Best Sports Quotes of the Year
There are no shortage of opportunities to speak your mind if you're an athlete, coach, manager, reporter or someone who otherwise dedicates their life and career to a sport. Press conferences, news releases, interviews, social media apps and even curious eavesdroppers all turn your words into quotable material.
Of course, ease of opportunity doesn't guarantee that those words are compelling or defensible. It does, however, ensure that more than enough gems can be sifted from the silt over 12 months.
Considering the fact that 2014 packed in the FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics with the usual major collegiate and pro sports cycles, a solid "Best of..." list of sports quotes could have been compiled monthly, but we're starting from scratch.
So, how do you decide which sports quotes make the cut in a year that offers so many quality candidates?
First, acknowledge that putting together a list the entire world would agree upon is an impossible task.
Second, try to tell the story of 2014 through words—the wins, losses, highs and lows, the individual achievements and maddening uncertainty that always seems to define the sports universe.
These are the best sports quotes of 2014, but by no means your definitive list. Tell us what quotes you think should be included in the comments section.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
He was a little fat ass. He had too much junk in the trunk. His decision-making wasn’t great, and he wasn’t in great shape. He changed his entire body. He came back svelte and cut and understood you have to make better decisions, point-guard type decisions.
—San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on point guard Patty Mills, March 2014
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
It's absolutely brilliant, but I'm not going for it.
—Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the idea of taking a "hometown discount," November 22
Geno Smith, New York Jets
It's almost exciting to think about all the room for improvement that we have.
—New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith sees the glass half-full, December 2014
Darnell Dockett, Arizona Cardinals
The lady ask me if I wanna be here.. I said hell no I rather be home. But I don't believe in death penalty and Im not racist. Can I go now?
—Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett while live-tweeting jury duty, December 2014
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
They both wear No. 12.
—New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when asked to comment on the similarities/differences between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (before walking off the podium), November 2014
Miesha Tate, UFC
She actually is. I'm not going to lie. She really is.
—UFC fighter Miesha Tate on rival Ronda Rousey (who Tate is 0-2 against), after she was asked whether Rousey "was stinky," December 2014
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals
You gotta go defend the offense. You don't defend the player. Particularly a midget.
—Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis referring to Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel during a radio interview, December 2014
Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers
He's from Pluto, and I'm from Mars.
—Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney when asked about his relationship with South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, July 2014
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina Gamecocks
Dabo probably thinks there's only, what, nine planets out there? I think I read where Pluto may not be considered one now.
—South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier after being told about Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney's description of their relationship, July 2014
Darryl Sutter, Los Angeles Kings
Hit and hope.
—Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter on how to stop the Anaheim Ducks' top line, May 2014
Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres
It's more of a fresh shart than anything.
—San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko describing his return from the disabled list, as enhanced by a misfortunate typo, July 2014
Curt Schilling, MLB
To [sic] bad it's been disproved about a thousand times. Every experiment to prove it has failed.
—Retired MLB pitcher Curt Schilling discussing evolution on Twitter, November 2014
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Seminoles
Now here's what you've got to do. Calm down. Don't give them that over-exuberant look. Act very passive right here and get people back on your side. Do you understand what I'm telling you? Humble, humble pie.
—Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher to embattled quarterback Jameis Winston after a last-second win over Notre Dame, October 2014
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X.
—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the team's 1-2 start, September 2014
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Honestly, I skated maybe—I don’t want to tell you this—but I skated 10 times maybe all summer.
—Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel on his offseason training program, September 2014
Brad Keselowski, NASCAR
I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could, and these guys just didn't like it.
—NASCAR Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski after his aggressive driving during the final laps of the AAA Texas 500 sparked a brawl between himself, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and members of several crews, November 2014
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
I've known for a long time that they're a bunch of idiots.
—Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant responding to a question about ESPN ranking him the 40th-best NBA player, October 2014
Luis Suarez, Barcelona FC
I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.
—Barcelona forward Luis Suarez's official statement after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini while playing for Uruguay's national team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, June 2014
Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks
You can tell they really wanted to run crossing routes, but on the first one they met Kam Chancellor.
—Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner on strong safety Kam Chancellor's huge, tone-setting hit on Denver Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas in Super Bowl XLVIII, February 2014
Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
Well, I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like [Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.
—Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to Fox Sports' Erin Andrews after beating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, January 2014
Les Miles, LSU Tigers
It was miserable. I hated it. But it was great fun.
—LSU Tigers head football coach Les Miles on his family vacation to Austin, Texas (to visit his daughter who is on the Texas Longhorns' swim team), July 2014
Rick Pitino, Louisville Cardinals
We tried everything. We played four white guys and an Egyptian.
—Louisville Cardinals men's basketball coach Rick Pitino responding to the suggestion he was running up the score after beating Savannah State 87-26, November 2014
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
I didn't know if he had enough left tonight. But I did know that boy would try to steal a steak off the devil's plate.
—San Francisco Giants pitcher and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner's father, Kevin, after his son earned the save in Game 7, October 2014
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It's where I walked. It's where I ran. It's where I cried. It's where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I'm their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can.
—Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James explaining his decision to leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland, July 2014
Mo'ne Davis, Taney Dragons
I throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw's and my fastball like Mo'ne Davis.
—Taney (Pa.) Dragons pitcher Mo'ne Davis, one of 18 girls who played in the Little League World Series, after she was asked which MLB pitcher she emulated, August 2014