Partial Sellout: Bob’s Favorite Sports Quotes


“I’ve been big, ever since I was little.” – William “Refrigerator” Perry

Man, you can’t make up stuff like this.

Pro athletes are probably the media’s biggest source of mangled clichés, malapropisms, and just jamming their cleats in their mouths. So many of these overpaid muscle heads you see on TV try to sound profound, and just come across as the steroid-addled boobs that they are. And they are not the only culprits. Coaches, managers and announcers are just as good at spouting nonsense and unintentionally twisted bromides.

Of course once it hits the internet, these quotes will live forever. But, as Bruce Smith so eloquently said, that’s all water under the dam. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?

Math seems particularly difficult for many pro athletes to grasp: 

“I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.” – Former RB George Rogers, when asked about the upcoming season

“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – Jason Kidd

“With half the race gone, we still have half the race to go.” – Murray Walker

You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.” – Bill Peterson, former Florida State football coach

“Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points, they almost always win.” – Doug Collins

“You can sum up this sport in two words: You never know.”– Lou Duva, boxing trainer

Bob Wire  - Famous Sports Quotes

Wow, $18.5 million a year, and this guy thing Quaker State is a College? (Photo by Chase Ham Young)

Logic is another tough concept for a lot of pro athletes (and coaches):

“We can’t win at home. We can’t win on the road. I just can’t figure out where else to play.”– Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team’s 7-27 record in 1992

“I think I throw the ball as hard as anyone. The ball just doesn’t get there as fast.”– MLB pitcher Eddie Bane

“They are an NBA team, and it is hard to play those teams.”– Phoenix Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni, on the San Antonio Spurs

He used to be fairly indecisive, but now he’s not so sure.” – Peter Alliss

“It’s a partial sellout.”-Atlanta Braves broadcaster Skip Caray, trying not to say the game has only drawn 6,000 fans

The concept of time is a frequent stumbling block:

“I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.”– Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh

“He’s a guy who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.”– Lou Duva, Veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regimen of heavyweight Andrew Golota, 1996

“He’s the man of the hour at this particular moment.”– Don King

Some players and coaches demonstrate a firm grasp of the obvious:

“Watch the time—it gives you a good indication of how fast they are running.”– Ron Pickering

“Therapy can be a good thing; it can be therapeutic.”– Yankees Mensa candidate, third baseman Alex Rodriguez

“Most of my clichés aren’t original.”– Chuck Knox, when he coached the Rams

“I’ve won at every level, except college and pro.”– Shaquille O’Neal, on his (former) lack of championships

“I don’t think anywhere is there a symbiotic relationship between caddie and player like there is in golf.”– Johnny Miller, TV analyst and pro golfer

“I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father”– Greg Norman

“Why does everybody stand up and sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ when they’re already there?”– Larry Anderson, MLB pitcher

“Better teams win more often than the teams that are not so good.”– Tom Watt, ex-Maple Leaves coach (his team was not so good)

And then there’s the difficulty of trying to wrap their heads around the English language:

“I ain’t going to be no escape goat.”– Karl Malone

“I quit school in the sixth grade because of pneumonia. Not because I had it, but because I couldn’t spell it.”– Boxing great Rocky Graziano

“Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.”– Charles Shackleford of the NCSU basketball team

“I’ve had to overcome a lot of diversity.”– Bucks forward Drew Gooden

Some have a difficult time expressing their true message:

The Yankees are only interested in one thing, and I don’t know what that is.”– Former Yankee outfielder Luis Polonia

“I’m not going to comment on that. I’m in a situation that’s not nice. I’m going to stay professional as much as I can, but there is only so much you can take.”- Former Denver Nuggets guard Voshon Lenard, commenting about not commenting, on his status with the team

“I didn’t say anything. Got nothing to say. I’m a married man; I don’t need a relationship with another man.”– Miami Heat C Shaquille O’Neal, on why he barely acknowledged Kobe before their game

“Then I was skinnier. I hit it better, I putted better, and I could see better. Other than that, everything is the same.”– PGA Senior Tour player Homero Blancas

Some are just full of crap:

“I’d be willing to bet you, if I was a betting man, that I’ve never bet on baseball.” – Pete Rose, who was banned for life for betting on baseball

“My biggest weakness is my sensitivity. I’m too sensitive.” – Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion, on his character flaws

Some are just plain stupid:

“I don’t want to shoot my mouth in my foot, but those are games we can win.”– Former Syracuse cager Sherman Douglas

“Are you any relation to your brother Marv?”– Basketball player Leon Wood to announcer Steve Albert

“I can’t really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.” – Shaquille O’Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece for the Olympics

Then you have your outright smart asses:

 “I was thinking about making a comeback, until I pulled a muscle vacuuming.” – Johnny Bench

“I’m not an athlete. I’m a professional baseball player.” – John Kruk, big fat former MLB pitcher

“Sure. I’m proud to be an American.” – Cincinnati Reds rookie pitcher Steve Foster, asked by a Canadian customs agent if he had anything to declare

“His nerves. His memory. And I can’t remember the third thing.” – Lee Trevino on the three things that go as a golfer ages

“My handicap is that I don’t have a big enough beer cooler for the back of my golf cart.” – Pro football linebacker Rick D’Amico, on his golf handicap

I feel your pain, Rick, I really do.

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blog archive.


Have an off-white Christmas with Bob Wire.Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.


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