There was a period in this town’s history where stories like Wade Boggs drinking 64 beers on a cross-country flight were legend and nothing more. Of course, had the iPhone existed in 1989, there’s no doubt Mike Greenwell or Marty Barrett would have documented the feat.
We’re closer to athletes now than we’ve ever been in terms of off-the-field exploits. When it comes to matters actually pertaining on-field activity, however, we’ve never been more distant. A sports reporter has to have some legit sources within a pro sports franchise to get something of real substance these days. Locker room access? Please. Teams will give you 12 minutes and only 12 minutes after a game. Athletes know this, they milk the clock, and give you a cliché buffet.
So, for better or worse, the real “dirt” comes in the off-the-field department. Examples: we’re not sure if Rajon Rondo ever threw that Snapple bottle through a video screen, because there’s no evidence of it. It happened during a team-related activity. But we do know that Rob Gronkowski likes to body slam his friends on stages in Las Vegas with a broken forearm because there’s YouTube evidence of it. We know who Julian Edelman sleeps with because there’s Tinder evidence of it. We know how much the 2011 Bruins spent while drinking at Foxwoods (it was $156,697.74 if you need a reminder), because there’s a cell phone camera shot of the tab that will live on the Internet forever.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we must embrace, because we don’t really have a choice to go back in time at this point.
There are several Boston athletes who are All-Stars when it comes to off-the-field activities.
So we ask, who would be the best Boston sports star to party with? Who would be best suited to go on a Boggs-onian tear? The odds-on-favorites:
Rob Gronkowski (6-1)
Gronk is built to drink, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing in at 265 pounds and in most off-seasons there’s a new picture of him with a porn star or at a Vegas-style swimming pool popping up every other week. Strangely, this off-season has been relatively quiet for the tight end. For every “Grind time with DJ no shirt @ChrisGronkowski! #Grind1st #EarnToPlay” tweet we get in the offseason of 2015, there’s a boring “straight chilling and relaxing” tweet the next day. Is the 25-year-old Gronkowski finally growing up? Say it ain’t so.
Julian Edelman (9-1)
Edelman not only had that famed Tinder episode following the Pats’ Super Bowl win, but he also showed up to a Harvard (yes, Harvard) party with an 8:1 girl:guy ratio in the aftermath of the greatest game ever played.
Then, earlier this month, Edelman and the aforementioned Gronkowski got into something of a Twitter beef when Gronk was in LA (where Edelman lives during the offseason.
Edelman tweeted to Gronk at 12:45 p.m. on March 12: @RobGronkowski I love how you’re in LA and I haven’t seen you… #smh #wheresthebeef #Iusedtoknowgronk
Gronk replied on March 13 at 4:10 a.m.: “@Edelman u call me out this morning, then I invite ur fake ass out and u make up excuses cause you won’t pay for half the bill.”
While Edelman deserves party points for actually living in LA in the off-season, Gronkowski wins this exchange for openly saying that “12:45 p.m.” classifies as “the morning,” and for getting this jab in at 4:10 a.m..
Mike Napoli (12-1)
Napoli was the unbridled Edelman of the Red Sox’ 2013 World Series celebration, famously walking around the streets of Boston late night with his shirt off and a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
After the Patriots won last month, he tweeted out, “Sudden urge to rampage down Boylston!!! Who is with me?”
Napoli was once linked to porn star Rachel Starr and in one of the pornographic photos that were leaked from teammate Clay Buchholz’s phone last fall, what was believed to be Napoli’s hand appeared, groping some blonde woman’s bare bum. Old fashioned fun.
Any Bruins player (no line)
The Bruins – and hockey players in general - don’t really count, because they’re expected to dominate parties. Would it surprise anyone if Zdeno Chara once downed 64 beers on a direct flight from Hanscom Air Force Base to Calgary? He just wouldn’t brag about it.
Any Celtics player (100-1)
Larry Bird ain’t walking through that door, nor is a case of Bud Heavy’s with his name on it.
We don’t really know anyone on the 2014-15 Celtics too well, mostly because 11 of their 12 players arrived on the scene last week.
But teams often take on the personality of their head coach. And Brad Stevens once said that the hardest thing he drinks is Canada Dry. Seriously.