Many sportsmen have mastered the art of walking the walk. Breathtaking athletic highlights and hilarious color-commentating compilations show us that most athletes and broadcasters eventually do find their niche.
But far fewer have fully grasped the ability to talk the talk, a more rhythmic field of play.
Those with a lyrical sense of entitlement, or rather the talent to spit fire, have entertained us in times of need. They've made us smile in times of angst and forced us to drop our jaws when we least expected to.
These are the sportsmen who've coated their prestigious resumes with ridiculous, hilarious and monumental quotes that have been officially inscribed in the annals of sports verbiage.
Let's enjoy 20 of the best quote machines in sports today and two of their most memorable lines.
All chatting their way toward greatness.
The Dolphins' newest target has been the talk of the NFL town since his 1,166-yard breakthrough in '02. The man dubbed Ochocinco (although it is legally his last name) has been intensely studied for his attempted endeavors and humorous quips as much as for his world-class athleticism.
The future Chad Johnson (again?) never fails to engage his audience.
"Nothing's changed. I just need everybody to trust in me like birth control. You know, because I'm always going to be there for you 99.9 percent of the time. And that one percent was the (playoff loss to the New York) Jets game. That's it."
This Russian sniper has established himself as perhaps the best pure scorer in the NHL. But in case hockey doesn't work out, Alexander Ovechkin continues to work on his rapping and his comedy.
His accent only accentuates his delivery. Ovechkin might just be the Capitals' version of Ivan Drago.
"I saw the rebound and when the puck came to me, I said, oh my God, puck, I must shoot."
"I'm okay. Russian machine never breaks."
His fearless approach to interviews might have finally gotten him in trouble this year (see Fidel Castro), but Ozzie Guillen can't be measured by one comment.
The mercurial manager of the Miami Marlins is always vibrant with his tone and hard-nosed with his speech. You'll rarely escape a press conference mentally unscathed.
"I hope I die on the field. I hope when I walk to change the pitcher, I drop dead and that’s it. I know my family would be so happy that it happened on the field. They wouldn’t feel bad because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
“[Buck] Showalter never even smelled a jock in the big leagues. Mr. Baseball never even got a hit in Triple-A. I was a better player than him, I have more money than him and I’m better-looking than him.”
Nineteen-year-old phenom Bryce Harper has quickly transformed from top prospect to MLB stud. During his brief time in the majors, the talented outfielder has shocked the world with his rocket arm, stellar bat and vocal work.
All it took was two memorable comments for the new Nationals star to cement himself with the greats.
“I’m excited to get up there and play. Hopefully they don’t throw any batteries at me” (regarding Phillies fans).
"That's a clown question, bro" (in response to being asked about his favorite beer).
Rumor has it (thanks to Men's Journal, via our buddies at Deadspin) that ferocious linebacker James Harrison used to shoot birds and squirrels in his yard. Interestingly enough, he inflicts similar damage on his gridiron victims every season.
Possibly the angriest linebacker in the NFL (and that's saying a lot with guys like Ray Lewis hunting for targets), Harrison can't seem to find any deep-down love for commissioner Roger Goodell. Join the club.
"They take 10 plays out of 4,000 snaps and want to know my thought process on each. What I tried to explain to Goodell, but he was too stupid to understand, is that dudes crouch when you go to hit them. With [Mohamed] Massaquoi, my target area was his waist and chest, but he lowered himself at the last possible second and I couldn't adjust to his adjustment. But Goodell, who's a devil, ain't hearing that. Where's the damn discretion, the common sense?"
"Clay Matthews, who's all hype—he had a couple of three-sack games in the first four weeks and was never heard from again—I'm quite sure I saw him put his helmet on Michael Vick and never paid a dime. But if I hit Peyton Manning or Tom Brady high, they'd have fucked around and kicked me out of the league."
He won three rings with Chicago in the early '90s and now finds himself masterfully commentating Bulls games. Stacey King (pictured on the left) is quickly becoming a legend in Chi-town.
His catch-phrase prowess and jubilant execution always keep listeners on the edge. His personal soundboard can be enjoyed for hours, literally.
"Did you get your invite? No you didn't. OK here it is. Here's your invitation to the block party."
"That was an elevator all the way to the top floor" (following a dunk).
He's only scored five NHL goals during his career, but Paul Bissonnette continues to humor the Phoenix faithful with his hilariously honest and truthful comments.
Unlike his peers, though, @BizNasty2point0 takes to Twitter to relay his brilliance.
"The Stanley Cup makes the Lombardi trophy look like a red headed step child. #NHL"
Whether his style is your cup of tea or not, you have to appreciate Metta World Peace's abstract vibe. The man once known as Ron Artest can light up any stage with his creativity.
For each mistake he's made during his lengthy career, the current Laker has delivered an awe-inspiring quip to counter it. Brilliant.
“I just had some champagne and y'all are just messing my whole thing up right now.”
“He passed the ball...Kobe never passes me the ball!”
Three-time Super Bowl champ Mike Ditka is as inspirational as they come, a rare breed of motivational if you will. Everything he says is liquid gold, fact.
And his delivery is always epic.
"What's the difference between a three-week-old puppy and a sportswriter? In six weeks, the puppy will stop whining."
"I always tell people I want to live to be 150, and they say, 'Why would you want to do that?’ I say, well there's a few people I haven't made mad yet. I want to get them."
The Nashville faithful can never get bored of what their hockey coach offers them on a routine basis. Pure verbal wealth.
Few look more consistently concerned than Barry Trotz.
"Morning skates are no longer optional. They're mandatory now because too many of our games were becoming optional."
“They have to learn. You are in the league. You have to line up against the best in the league. If you are scared of that, get a dog. This is the NHL, boys.”
Possibly the strangest man in sports—easily the most obscure in baseball—is Giants closer Brian Wilson. Just his approach begs us to scream huh?!
But his King Leonidas-esque beard and fruitful comments always keep us feening for more...more of the Beard.
“I wanna RAGE…right now.”
"Chuck Norris has been known to throw a 100 mph fastball. I've been known to throw Chuck Norris at 100 mph."
The ruthless ringleader of Baltimore's famed 21st-century defense, legendary middle linebacker Ray Lewis is scared of no one and destroys his victims with zero hesitation.
This man is more about intimidation and inspiration than comedy. For that, we applaud him.
"If tomorrow wasn't promised, what would you give for today?"
"Greatness is a lot of small things done well, stacked up on each other."
Perhaps the most vigorous trash-talker in the NBA, forward Kevin Garnett never shies from a controversial comment.
But rarely does it get him in trouble, as KG continues to intimidate opponents with his motor-like mouth.
“We have our hand on the neck of the golden goose and we're squeezing hard.”
"You take this outfit home and you burn it. We don’t want to see this. I know you don’t double-back with your outfits, I’ve never seen you in an outfit twice…but you take this right here (grabbing his suit)…I don’t care if it’s Versace…name brand…Saeed...no, I don’t care…You take this home and you burn it."
At first glance, Chael Sonnen's respectable 27-12-1 record strokes a loud clap from the audience. But with the amount of talking this MMA chatterbox does, he should be 50-0.
A silver medalist at the 2000 Greco-Roman World University Championships, Sonnen spits filth that few can handle. However, we're rarely bored by his artwork.
"My phone rings, they call me up and say, 'Chael, your testosterone level is too high.' I say, 'Well, how high was it?' They say, '0.7.' I said, 'What's normal?' They say, '0.6.'; I said, 'One-tenth? You're telling me I'm one-tenth higher than the average man? Re-test that—you must have caught me on a low day.'"
"If Brock Lesnar was here right now, I'd take my boot off and throw it at him, and he'd better polish it up before he brings it back to me. Talking about he's the baddest guy in the UFC? Brock, quit eating so many raw eggs and doing push-ups because it's affecting your realm of reality. Are you kidding me? I'd slap you in your face, and you wouldn't do anything. 'I'm Brock Lesnar. I've got this $5 haircut and a knife tattooed on my chest.' I'll shove it up your face if you get in Chael Sonnen's way."
Now that Shaq Daddy's got his own comedy series with TruTV, we can finally look forward to more Shaqisms.
The man labeled Big Diesel has shattered rims, scripted ridiculous lyrics and even acted. There's little the former MVP center hasn't tried. But his vocal fearlessness reigns supreme.
A verbal legend.
“Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.”
“I endorse only products I actually use. Like Wheaties keeps offering me money, but I don’t eat Wheaties, so I can’t do it. Now, if Rice Krispies or Frosted Flakes offered me a deal, I’d take it right away. Apple Jacks, I’d be on the box in a heartbeat. Apple Shaqs. Yeah.”
Reasons to hire recent retiree Bob Green:
1. 140-116-1 record as head coach at Montana Tech.
2. Played for the national championship in 1996.
3. His Greenisms.
"When I first started coaching, Christ was a kid."
"They're gonna be very good. They're rougher than a pine cone toilet seat."
Sir Charles has always had a certain flair for the dramatic that few can understand. His eyebrow-raising analysis and slightly subtle arrogance has led to quite the array of vibrant quotations.
There's a rough elegance to everything this former MVP utters, even when flying saliva coats all nearby objects.
"I know why his name is DMX. Because his real name is Earl. Imagine if his name was Earl the rapper."
"I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I'd work for the Klan."
A 13-time champ and among the greatest catchers who ever lived, legendary Pinstripe Yogi Berra is perhaps best known for his verbal creativity.
Few of his statements make sense, but they continue to shape the world of sports.
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."
If there's one thing we've learned from Bob Uecker's entertaining life, it's that a .200 hitter can still be considered great if he can make his audience laugh.
The Brewers' radio voice and actor/comedian/legend is now preparing for a statue in his honor at Miller Park, home of the Brew Crew.
"I led the league in 'Go get 'em next time.'"
"Baseball hasn't forgotten me. I go to a lot of Old Timers games and I haven't lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me. Just like old times."
Considering he's often spotted on The NFL Today and other gridiron-based programs, we'll continue to count Shannon Sharpe as one of today's creative sports personalities.
As a player he was a ferocious warrior, and as an analyst he's a judgmental chatterbox. But we enjoy every second of it.
"Mr. President, call in the National Guard! Send as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! They need emergency help!"
"I didn't graduate cum laude. I graduated 'Thank you, Lawdy.' With my grades, I couldn't have gotten into prison."