After nearly 20 years in office, Boston Mayor Tom Menino has announced he will not be seeking re-election this fall. While we’re excited for what lies ahead for the city of Boston, we can’t help but think about how much Menino will be missed. He certainly left a great legacy, impacting this city and its residents on multiple levels. He also gave us a hearty round of laughs. Affectionately referred to as “Mumbles,” the 70-year-old mayor has become just as well known for his flubs, stumbles and slip-ups as he has for his work in office. While Menino has proven that he’s a savvy politician, he has a history of botching his words, particularly when it comes to sports terminology.
So, in honor of Mayor Menino’s last term in office, here is a look back at our favorite Mumbles moments in recent years. Enjoy!
KJ & Hondo
In June 2012, during an interview with Comcast SportsNet about the Celtics’ run in the Eastern Conference Finals, Menino mistakenly called Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo “KJ” and “Hondo,” respectively.
Prior to the 2013 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens, Menino took jabs at Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in a video-recorded phone call. Speaking of the Patriots great players, Menino called Vince Wilfork, “Wilcock,” and later referred to Rob Gronkowski as “Gonk.” He was wearing a Wilfork jersey during the call.
Wes Wreckler & Grabowski
In January 2012, just before the highly anticipated Patriots-Broncos NFL playoff game, Menino flubbed players’ names in an interview with Fox25, accidentally saying “Wes Wreckler” instead of Wes Welker and “Grabowski” instead of Gronkowski.
In that same interview, Menino commented on the then-Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, saying “Tebow’s, ya know, doin’ those phenomenons in football right now.” Um…what?
Varitek as a Pats Player?
Speaking at a 2010 ceremony honoring Bruins’ legend Bobby Orr, Menino took the opportunity to mention other Boston sports icons, including Jason Varitek, a then-catcher for the Red Sox. Except Menino thought Varitek played football, saying, “Varitek splitting the uprights.” He was trying to refer to Adam Vinatieri, the Patriots kicker who secured a last-second win for the Pats in the 2002 Super Bowl.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Menino doing something silly at a ribbon cutting ceremony. (After all, there’s an entire Tumblr dedicated to Menino at ribbon cutting ceremonies.) In this instance back in June 2012, Menino tripped down the steps, but swiftly recovered with his quick sense of humor. Well played, Mumbles. We will miss you.