February is widely recognized as the dimmest and most lackluster of all the months on the sports calendar.
Considering the relative dearth of interesting storylines (sorry, Winter Olympics), I decided to rank the seven most entertaining quotes uttered by athletes over the course of the past decade.
The reason I've incorporated seven quotes is due to the fact that we are a mere seven weeks into the new year.
1. “Iron” Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) demolished Lou Savarese (46-7, 38 KOs) by TKO just 38 seconds into their fight in Glasgow, Scotland.
In a ringside interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray shortly after the massacre, Tyson went on a insane tirade against Lennox Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs).
“I’m the best ever. I’m the most brutal, vicious, and most ruthless champion there’s ever been. There’s no one can stop me,” said Tyson, who remains the youngest boxer to ever capture the WBC, WBA, and IBF world heavyweight titles.
“Lennox (Lewis) is a conqueror? No. I’m Alexander. He’s no Alexander. I’m the best ever. There’s never been anybody as ruthless. I’m Sonny Liston. I’m Jack Dempsey. There’s no one like me. I’m from their cloth. There’s no one that can match me. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable. And I’m just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah.”
When they finally met in Memphis in June 2002, Lewis battered Tyson before he earned a decisive eighth-round knockout.
“Iron Mike’s” loony outburst was tremendous in itself.
However, Tyson’s rant was sealed for immortality once he closed with, “Praise be to Allah.”
2. Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was fined $10,000 after he pretended to moon Packers fans during a January 2005 playoff game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
Moss, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro, was subsequently interviewed by a reporter who asked him about the punishment that the league had imposed.
Reporter: “Write the check yet, Randy?”
Moss: “When you’re rich, you don’t write checks.”
Reporter: “If you don’t write checks, how do you pay these guys?”
Moss: “Straight cash, homey.”
Reporter: “Randy, are you upset about the fine?”
Moss: “No, cause it ain’t s---. Ain’t nothing but 10 grand. What’s 10 grand to me?”
Moss’ quote was classically, “Straight cash, homey.”
3. The New York Jets pulverized the Indianapolis Colts 41-0 in a 2002 Wild Card playoff game at Giants Stadium in the swamps of Jersey.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning struggled mightily in the loss and amassed a paltry 137 yards in the air.
Three days following the utter shellacking, former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt told a Canadian television network that Manning should exhibit more emotion on the field.
Weeks later at the 2003 Pro Bowl, a different reporter asked Manning to reveal his thoughts regarding Vanderjagt’s comments.
“I’m out at my third Pro Bowl, I’m about to go in and throw a touchdown to Jerry Rice, we’re honoring the Hall of Fame, and we’re talking about our idiot kicker who got liquored-up and ran his mouth off,” said Manning, 33, a four-time AP NFL MVP and ten-time Pro Bowl selection.
“The sad thing is, he’s a good kicker. He’s a good kicker. But he’s an idiot.”
Vanderjagt, who once was the most accurate field goal kicker with at least 100 attempts, retired from the NFL in 2005 and has likely returned to his native country of Canada where he is still undoubtedly getting “liquored-up.”
Meanwhile, Manning is regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.
4. Former Colts and New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Mora was a very solid leader who helped establish winners for these two previously moribund franchises.
Beyond his coaching skills, Mora is also renowned for his amusing press conferences.
After his Colts were whooped by the San Francisco 49ers 40-21 in November 2001, Mora was asked what he thought were the chances that his 4-6 team could qualify for the postseason.
“Playoffs,” squealed Mora with obvious disgust. “Don’t talk about—playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.”
From afar, Mora’s quote doesn’t seem outwardly remarkable or hilarious.
However, when one is able to actually see and hear Mora’s diatribe, there is no question that it was an instant beauty.
5. During a 2003 game between the then-powerful New England Patriots and lowly New York Jets, legendary quarterback Joe Namath was asked by ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber about his former team’s struggles.
“I want to kiss you,” responded Namath, who was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1985. “I couldn’t care less about the team struggling.”
“Thanks, Joe,” said an apparently flattered Kolber. “I’ll take that as a huge compliment.”
Three weeks later, Namath entered an outpatient alcoholism treatment program.
6. The Cleveland Browns selected defensive tackle Gerard “Big Money” Warren out of the University of Florida with the third overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Seven months after the Browns chose him, Warren was arrested and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Past Browns president Carmen Policy tried to defend Warren to the press.
“The policeman said Gerard was one of the finest, nicest persons he’s ever arrested,” Policy said with entire seriousness.
Presumably, Cleveland’s fuzz was fond of “Big Money.”
7. Serena Williams has won 25 Grand Slam titles and she is currently the top-ranked female tennis player in the world.
Nevertheless, Williams’s play has lagged on occasions.
In the 2009 U.S. Open semifinals, a lineswoman called Williams for a rare foot fault against Kim Clijsters and the superstar absolutely went berserk.
“You’d better be f---ing right! You don’t f---ing know me! I swear to God,” warned Williams. “I’m going to take this ball and shove it down your f---ing throat!”
After an explosion like that, would anyone genuinely want to “know” Williams?
Honorable Mention: Don Imus
“That’s some rough girls from Rutgers,” said Imus, about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team in April 2007. “Man they got tattoos and..That’s some nappy-headed hos!”
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