10 Perfect Quotes from 'The Simpsons' for Current Sports Stories

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2017

10 Perfect Quotes from 'The Simpsons' for Current Sports Stories

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    Search hard enough, and there's a perfect moment from The Simpsons to describe every situation.

    When a classic sitcom runs for over 600 episodes through 28 seasons and counting, everything is covered. Did somebody say something dumb? Hit them with Homer Simpson proclaiming, "I am so smart! S-M-R-T!" Fed up with all the hot takes from loudmouth pundits? Ask if "these morons are getting dumber or just louder."

    As South Park learned, The Simpsons have done everything. As a result, an animated comedy that premiered in 1989 still holds the answers to all the latest sports happenings (even if Don Mattingly still hasn't trimmed those sideburns).

    This doesn't include the obvious catchphrases. There's too much source material to use "D'oh," "Don't have a cow, man," "Eat my shorts" or "Excellent." Heck, "Everything's coming up Millhouse!" even missed the cut.

    Let's speak up for those readers wearing a towel and run through some iconic Simpsons quotes that encapsulate current sports stories.

'My Favorite Team's in It. The...Atlanta Falcons'

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    The last time the Atlanta Falcons made the Super Bowl, Julio Jones was a week away from celebrating his 10th birthday. Their current star receiver is just a tad younger than The Simpsons, which aired the 12th episode of its 10th season after Super Bowl XXXIII.

    "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" revolves around Homer Simpson's attempt to attend the big game with what turn out to be counterfeit tickets. Not knowing the actual matchup during production—Atlanta lost to Homer's Denver Broncos—the writers made a joke of characters covering their mouth with beer mugs while blatantly dubbing in the team names.

    Eighteen years later, Moe Sizlack again gets to see his favorite team—the...Atlanta Falcons—compete for the Lombardi Trophy. Surely his new favorite quarterback is...Matt Ryan after an MVP-caliber season followed by seven postseason passing touchdowns.

    Since Homer and Co. crashed the Super Bowl, Tom Brady has played in six of them. He has also twice appeared on The Simpsons, the first time brandishing an "Everyone sucks but me" banner. It's hard to argue when he has guided the New England Patriots to six straight conference championship games.

    Regardless of Super Bowl LI's outcome, Ryan has earned the honor of visiting Springfield. Once he's there, Matty Ice can ditch the Natural Ice brew, which inspired his nickname, and enjoy an ice-cold Duff at Moe's Tavern.

'The Next Man Wants to Hit the Ball Too, and He Does...and Everyone Is Happy'

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    Marge Simpson's watered-down baseball commentary in "Homer at the Bat" will cause fans to think twice about criticizing Joe Buck. Then again, what would anyone expect from a kind-heartened mother who once asked if she could "just bet that all the horses have a fun time"?

    Her live call of the Springfield power plant's softball game against Shelbyville, however, provides an accurate telling of the Chicago Cubs' 2016.

    A stacked lineup featuring Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all wanted to hit the ball. And they did, scoring MLB's third-most runs behind the Boston Red Sox and Coors Field-fueled Colorado Rockies.

    Her proclamation of "And the next man wants to hit the ball. And he does. There he goes in that direction. And everyone is happy" fittingly described the ending of the World Series' captivating Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians.

    Kyle Schwarber, who wanted to hit the ball, started the 10th frame with a knock. After Bryant flied out and Rizzo reached base on an intentional walk, Zobrist delivered a game-winning double. For good measure, Miguel Montero's single offered an insurance run.

    Then the Cubs won, and everyone was happy to see their first championship since 1908. They didn't assemble a team of ringers like Mr. Burns, but they accrued enough talent to keep hitting baseballs, even if it will no longer make everyone outside of Chicago happy.

'Your Ideas Are Intriguing to Me, and I Wish to Subscribe to Your Newsletter'

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    When Homer is forced to attend a company retreat promoting synergy, Bart brushes off the importance of teamwork by insuring him that nobody remembers Babe Ruth's team. Homer is particularly interested in his son's wisdom of "Sharing is a bunch of bull, too. And helping others."

    No good sports organization will subscribe to that newsletter. NBA franchises, however, may share Homer's piqued curiosity while watching the Philadelphia 76ers win seven of their last 10 games.

    The 76ers have spent three years tanking, and architect Sam Hinkie resigned before the long-term plan came to fruition. Yet the departed team president has received vindication from Joel Embiid, a loyal subscriber to The Process.

    Although injured on draft day, Hinkie grabbed the center with the 2014 No. 3 pick. His patience is now paying massive dividends for the franchise. According to Basketball-Reference.com, the 22-year-old has averaged 28.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per 36 minutes.

    This sudden surge has happened without Ben Simmons, who has yet to make his NBA debut. Once this year's top pick joins Embiid and Nerlens Noel, they are poised to silence a lot of doubters who panned Hinkie's extreme tanking approach.

    Sports teams tend to copy success, so don't be surprised when others imitate his formerly ridiculed formula. Even though he no longer works for the 76ers, his newsletter will receive a sizable hike in subscriptions if they keep winning.

    And their innovative "Raise the Cat" victory celebration will endear the 76ers to at least one Springfield resident.

'Democracy Simply Doesn't Work'

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    Newscaster Kent Brockman has said it before. After this year's NBA All-Star voting, he must say it again.

    "Democracy simply doesn't work."

    Fans vindicated the league's decision to diminish their power, instead giving players and media half the vote. If it wasn't for that rule change, Zaza Pachulia would start this year's exhibition contest. But don't blame me—I voted for Anthony Davis.

    The Golden State Warriors center has handled his role well, but that amounts to 5.9 points and 6.1 boards per contest. Davis, meanwhile, has tallied 28.6 points and 12.0 boards per game for the hapless New Orleans Pelicans.

    According to NBA.com, Pachulia finished second among all Western Conference frontcourt players with over 1.5 million votes. Rudy Gobert netted 144,890 votes despite anchoring the Utah Jazz's NBA-best defense.

    Another ballot blunder impacted the final results. Russell Westbrook, who is leading the league in scoring and averaging a triple-double, will take a seat to James Harden and Stephen Curry. It's hard to get too angry about a back-to-back MVP getting the nod, especially since there's a better chance of Scratchy catching Itchy than the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard not making the squad as a reserve.

    Westbrook, however, is having the better season. An effective All-Star democracy would have rewarded him for it.

'I Used to Be with It, but Then They Changed What It Was'

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    The Simpsons have often explored generational divides to strong results. Principal Seymour Skinner wondering if he's out of touch before concluding, "No, it's the children who are wrong" could have easily occupied this real estate.

    Instead, a flashback scene with a middle-aged Abe Simpson provides a prescient analysis on cultural shifts.

    "I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me. It will happen to you."

    It only got worse for Grandpa Simpson, who auditioned for a career in sports talk radio by yelling at clouds. The above quote also perfectly describes the current turmoil around Phil Jackson.

    After ascending to legendary heights with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, Jackson brought his triangle offense to the New York Knicks. In an era that has devalued two-point jumpers in favor of pacing and spacing—while running a roster ill-suited for his style—his philosophy no longer has a cult-like following.

    When Jackson asked, "How it's goink?" for three-point shooting teams—shortly before the Golden State Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals on the strength of three-point shooting—he sounded a lot like Grandpa Simpson. Maybe he can ask Lisa Simpson for some analytics pointers.

    Formerly renown for his tactics on and off the court, the Zen Master instead drew flak for referring to LeBron James' business associates as his "posse" in an ESPN interview. The remark wouldn't have dominated the headlines back in his coaching days. In fact, as noted by ESPN's Rachel Nichols, he used the same phrase regarding James and other young players in his 2004 book, The Last Season.

    He was with it before, but Jackson's ideologies now feel antiquated. As the Knicks saga spins around a vanishing Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony trade speculation, it's not goinking well.

'There's Only One Thing to Do in a Moment Like This...Strut'

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    On Nov. 16, Marc Gasol drained a game-winning three to upend the Los Angeles Clippers. He celebrated with a boisterous strut.

    As the Memphis Grizzlies center made clear in an ensuing tweet, he was paying tribute to Connor McGregor. The brash fighter has popularized the power-walk originated by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.

    Even punters are joining the fun. A week after Gasol's triumphant strut, Pat McAfee felt like a billion dollars after completing a pass. There was no chance of him commemorating the feat without swagger.

    They all owe some gratitude to John Travolta, who strutted in 1983's Saturday Night Fever. Before the sports world became obsessed with strutting, Bart Simpson showed his spunk in Season 6's "Bart Girlfriend."

    The episode ends with him scrubbing instead of strutting. Jessica Lovejoy, punished for stealing from the church's collection and blaming Bart, manipulated her admirer into cleaning the steps. It still wasn't as bad as McMahon tearing both his quads running up the ramp during 2005's Royal Rumble.

'The Most Rewarding Part Was When He Gave Me My Money'

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    Several free agents were recently paid handsomely. Like the woefully incompetent Dr. Nick Riviera, they have not justified the cost.

    Eager for an answer under center, the Houston Texans saw an ad for Brock Osweiler tagged, "You've tried the best. Now try the rest." For the low price of $72 million, the quarterback accumulated more interceptions (16) than passing touchdowns (15) with 5.80 yards per pass attempt.

    While the Arizona Diamondbacks didn't give Zack Greinke a trillion-dollar bill, they probably wish they could get back their $206 million. While accruing over $1 million per start, he posted a 4.37 ERA.

    Although just signed to an $184 million deal, Jason Heyward spent parts of the postseason scratching himself in the dugout like Homer. Manager Joe Maddon joined Mr. Burns in playing the percentages and sat the expensive outfielder against lefties.

    When given a higher salary cap, the NBA resembled Springfield investing in a monorail. Chandler Parsons, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Bismack Biyombo and Ian Mahinmi are among the many offseason busts teaching fans that inflammable means flammable.

    Signed for the long haul, these players will be saying, "Hi, everybody" to disgruntled fans for years.

'You Know Homer, It’s Very Easy to Criticize.' … 'Fun, Too'

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    Social media didn't exist in 1997, when Marge scolded Homer for mocking Ned Flanders' coaching in "Bart Star." Imagine what she must think today.

    When a few young players from a football team take a boat trip, people rip them apart. When a franchise makes a poor logo, Twitter users have a field day regardless of their graphic-design expertise.

    When arguably the greatest quarterback of all time wears a large jacket in between taking his team to the Super Bowl, he becomes a punchline. When the greatest basketball star ever cries one time, he becomes a meme that never dies.

    Social media gives trolls like Homer a platform to share their ridicule. Like kids on a playground—some commentators are literally children—everyone joins the herd and tears apart the common target.

    Marge thought criticizing was easy 20 years ago, but leaving the house or making eye contact is no longer required.

'Uhh No...They're Saying Boo-Urns, Boo-Urns'

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    As the Patriots punched their ticket to their seventh Super Bowl since 2000, fans made sure to rub their favorite team's success in Roger Goodell's face.

    Because of his role in Deflategate punishments, New Englanders have perceived the NFL commissioner as an enemy conspiring against Brady and Co. Their anger only intensified when a U.S. appeals court reinstated the league's four-game suspension of the star quarterback before the season.

    During their AFC Championship Game rout over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a packed crowd at Gillette Stadium mockingly chanted "Roger, Roger." He did not attend the game, but he may have to hand Brady the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 5.

    Did the taunts hurt Goodell's feelings? Not if he had a sidekick servant like Waylon Smithers to spin it.

    When a film festival audience jeered Mr. Burns' submission, his loyal assistant insisted that they were not booing but simply chanting, "Boo-urns." The reassurance may have worked if the nuclear power plant billionaire didn't consult with the crowd.

    One of Goodell's workers should take note and tell him that Patriots fans were actually chanting his name out of respect. The ensuing "Where is Roger" inquiries were a result of them missing the beloved leader.

    And who knows, maybe Hans Moleman was sincerely singing his name at Foxborough.

'You Tried Your Best, and You Failed Miserably. The Lesson Is Never Try'

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    Homer has bowled a perfect game, won a Grammy, earned a Pulitzer Prize, owned an NFL team and walked on the moon. For all his accomplishments, he never got the hang of tennis.

    As some of the world's best competitors learned at this year's Australian Open, it's a hard sport to master.

    In a shocking upset, Denis Istomin eliminated Novak Djokovic in the second round. He had previously not been ousted in a Grand Slam tournament so early since 2008's Wimbledon.

    That created a clear path for the top-seeded Andy Murray, but he went home two rounds later following a four-set loss to Mischa Zverev. According to ESPN Stats & Info, it marked the first major since 2004 that the top-two seeded men both didn't reach the quarterfinals.

    Murray wasn't the only No. 1-ranked player sent home in the fourth round. Coco Vandeweghe booted defending champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets, stripping the final rounds of more star power. This bodes well for Marge's tennis partner, Serena Williams, who has yet to drop a set in four Melbourne matches.

    Let's hope Djokovic, Murray and Kerber all have better support systems than the Simpson children, who were taught to avoid shortcomings by not trying.