boegarts leaving for San Diego.
Devers is one of the best third basemen in baseball. His career year was in 2021 when he the won Silver Slugger award, was an MLB All-Star, hit 38 home runs and 188 RBI’s, and came in 11th in the AL MVP vote. Devers is now tied to Boston through the 2034 season, and will surely go down in Red Sox lore after they actually signed their best player long-term – unlike Mookie Betts and Bogaerts.
Like it or not, football is king in America, and Mac Jones is the face of the New England Patriots.
Jones was the 15th overall pick in 2021 and has had the difficult task of taking over for Tom Brady ever since. He’s been up and down over the course of two seasons, but with the help of newly hired offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, has all the tools around him to take a massive leap in year three.
While some may argue his performance on the field may not warrant a Mount Rushmore appearance, he’s arguably the second most popular athlete in the city behind only Tatum, so like it or not, he’s a face of Boston sports.