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Published September 18, 2013
TAKING THE TRIBUTE TOO FAR? ESPN's Keith Olbermann Monday discusses the recent tribute by the Red Sox to Yankees P Mariano Rivera, who is retiring at the end of the season. Olbermann said, "These farewell tours are inherently tedious ... Still, it's the thought that counts and the primary thought has got to be, 'The gift should probably be about him and not about you!' A painting of him tipping his hat as Fenway's spectators mock-cheered him on the home opener in 2005 because he blew two saves as the Yankees became the first team ever to cough up a 3-0 playoff lead. So a painting of the moment your fans were classless enough to try to rub it in as if your team had not just escaped the 86 years of acute, endless, blistering, soul-stomping, last-minute, blown-save failure" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 9/16). But the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, "It was the ultimate tribute because it was testimony to the fact that beating him is an honor that no one can surpass." Ryan: "The Red Sox knew he would take it in the right vein." Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "That was absolutely hilarious. I can’t believe anybody with the Yankees would not have a sense of humor and get a little chuckle out of that” (“Around the Horn,” ESPN, 9/17). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "It seemed like it was well intentioned to me. It's also self absorbed, as all things Red Sox ... seem to be." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser: "What they did ... was charming, and then they gave him a bunch of gifts. My response to Yankees people is shut up about this. This is not a terrible thing that they did" ("PTI," ESPN, 9/17).