Doug Halberstadt: Quirky sports quotes worth reading

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Historically, people in the world of sports have been known to say some pretty foolish and/or funny things. There are books dedicated to “Sports Quotes.” The following list showed up from a reader in my e-mail this week, and I thought it was too good not to share.

“Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch.” — Reggie Jackson commenting on Tom Seaver

“I’m working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time. If I can just die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect.” — Doug Sanders, professional golfer

“All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, ‘See, there’s a fat guy doing OK. Bring me another beer.’” — Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers pitcher

“When it’s third and 10, you can have the milk drinkers; I’ll take the whiskey drinkers every time.” — Max McGee, Green Bay Packers receiver

“I found out that it’s not good to talk about my troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear them don’t care and the other 20 percent are glad you’re having them.” — Tommy LaSorda, LA Dodgers manager

“My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget.” — E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations

“My theory is that if you buy an ice cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren’t as good.” — Vic Braden, tennis instructor

“When they operated, I told them to add in a Koufax fastball. They did, but unfortunately it twas Mrs. Koufax’s.” — Tommy John, N.Y. Yankees, recalling his 1974 arm surgery

“I don’t know. I only played there for nine years.” — Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry ever smiles

“We were tipping off our plays. Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one was pale as a ghost.” — John Breen, Houston Oilers

“The film looks suspiciously like the game itself.” — Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints, after viewing a lopsided loss to the Atlanta Falcons

“When I’m on the road, my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo.” — Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher

“I have discovered in 20 years of moving around the ballpark that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.” — Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner

“Because if it didn’t work out, I didn’t want to blow the whole day.” — Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon

“I have a lifetime contract. That means I can’t be fired during the third quarter if we’re ahead and moving the ball.” — Lou Holtz, Arkansas football coach

“I won’t know until my barber tells me on Monday.” — Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game

“I tell him ‘Attaway to hit, George.’” — Jim Frey, K.C. Royals manager when asked what advice he gives George Brett on hitting

“I learned a long time ago that ‘minor surgery’ is when they do the operation on someone else, not you.” — Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers

“Our biggest concern this season will be diaper rash.” — George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores

“The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday.” — Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach

Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty put the game of college football in perspective, explaining: “When you’re playing for the national championship, it’s not a matter of life and death. It’s more important than that.”

As long as there are colorful characters playing, coaching and commentating on sports, the supply of this type of material will be unending … and you can quote me on that.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Jan. 8-14, 2014, issue

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