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Inside the Numbers

Pope’s tenure shorter than some Boston sports stalwarts

Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign on Feb. 28.

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Pope Benedict XVI announced he will resign on Feb. 28.

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Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation will bring an end to a papacy that will have lasted almost eight years when he steps down on Feb. 28. His tenure in the Vatican will have lasted longer than that of almost every athlete and coach on Boston’s major sports teams.

But there are a handful of Boston sports figures whose time here has outlasted Pope Benedict XVI. A look at those figures, all of whom have won at least one championship during their tenure:

TeamNameTenure beganNotable during Benedict's tenure
BruinsPatrice Bergeron2003Became building block in team's change from doormat to champion.
CelticsPaul Pierce1998Turned from All-Star into all-time Celtics great.
CelticsDoc Rivers2004Transformed team from bottom of NBA to a champion.
Red SoxDavid Ortiz2003Was an All-Star in 7 of 8 seasons.
PatriotsTom Brady2000Crossed 4,000-yard passing barrier five times.
PatriotsBill Belichick2000Won 98 regular-season games, last Super Bowl win was 72 days before Benedict XVI became Pope.
PatriotsVince Wilfork2004Named to five Pro Bowls, has become face of team's defense.

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