In all my years of watching sports, one of the things I've noticed is that many players who have the sweetest swings, jump shots, throwing arms or pair of hands were at the end of the line when verbal skills were being passed out.
The on-field feats of derring-do often turned into the feets in mouth when athletes tried to tell us how they did what they did.
Many of our greatest athletes and coaches have had the ability to express themselves coherently roughly equal to the ability of Mario Mendoza to hit a baseball, Renaldo Nehemiah's ability to catch a football, and Ed Biles' skills in leading their team to victory. Ed who, you ask? My point exactly.
The former President of the United States, George W. Bush, had an uncanny ability to leave listeners scratching their heads, wondering what it was the man just tried to say.
Likewise, so it is with many current and former athletes, so as Bush might say, "upon further adieu, here is our extinguished list" of the 20 funniest quotes in sports.
The so-called "sweet science" has had more than its share of malaprops spoken by many boxers, trainers, and promoters.
Do They have Extradition There?
Fighter Mike Tyson's reply to a query about what he would do when he hung up the gloves: "fade into Bolivian, I guess."
How Many Fingers?
Trainer Lou Duva on his sport: "you can sum up this sport in two words, you never know."
How Long Does It Take This Guy To Watch 60 Minutes?
Boxing promoter Don King: "He's the Man of the Hour, at this particular moment."
But Does He Speak Prada?
Another Don King hair-raising gem: "He (Julio Cesar Chavez) speaks, English, Spanish, and he's bilingual."
Play It Again, Pablo?
Former New Jersey Net roundballer Chris Morris was trying to impress a date in a swanky piano bar, so he asked the piano player "how about playing some Picasso?"
Just Say Uncle!
North Carolina State Wolfpack center Chuck Nevitt seemed unusually nervous at practice one day. Upon being asked by Jim Valvano what was wrong, Nevitt replied: "my sister is having a baby and I don't know if I'm going to be an Aunt or an Uncle."
The Cover Charge There Is Too High Anyway
Upon returning from a trip to Greece, Shaquille O'Neal was asked if he went to the Parthenon. Shaq answered: " I don't remember what clubs we went to."
Charles Shackleford of N.C. State in response to a question about whether he was right or left handed: "right hand or left, it doesn't matter, I'm amphibious."
Does Faber College Have Football?
Ohio State QB Bobby Hoying: "I'm really happy for Coach Cooper and the guys who have been here six or seven years, especially our seniors."
Heisman winner George Rogers of the South Carolina Gamecocks on his season goal: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."
But Was He As Smart As Timothy Edison?
Joe Theisman of ESPN on a Sunday Night Football telecast: "I don't think genius is a term that applies to football coaches. Geniuses are guys like Norman Einstein."
Enquiring Minds Want To Know!
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Ron Meyer on his staff's chances of leading the Colts to the Promised Land: "It's not like we came down from Mount Sinai with the tabloids."
Keep That Helmet On!
Former Steeler coach Bill Cowher on the accusation that his team bent NFL regulations: "We're not attempting to circumcise the rules." No word on whether Cowher resurfaces with the Washington Foreskins.
Dinner With Andre?
Retired Cub slugger Andre Dawson on the need to be a role model: "I want all the kids to copulate me."
Where Is The Amazing Kreskin When You Need Him?
Pedro Guerrero on the press: "sometimes they write what I say, not what I mean."
Former Yankee centerfielder Mickey Rivers on his relationship with management: "me, Billy (Martin) and George (Steinbrenner) are two of a kind".
But Did It Come With His And His Towels?
According to former Boston Redsox outfielder Mike Greenwell: "I'm just a four-wheel-drive pickup kind of guy, and so's my wife." Maybe Greenwell was a Massachusetts man before his time.
Have Perm Will Travel
Atlanta Braves broadcaster and longtime Dodger pitcher Don Sutton, known for his 80's "half-fro" permed hairdo: "I'm the most loyal player money can buy."
Back To The Future?
ABA and NBA player Marvin "Bad News" Barnes apparently didn't get the concept of time zones, maybe thinking they were a variation of the 2-3 or matchup zone. When told that his team flight would depart Louisville, KY at 9:00 A.M. (EST) and arrive in St. Louis, MO at 8:59 A.M. (CST) Barnes told team radio guy Bob Costas: "I don't know about you, but I ain't gettin' in no time machine."
What's Their Customer Satisfaction Policy?
Lastly, no list of funny or dumb sports quotes would be complete without hearing from Yogi Berra. The man who gave us such gems as "nobody goes to that place any more, it's too crowded," "it gets late early there," and "it's deja vu all over again," also had this one: when asked by his wife about his choice of burial sites, Yogi responded: "Surprise me."
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