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Sports Quotations

On September 3, 1895, Quarterback John Brallier was paid $10 for winning the first professional football game ever played...

  1. "Sports do not build character. They reveal it."
    -- Casey Stengel

  2. "Rowing is a sport for dreamers. As long as you put in the work, you can own the dream. When the work stops, the dream dissapears."
    -- Haywood Broun

  3. "Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games. "
    -- Jim Dietz

  4. "One player practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it."
    -- Ernest Hemingway

  5. "Baseball is dull only to dull minds."
    -- Knute Rockne

  6. "In baseball, you dont know nothing."
    -- Red Barber

  7. "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
    -- Yogi Berra

  8. "It [baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone."
    -- Yogi Berra

  9. "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball."
    -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

  10. "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world cant get you off."
    -- Pete Rose

  11. "I see great things in baseball. Its our game - the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us."
    -- Bill Veeck

  12. "Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."
    -- Walt Whitman

  13. "Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal."
    -- George F. Will

  14. "If a man watches three football games in a row he should be declared legally dead."
    -- Ted Williams

  15. "If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. Thats all it takes to get people to win football games for you."
    -- Erma Bombeck

  16. "Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck."
    -- Bear Bryant

  17. "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I dont like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that."
    -- Don Schula

  18. "You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose."
    -- Bill Shankly

  19. "The only athletic sport I ever mastered was backgammon."
    -- Lou Holtz

  20. "People stress the violence. That's the smallest part of it. Football is brutal only from a distance. In the middle of it there's a calm, a tranquility. The players accept pain. There's a sense of order even at the end of a running play with bodies stewn everywhere. When the systems interlock, there's a satisfaction to the game that can't be duplicated. There's a harmony."
    -- Don DeLillo

  21. "Pro Football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors."
    -- Frank Gifford

  22. "Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, there is no reason either in football or in poetry why the two should not meet in a man's life if he has the weight and cares about the words. "
    -- Archibald MacLeish

  23. "Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years. "
    -- Ronald Reagan

  24. "Football brings out the sociologist that lurks in some otherwise respectable citizens. They say football is a metaphor for America's sinfulness. "
    -- George F. Will

  25. "I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people's accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man's failures."
    -- Earl Warren

  26. "If only Hitler and Mussolini could have a good game of bowls once a week at Geneva, I feel that Europe would not be as troubled as it is."
    -- R.G. Briscow

  27. "The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back."
    -- Steve Garvey

  28. "If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls' sports, such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such and such."
    -- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

  29. "If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out."
    -- George Brett, 1986

  30. "I don't know. I never smoked AstroTurf."
    -- Tug McGraw, when asked if he preferred grass or artificial turf, 1974

  31. "Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness... and so frivolous is he that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient enough to amuse him."
    -- Blaise Pascal

  32. "The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break."
    -- John Madden

  33. "I don't believe professional athletes should be role models. I believe parents should be role models.... It's not like it was when I was growing up. My mom and my grandmother told me how it was going to be. If I didn't like it, they said, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out." Parents have to take better control."
    -- Charles Barkley

  34. "I think my favorite sport in the Olympics is the one in which you make your way through the snow, you stop, you shoot a gun, and then you continue on. In most of the world, it is known as the biathlon, except in New York City, where it is known as winter."
    -- Michael Ventre, L.A. Daily News

  35. "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."
    -- Vince Lombardi

  36. "The trouble with referees is that they just don't care which side wins. "
    -- Tom Canterbury

  37. "When we played, World Series checks meant something. Now all they do is screw up your taxes."
    -- Don Drysdale, 1978

  38. "With the money I'm making, I should be playing two positions."
    -- Pete Rose, 1977

  39. "Men forget everything; women remember everything. That's why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened."
    -- Rita Rudner

  40. "Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren't we all?"
    -- Vin Scully

  41. "Every sport pretends to a literature, but people don't believe it of any other sport but their own."
    -- Alistair Cooke

  42. "I would have thought that the knowledge that you are going to be leapt upon by half-a-dozen congratulatory, but sweaty team-mates would be inducement not to score a goal."
    -- Arthur Marshall

  43. "A player who conjugates a verb in the first person singular cannot be part of the squad, he has to conjugate the verb in the first person plural. We. We want to conquer. We are going to conquer. Using the word "I" when you're in a group makes things complicated."
    -- Wanderley Luxemburgo, 1999

  44. "One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn't do you any good."
    -- Abe Lemmons

  45. "The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."
    -- Author Unknown

  46. "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
    -- Steve Prefontaine

  47. "I wanted to have a career in sports when I was young, but I had to give it up. I'm only six feet tall, so I couldn't play basketball. I'm only 190 pounds, so I couldn't play football. And I have 20-20 vision, so I couldn't be a referee."
    -- Jay Leno

  48. "To think of playing cricket for hard cash! Money and gentility would ruin any pastime under the sun."
    -- Mary Russell Mitford, 1823

  49. "It is all very well to say that a man should play for the pure love of the game. Perhaps he ought, but to the working man it is impossible."
    -- J.J. Bentley

  50. "I know we're meant to be these hard-headed, money-obsessed professionals but we're still little boys at heart. Just ask our wives."
    -- Rob Lee

  51. "Radio football is football reduced to its lowest common denominator. Shorn of the game's aesthetic pleasures, or the comfort of a crowd that feels the same way as you, or the sense of security that you get when you see that your defenders and goalkeeper are more or less where they should be, all that is left is naked fear."
    -- Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch, 1992

  52. "Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake."
    -- Sylvester Stallone

  53. "Professional wrestling's most mysterious hold is on its audience."
    -- Luke Neely

  54. "As a manager, you always have a gun to your head. It's a question of whether there is a bullet in the barrel."
    -- Kevin Keegan

  55. "The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it's the opposition."
    -- Nick Seitz

  56. "To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."
    -- Jack Handey

  57. "We are inclined that if we watch a football game or baseball game, we have taken part in it."
    -- John F. Kennedy, 1961

  58. "Most people are in a factory from nine till five. Their job may be to turn out 263 little circles. At the end of the week they're three short and somebody has a go at them. On Saturday afternoons they deserve something to go and shout about."
    -- Rodney Marsh, 1969

  59. "I don't think the discus will ever attract any interest until they let us start throwing them at one another."
    -- Al Oerter

  60. "The umpire... is like the geyser in the bathroom; we cannot do without it, yet we notice it only when it is out of order."
    -- Neville Cardus

  61. "Most games are lost, not won."
    -- Casey Stengel

  62. "It is a noteworthy fact that kicking and beating have played so considerable a part in the habits which necessity has imposed on mankind in past ages that the only way of preventing civilized men from beating and kicking their wives is to organize games in which they can kick and beat balls."
    -- George Bernard Shaw

  63. "It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."
    -- H.L. Mencken

  64. "The more I practice, the luckier I get."
    -- Jerry Barber, about golf

  65. "Baseball and football are very different games. In a way, both of them are easy. Football is easy if you're crazy as hell. Baseball is easy if you've got patience. They'd both be easier for me if I were a little more crazy - and a little more patient."
    -- Bo Jackson

  66. "There isn't a single professional sports season now that doesn't go on at least a month too long. Baseball starts in football weather, and football in baseball weather, and basketball overlaps them both."
    -- James Reston

  67. "I figure practice puts your brains in your muscles."
    -- Sam Snead, about golf

  68. "There's nothing wrong with the Little League World Series that locking out the adults couldn't cure."
    -- Mike Penner, Los Angeles Times

  69. "If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you're going to have problems. You'll be dead a lot."
    -- Dean Smith

  70. "Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war."
    -- Al McGuire

  71. "Sports is human life in microcosm."
    -- Howard Cosell

  72. "I think you enjoy the game more if you don't know the rules. Anyway you're on the same wavelength as the referees."
    -- Jonathan Davies, 1995

  73. "Losing is the great American sin."
    -- Jerome Holtzman

  74. "The essence of sports is that while you're doing it, nothing else matters, but after you stop, there is a place, generally not very important, where you would put it."
    -- Roger Bannister

  75. "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?"
    -- Vince Lombardi

  76. "An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head."
    -- Emil Zatopek

  77. "It's like going into a nuclear war with bows and arrows."
    -- Joe Kinnear, comparing finances and resources in high-dollar and low-dollar sports teams.

  78. "I thought lacrosse was what you find in la church."
    -- Robin Williams

  79. "Officials are the only guys who can rob you and then get a police escort out of the stadium."
    -- Ron Bolton

  80. "Whoever called snooker "chess with balls" was rude, but right."
    -- Clive James

  81. "If you screw things up in tennis, it's 15-love. If you screw up in boxing, it's your ass."
    -- Randall "Tex" Cobb

  82. "I was called "Rembrandt" Hope in my boxing days, because I spent so much time on the canvas."
    -- Bob Hope

  83. "To dope the racer is as criminal, as sacrilegious, as trying to imitate God; it is stealing from God the privilege of the spark."
    -- Roland Barthes

  84. "Losing streaks are funny. If you lose at the beginning, you get off to a bad start. If you lose in the middle of the season, you're in a slump. If you lose at the end, you're choking."
    -- Gene Mauch

  85. "He has turned defensive boxing into a poetic art. Trouble is, nobody ever knocked anybody out with a poem. "
    -- Eddie Shaw, referring to Herol "Bomber" Graham

  86. "It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans."
    -- Robert Lynd

  87. "People understand contests. You take a bunch of kids throwing rocks at random and people look askance, but if you go and hold a rock-throwing contest - people understand that."
    -- Don Murray

  88. "All sports are games of inches."
    -- Dick Ritger

  89. "When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury."
    -- Fran Lebowitz

  90. "I cannot for the life of me see why the umpires, the only two people on a cricket field who are not going to get grass stains on their knees, are the only two people allowed to wear dark trousers."
    -- Katharine Whitehorn

  91. "Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game."
    -- George Mikes

  92. "Cricket - a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity."
    -- Lord Mancroft

  93. "Oh God, if there be cricket in heaven, let there also be rain."
    -- Alec Douglas Home

  94. "Cricket is baseball on valium."
    -- Robin Williams

  95. "Life is simply a cricket match, with temptation as the bowler."
    -- Author Unknown

  96. "If horses can't eat it, I won't play on it."
    -- Dick Allen

  97. "The ball is man's most disastrous invention, not excluding the wheel."
    -- Robert Morley

  98. "Every day you guys look worse and worse. And today you played like tomorrow."
    -- John Mariucci

  99. "The Russians have a weapon that can wipe out two hundred eighty thousand Americans. That puts them exactly ten years behind Howard Cosell."
    -- Red Smith

  100. "Motor racing's less of a sport these days than a commercial break doing 150 mph."
    -- Peter Dunne

  101. "Every Passion Has Its Destiny."
    ~~ Billy Mills

  102. "Sport is a preserver of health."
    -- Hippocrates

  103. "All a manager has to do is keep eleven players happy - the eleven in the reserves. The first team are happy because they are in the first team."
    -- Rodney Marsh

  104. "You don't have to be a beer drinker to play darts, but it helps."
    -- Author Unknown

  105. "Unlike any other business in the United States, sports must preserve an illusion of perfect innocence. The mounting of this illusion defines the purpose and accounts for the immense wealth of American sports. It is the ceremony of innocence that the fans pay to see - not the game or the match or the bout, but the ritual portrayal of a world in which time stops and all hope remains plausible, in which everybody present can recover the blameless expectations of a child, where the forces of light always triumph over the powers of darkness."
    -- Lewis H. Lapham

  106. "[T]he finish line is sometimes merely the symbol of victory. All sorts of personal triumphs take place before that point, and the outcome of the race may actually be decided long before the end."
    -- Laurence Malone

  107. "It's not whether you win or lose - but whether I win or lose."
    -- Sandy Lyle

  108. "I'm fanatical about sport: there seems to me something almost religious about the fact that human beings can organise play, the spirit of play."
    -- Simon Gray

  109. "Squash is boxing with racquets."
    -- Jonah Barrington

  110. "Crystallizing my feelings about the game, I find that squash is less frustrating than golf, less fickle than tennis. It is easier than badminton, cheaper than polo. It is better exercise than bowls, quicker than cricket, less boring than jogging, drier than swimming, safer than hang gliding."
    -- John Hopkins

  111. "My only feeling about superstition is that it's unlucky to be behind at the end of the game."
    -- Duffy Daugherty

  112. "If I lose at play, I blaspheme; if my fellow loses, he blasphemes. So, God is always the loser."
    -- John Donne

  113. "American professional athletes are bilingual; they speak English and profanity."
    -- Gordie Howe

  114. "Every Strike Brings Me Closer To The Next Home Run."
    -- Babe Ruth

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