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"We changed our rules. If a player does not have some sot of altercation on or off the court once each month, we fine him...The guys that are our top four scorers, each of them will be required once every two months to appear on MTV. The guys who shoot the worst free throws over a one-month period, next time we have a TV game they're required to look into the camera and beat their chests after they make a good play."
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs coach

"We don't claim to be the best, but we're damn hard to beat."
Adam Barnes

ďIíve played hockey most my life and Iíve never been badly injured...Three weeks into curling Iíve got bone chips in both my elbows. I still canít lean on a table. Iíve even got curling injuries, believe it or not, just from falling on my arse."
James Allodi, actor in Men with Brooms

ďAny sport that comes from Scotland is good!Ē
Leslie Nielsen, actor in Men with Brooms

"I don't make the rules, Gil, I only play the game."
Cash McCall

"No man is entirely worthless, he can always serve as a bad example."
Brian Oldfield, smoking cigarettes between his shot puts.

"When someone like Brian Oldfield can beat me, I will retire."
Randy Matson after loosing the OG-qualification 1972.

"I am going to go out a winner if I have to find a high school race to win my last race."
Johnny Gray

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."
Unknown

"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment."
Jim Rohn

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain."
Carl Jung

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"To measure the man, measure his heart."
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes

"Effort is a measure of a Man."
William James

"In the field of sports you are more or less accepted for what you do rather than what you are."
Althea Gibson

"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time."
Lou Brock

"Every day you have to test yourself. If you don't, it's a wasted day."
Terry Butts, Marine Corps Male Athlete of the Year

"I think NASCAR would be much more exciting if, like in a skating rink, every 15 minutes someone announced it was time to reverse direction."
Jeffrey T. Anbinder

"Look around the table. If you don't see a sucker, get up, because you're the sucker."
Amarillo Slim

"On a spring day in Kosovo last year, about 150 British peacekeepers managed to prevent an upsurge of ethnic violence in the town of Mitrovica by stopping a crowd of up to 20,000 ethnic Albanians from crossing the bridge to the Serv-dominated northern bank of the river Ibar. They used neither tear gas nor weapons, just a mixture of man-handling, moral pressure and what their commander described as 'good scrumming.'"
The Economist, 12/22/2001

"Iíll always be Number 1 to myself. "
Moses Malone

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The relationship between the soundness of the body and the activities of the mind is subtle and complex. Much is not yet understood. But we do know what the Greeks knew: that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound gods. "
John F. Kennedy

"Every 20-plus years, I like to show up and kick some butt. I figure I can come back in a couple of decades and do it again."
Al Kenny, who went 24 years between wins. (Mr. Kenny is a super-combo drag racer).

"Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness."
Dostoyefsky

"Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos."
Don Kardong

"Cowards never started and the weak died along the way."
Unknown pioneer reflecting on completing the long,
hard trek known as The Oregon Trail.

August 16. Came 10 miles. Wind blew very hard this afternoon, consequently dust bad. The weather is comfortable. The nights are cold. Dust not as bad as I expected, but let one thing be considered I had anticipated suffering everything, and so found things better than I thought. But let one come not prepared to endure hardships and he will find enough of them.
From the Diary of Mrs. Julia Newton Wood, 1853

"Sometimes, you get the bear. Sometimes, the bear gets you."
Actor Sam Elliott putting a philosophical spin on The Big Labowski

"It is a sublime thing to suffer and be stronger."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Prince Humperdink: To the death!
Westly: No! To the Pain!
Prince: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase.
Conversation during duel between Westly and the Prince in "The Princess Bride"

". . . the most extreme conditions require the most extreme response, and for some individuals, the call to that response is vitality itself. . . .The integrity and self-esteem gained from winning the battle against extremity are the richest treasures in my life."
Diana Nyad, U.S. longĖdistance swimmer (from Other Shores)

"Work while you work; play while you play."
Old Adage

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward."
Vernon Law, Pitcher for the Pirates

"When life is suddenly more serious more of the time, there is also more need for it to be fun at least some of the time. That's why my family will be at a college football game this weekend. We need it. And deserve it, too. Not like a New York fireman deserves it. Or a medic at the Pentagon. But enough."
Thomas Boswell, Washington Post Sports Columnist, "Our Games Have Never Seemed More Trivial or Been More Important" - September 20, 2001

"In and of itself, sports may be trivial, but as a symbol of the American way of life, it has enormous weight. We are seen, worldwide, as an enormously competitive, enthusiastic people who work as hard as we play and play as hard as we work. When baseball -- which has traditionally canceled one day of games for huge national celebrations or disasters -- stops play for six days, that has reverberations in the national consciousness."
Thomas Boswell, Washington Post Sports Columnist, "A Situation Much Too Serious for Any Games" - September 14, 2001

"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide."
Mickey Mantle

"The greatest country in the history of the world being attacked. So all of this doesn't mean very much today."
Bud Selig, Commissioner of Baseball announcing that all Major League Baseball games were postponed after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, September 11, 2001.

"Baseball doesn't seem very important on a day like this...When you live in the United States and you think it's the greatest country in the world, you feel somewhat protected and immune. You read about [terrorism] happening in other parts of the world. A day like this makes you rethink. A lot of us really have a false sense of what the world is really like."
Gerry Hunsicker, General Manager of the Houston Astros

"Terrorism drives out all normal human activity before it, defining life in its own sick terms, if it can. So, a baseball game on a sultry Texas night before a huge crowd, with everyone feeling perfectly safe, is exactly what terrorists hate. Which is why it is so important to resume such athletic rituals -- which symbolize stability, confidence and order -- as soon as is reasonably possible."
Thomas Boswell, Washington Post Sports Columnist, "In Disbelief, A Suspension Of American Innocence" - September 12, 2001.

"Work is something a body is obliged to do. Play is something a body is not obliged to do."
Mark Twain

"I play the game for the game's own sake."
Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans by Arthur Conan Doyle

"The goal of Olympism is to place everywhere sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. To this effect, the Olympic Movement engages, alone or in cooperation with other organizations and within the limits of its means, in actions to promote peace."
From the Olympic Charter as reprinted on NikeWatch

"And you want to know why track and field is dying in this country? Kids today can watch Kobe Bryant go end-to-end and Randy Moss run a down-and-out and Ichiro Suzuki go from first to third and they will see it start to finish, in real time, the outcome happening before their eyes. But the men's 400 relay finals at the world championships? On your mark, get set . . . we'll show it to you in four hours on another network."
Mike Penner,
LA Times Sports Columnist, "Track and Field, TV Has a Problem With You" (The LA Times, 8/13/01)

"You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world."
"Thanks, King."
Dialogue between Gustav V of Sweden and Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Olympics

"It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse."
Ann Trason, American Ultramarathoner

"The quicker you get there, the shorter the pain."
From James Waddington's Bad to the Bone

"Alan Webb is the best thing to happen in this event, but professionals and collegiates don't want to lose to high school guys. I don't want to lose to no one."
Gabe Jennings, 1500 heat winner on the first day of USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon

"He don't look like no high school dude."
Maurice Green talking about Alan Webb, a senior at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia, who during the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, ran a 3:53.43 mile to break Jim Ryan's 36 year old national high school record (3:55.3), once thought to be untouchable.

"No Drugs. No Drinking. No Smoking. No Cursing."
Sign posted at entrance to boxing trainer Mack Lewis's gym.

"If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard."
Jesse Owens

"We live by encouragement and die without it -- slowly, sadly, angrily."
Celeste Holm

"My doctor recently told me that jogging could add years to my life. I think he was right. I feel ten years older already."
Milton Berle, Comedian

"We're only a couple of short breaths away from being a carcass. I'm talkin' serious roadkill here..."
A candid assessment on the state of the U.S. Pro Bowlers Tour from a high ranking PBA Official.

"I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have."
Leonardo da Vinci, dying words, 1519

"The most-honored ancestors of your matriarch besmirched the season of the orange blossom."
Nick Bakay, describing what baseball trash talk sounds like in Japan.

"What price do we pay when we risk-manage our lives into something safe, flat, and empty?"
Lynnell Mickelsen, Southwest Journal, reporting on the trend to structured, formalized, pay to play activities for children and public paranoia about child safety that limits what kids do with what's left of their free time (as reported in Utne Reader).

"...we've created this Frankensteinian sports culture that grows scarier with every report of middle-school recruitment or Little Leaguers getting paid $5 per hit."
Bob Welch, Register Guard Sports Columnist

"Coach, are we just playing for fun now?"
Question asked by a 12-year old baseball player when his team had time to play a couple more innings after a regular game had ended (from Bob Welch, Register Guard sports column, "Sports culture loses its way").

"You know, I always told you boys that sports aren't important...but they are."
Martin to sons, Niles and Frasier Crane (from television's Frasier).

"When you're having fun, you have a lot of heart and desire. Winning breeds winning. Losing breeds losing, and when you're losing, you don't think of anything else."
Angelina Wolvert, UO Ducks senior forward

"For an athlete half a century ago, getting mentioned by the great Grantland Rice was something akin to being an altar boy and getting a letter from the Pope."
Dan Branyon, publisher of The Observer, Ware Shoals, South Carolina

"There are many stars and a few super-stars in sport. There are champions who bag a coronet now and then, and there are others who dominate some game year after year. In other words there are Bobby Jones and Helen Wills."
Grantland Rice, "Making of the Mighty," Collier's Magazine (November 3, 1928)

"No, my dad was fun."
Phil Mickelson, when asked if his dad was like Earl Woods.

"I was lucky. My grandmother stepped up for me and said she would take responsibility for me and a compassionate juvenile judge took a chance and gave me one. They were getting ready to send me away to do real time, but they sent me instead to a juvenile alternative day school. And I guess that was the beginning of my turnaround."
Bob Beamon, 1968 Olympic Gold medalist in long jump. World Record holder for 23 years; Olympic Record still stands for phenomenal leap in Mexico City; talking about his early juvenile delinquency and what turned him around.

"The mastery of the true self, and the refusal to permit others to dominate us is the ultimate in living, and self-expression in athletics."
Percy Cerutty

It's like people always say, "Well, does sport teach you anything in life?" It teaches you certain things, but it doesn't teach you other things. It doesn't teach, as I say, very much about marriage, very much about how to make a living, any of those things.
George Plimpton

"I played six to 10 hours a day, every day, 90 days during the summer, and I'd do incredible things. I would dribble blindfolded in the house. I would take my basketball to bed with me, I'd lay there after my mother kissed and tucked me in, and I'd shoot the ball up in the air and say, 'Finger tip control, backspin, follow through.'"
Pete Maravich

"Tennis would be much more exciting if they had pitching machines firing baseballs randomly at both sides, so the players had to hit the tennis ball while trying to avoid getting clocked with a 90 mph fastball."
Michael Logsdon

"Tennis was given to me not to become a great player and a world champion. Tennis was given to me to keep me off the street corners of east St. Louis."
Jimmy Connors

"I submit that tennis is the most beautiful sport there is, and also the most demanding....Basketball comes close, but it's a team sport and lacks tennis's primal mano a mano intensity. Boxing might come close— at least at the lighter weight divisions— but the actual physical damage the fighters inflict on each other makes it too concretely brutal to be really beautiful— a level of abstraction and formality (i.e., "play") is necessary for a sport to possess true metaphysical beauty (in my opinion).
David Foster Wallace, "The String Theory, " from Esquire.

"One answer to why public interest in men's tennis has been on the wane in recent years is an essential and unpretty thugishness about the power-baseline style that's become dominant on the tour. Watch Agassi closely sometime...he's amazingly absent of finesse, with movements that look more like a heavy-metal musician's than an athlete's...what a top PBer really resembles is film of the old Soviet Union putting down a rebellion. It's awesome, but brutally so, with a grinding, faceless quality about its power that renders that power curiously dull and empty."
David Foster Wallace, "The String Theory, " from Esquire.

"John McEnroe...was arguably the best serve-and-volley man of all time, but then McEnroe was an exception to pretty much every predictive norm there was. At his peak (say 1980 to 1984), he was the greatest tennis player who ever lived—the most talented, the most beautiful, the most tormented: a genius. For me, watching McEnroe don a blue polyester blazer and do stiff lame truistic color commentary for TV is like watching Faulkner do a Gap ad."
David Foster Wallace, "The String Theory, " from Esquire.

"The Rope a Dope would not have existed without the Big Dope."
George Foreman, on his role in the Rumble in the Jungle

"There's nobody you'd rather beat than your good friend."
Charles Barkley, about playing against Michael Jordan, 1993.

Winston Churchill

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."
Winston Churchill


"I have brought you to the ring, now you must dance."
Robert the Bruce

"Everybody kind of perceives me as being angry. It's not anger, it's motivation!"
Roger Clemens

"It was probably the biggest accomplishment of my life."
Jerome Bettis, after bowling a perfect 300.

"About the last thing I ever wanted in life was a knighthood, and even today some forty years after the event, I find it difficult to come to terms with a life where old and valued friends insist on calling me 'Sir' instead of Don, simply because they think it is protocol. But I have consciously shouldered these burdens because I felt that I was the medium through which cricket could achieve a higher status and gain maximum support from the people, not only in Australia but throughout the world."
Sir Don Bradman

"There is no one alive I can't beat.''
Bobby Fischer, 1961, Chess Champion

"When you stand on the victory stand, you must be able to ask yourself: 'Did I win this medal?'"
Kip Keino, Olympic gold medalist in the 1500 and the 3000 meter steeplechase, from a speech urging young athletes not to use performance enhancing drugs.

Rulon Gardner"In high school, I didn't get the chance to wrestle varsity until my senior year because I had an older brother who was better than me."
Rulon Gardner, 29 year old American from Afton, Wyoming won Olympic Gold for Greco-Roman Wrestling in Sydney by beating the Russian legend, Alexsandr Karelin. Going into the gold medal match, Karelin, with 9 World Championships and three Olympic gold medals, had been unbeaten since 1987.

"He went to Russia and wrestled. He studied all the videotape of Karelin's career. He saw things. Karelin was not quite so strong now. He coud be gassed--if you were in top condition you could run him out of energy. He learned all these things. He was focused on beating the world's best wrestler."
Reynold Gardner talking about his brother, Rulon, Sydney Olympian and Greco Roman gold medalist.

"Yes folks, their gold medal looks the same as everybody elses'."
Bob Costas, NBC Sports Commentator's comment after watching Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.

"I grew up on a farm and I always learned when you work you go forward, you don't stop and say, well, I'll take a break. You always go forward and get the job done."
Rulon Gardner

"Itís a little like wrestling a gorilla. You donít quit when you're tired--you quit when the gorilla is tired."
Robert Strauss

"(Basketball) used to be such a lovely finesse sport, now it's a dock fight. It's just football without the helmets and shoulder pads. They score baskets the way the Chicago Bears used to score touchdowns."
Bill Millsaps, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"I never bought an article of clothing because some famous athlete told me to, but, then, I never had a diamond in my ear, either."
Jim Murray, L.A. Times

"I think the World Cup's method of playing off tie games is obscene. I mean, kicking an 18-ounce ball into a net eight yards wide and eight feet high from 12 yards out is like settling a golf tournament with 12-inch putts. Talk about showdown poker. Why don't they just flip a coin?"
Jim Murray, L.A. Times

"Please forgive me...but sometimes I get very emotional...when I talk about my son....My heart...fills with so...much...joy...when I realize...that this young man...is going to be able...to help so many people....He will transcend this game...and bring to the world...a humanitarianism...which has never been known before. The world will be a better place to live in...by virtue of his existence...and his presence....I acknowledge only a small part in that...in that I know that I was personally selected by God himself...to nurture this young man...and bring him to the point where he can make his contribution to humanity....This is my treasure....Please accept it...and use it wisely...Thank you."
Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods speaking at the Fred Haskins Award dinner in 1996.

"You weren't s--- then, Tiger. You ain't s--- now. You ain't never gonna be s---."
Earl Woods speaking to his son Tiger Woods.

"Mental toughness can take you to the top, and mental weakness straight to the bottom."
John Schiefer

"Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body."
Lynn Jennings

"When I did this three years ago, it was like death. When I did it last year, it was like near death. This year, it was just really hard."
John Howie, wheelchair athlete, describing his Charlotte Observer 10k races from 1990 - 1993.

"I still bother with runners I call hamburgers. They're never going to run any record times. But they can fulfill their own potential."
Bill Bowerman

"If you make one mistake, it can result in vasectomy."
John Rowland, Olympian, speaking about the steeplechase

"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been."
Wayne Gretzky

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take."
Wayne Gretzky

"I don't like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don't like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it's essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you."
Wayne Gretzky

"I had all my own teeth and I wanted to keep it that way."
Tom Glavine on why he played baseball rather than hockey.

"We take the shortest route to the puck and arrive in ill humor."
Bobby Clarke, NHL player and executive

"I just made up my mind that I was going to lose my teeth and have my face cut to pieces."
Johnny Bower, National Hockey League player, when asked how he decided to become a goalie

"I'm not dumb enough to be a goalie."
Brett Hull

"No bastard ever won a war dying for his country. You win a war by making the
other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
General George Patton

"Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom."
General George Patton

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
General George S. Patton

General George Patton


"In case you haven't been keeping track of current events, we just got our
asses kicked."
Soldier, from the movie Aliens

"I ain't got time to bleed."
Jesse Ventura from Arnold Schwartzenager's Predator

"Charlie don't surf."
Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now

"...my papa said son don't let the man getcha and do what he done to me..."
John Fogerty

Wolfie: (Heavy panting)
Willy: Don't feel bad for losing. I was wrestling wolves when you were back at your mother's teat!"
Groundskeeper Willy, after doing battle with an Alaskan Timberwolf on The Simpsons

"Cut me, Mick."
- Rocky Balboa from the movie Rocky

"Charlie don't take no R & R."
-Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now

"Real fish don't have to have their sorry asses barged around some dam."
A quote from Logan's famous "Wimpy Trout" email.

"It only hurt once, from beginning to end."
James Counsilman, College Swimming Coach (after swimming the English Channel at the age of 58). Counsilman got his start as a swimmer at the East St. Louis YMCA. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Coach in 1976

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