Our Daily Bleg: Have Any Great Sports Quotes?

Our resident quote bleggar Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, is back with another request. If you have a bleg of your own — it needn’t have anything to do with quotations — send it along here.

Thanks to those who took the trouble to read the “Serenity Prayer” articles and comment on the arguments made. Perhaps Google’s announcement of a large newspaper digitization effort will result in more evidence shedding light on the prayer’s origins.

This week I invite suggestions of famous or particularly witty 21st-century quotations from the world of sports. As always, “21st century” means 2000 or 2001 to the present.



Bob Cooley on his training regimen for Olympian at 41 years old, Dara Torres: "What do race-car drivers do when they want to go faster? They don't spend more hours driving around the track. They increase the biomechanics of the car. And that's what resistance flexibility is doing for Dara - increasing her biomechanics."

Dr. Bob

Two by George Will

"Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings".

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal."

David Gerard

"Well if anyone had to get hurt, it might as well be Barry Beck"

NY Islander goalie Billy Smith commenting on the injury to NY Ranger Captain(?) Barry Beck


Michael Jordan was never known as witty, but he got off one of the great lines I've ever heard from anyone. Remember, he was a basketball star who was later believed to have benefitted from favoritism by referrees.

He was asked why he had majored in geography at the University of North Carolina. His response:

"I plan to do a lot of traveling."


Another related, true story. Jordan returned to complete his degree in the summers after he turned pro following his junior year. After he got his degree, in the next guidebook UNC sent to potential applicants, the average first-year pay for a new UNC geography degree holder was listed. There were six the previous year.

Average pay: $320,000.

Concered Citizen

Jack Warden: "You a Yankees fan?"

Jack Klugman: "No, Baltimore."

Warden: "Baltimore? BALTIMORE!?!?? That's like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day."

-- Twelve Angry Men (1957), a quote that has become depressing accurate these past 11 years


Please stop missing the best parts of some of these quotes.

Pedro's quote about waking up the Bambino includes a little tidbit about drilling him in the ass.

And Rick Pitino's quote about people walking through the door, ends with the "all the negativity in this town sucks". That's the friggin punchline. It's not two distinct quotes, it's all one quote. That's what makes it a great quote.

My personal favorite is from the year the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. To get there, the Patriots had to beat the Steelers, in Pittsburgh, where they were heavy underdogs. Before the game, Steelers RB Jerome Bettis was telling Brian Cox about the hotel the Steelers had booked in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, and how much fun their team was going to have down there. To which Cox replied something to the effect of, "This ain't gonna be what you were looking for, Jerome".

Thanks in advance for the acknowledgement of all of our hard work for you in your upcoming book.



"Ain't no power down there, you know? I was headed down South, but when they told me they had no power and a curfew [laugh]... Edge needs power and Edge don't need no curfew. Edge time is Edge time."

- Edgerrin James on why he didn't go to Florida during his bye week


"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face".

This is a Mike Tyson quote that most likely came from before 2001, but was famously repeated by Michael Strahan following the NYG defeat of NE in the 2008 Superbowl.


"Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking." Hank Hill


too many to post



“I’m not a defender of old or new football managers. I believe in good ones and bad ones, those that achieve success and those that don’t. Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”

- Jose Mourinho, Chelsea manager

"We have top players and, sorry if I’m arrogant, we have a top manager.”

- Mourinho again

"Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home."

- Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager

"Errr... I didn't see it." / "I saw nothing"

- also Wenger

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."

- Brian Clough


The reporter was asking Diego Armando Maradona about the celebrities he had met, and suggested if maybe it had been the recently deceased Pope John Paul II the world leader who had impressed him the most. Maradona's answer was quick: "The Pope? You kiddin' me? He was a regular dumbass! Now, Colonel Gaddafi, HE was impressive!"

Chris W

Pssst, please.

Ossie Guillen


Do You Believe in Miracles?

-Al Michaels, after the USA Men's Hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics


Does it have to be 21st century? My all time favorite would be...

"Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row"

– after finally beating Jimmy Connors at the 1979 Masters following sixteen straight losses.


When doing a TV broadcast, the announcers for the Atlanta Braves will sometimes do an on air ad for a sponsor before the inning starts. The longtime voice of the Braves, the curmudgeonly Skip Carray (who recently died)has a few classics pre-2000, but one of my favorite quotes for this century for him went like this: coming off a commercial break, the announcers (with the cameras on them) were supposed to do a live taste-test of new "Diet Vanilla Coke." The color analyst drank most of his bottle and said "That's mighty tasty. What do you think Skip?" To which Skip replied (as sardonically as possible), "I hate it. Leading off for the Braves..."


Mike B.

"That's just Manny being Manny." - used by just about everyone after seeing Manny Ramirez do something stupid or unusual


"We stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot."

Larry Munson - Broadcaster for Georgia (UGA) football after a last second victory against rival Tennessee in Knoxville.

And, no, I don't know what a hobnailed boot is either.

Go Dawgs!


"It is what it is"

Bill Belichick, referring to almost anything.


“To tell the truth, I’m not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.”

-Ichiro Suzuki on his team's trip to Cleveland

"I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger."

-Ichiro Suzuki on facing Daisuke Matsuzaka