Famous Sportsmen’s Famous Quotes

Richie Benaud
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Champions, Heroes and People of Genius, that us normal types can only admire and aspire to, but not truly understand or comprehend.

We all think that greatness come naturally to those chosen few, when in fact they think that their success has come only through supreme dedication and continuous hard work.

So many great people who have inspired us, it’s not possible to include them all.

In general life there are so many wonderful sayings and quotes, but in this blog, I have purposely decided to concentrate on Famous Sportsmen.

The following does not seek to Honour those because of their achievements alone, but those who also acquired fame from the things that they said , sometimes profound, or that made us laugh.

Therefore there are some sporting legends, who perhaps didn’t make us laugh and some others, not so great, who just naturally always brought a smile to our face.

So the following and not in any particular order  –

Jack Nicklaus

“ Professional Golf is the only sport where if you win 20% of the time, then you’re the best “

“ The greatest and toughest art in golf is playing badly well. All true greats of the game, have been masters at that “

“ It’s funny you know, but the harder I practice, the luckier I get “

Jack Nicklaus  –  The Golden Bear – Golfs GOAT  

Gary Player

“ It’s a marriage, if I had to choose between my wife and my putter, I would really miss her “

Gary Player
Arnold Palmer , Jack Nicklaus & Gary Player each wearing their US Masters Champion Jackets 
 

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer – The King – Second all time goat behind Jack Nicholas

Arnie’s wife Winnifred was interviewed by legendary TV host Johnny Carson, who asked  – “ is there anything that you do special for Arnie before he plays in a tournament “  – to which she innocently replied 

“ oh yes, I always kiss his balls “

After the laughter died down, Johhny replied  – “ I bet that takes the kink out of his putter “

She sued him.


Lee Trevino

“ You can make a lotta money out of this game, just ask my ex wives “

“ There were more people watching Arnie park his car, than watching us play “ 

“ I always thought that Manual Labour was a Mexican Golf Pro “

“ I was in the woods so much, I could tell which plants were edible “ 

Lee Trevino  –  won 6 Golf Majors
Lee Trevino winning his first Pro Tournament

Known for his consistent but controlled fade – “ you can talk to a fade, but a hook just don’t listen “

During a fierce thunder & lightning storm, he was running down the fairway back to the clubhouse holding a one iron high above his head. When asked what the hell was he doing replied – “ not even God can hit a one iron “


Peter Thomson

When asked by a young Peter Fowler, how to become a better golfer, Peter Thomson replied –

“ just go out and shoot lower scores “

Peter Thomson – Champion Australian Golfer, won 5 British Opens

He wasn’t being rude or arrogant, he was saying don’t mess around with your grip or your swing, just think through each shot and then complete that shot. 


Greg Norman

“ Playing safe is for whimps “

“ happiness is a long walk with a putter “

Greg Norman  – The Great White Shark
Greg Norman
British Open Champions
Greg Norman ( 2 ) , Peter Thomson ( 5 ) Ian Baker Finch ( 1 )

Herb Elliott

Renowned as a great trainer, especially through the sandhills of Portsea –

“ if it hurts, make it hurt more “

“ pain is the purifier, love pain, embrace pain “

“ hard things take time to do, the impossible takes a little longer “

Herb Elliott  –  Australian middle distance running Champion
Herb Elliott
Herb Elliott winning the Gold Medal in Rome 1960

Dawn Fraser

“ I used to do some terrible things in the marshalling area to upset my rivals “

“ the Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, maybe in life itself “

Dawn Fraser – Dawnie – The Queen of Australia
Dawn Fraser
Dawn Fraser

Peter Hudson

Hawthorn & VFL Full Forward & goal kicking legend

Posted on the local Hawthorn Church notice board promoting next Sundays sermon –

“ What would you do if Jesus Christ came to Hawthorn “

Written underneath was – 

“ move Peter Hudson to Centre Half forward “


Mark Jackson

His opponent one day playing against Hawthorn was, 300 game All Australian Full back Kelvin Moore, who said to Jacko –

“you’ll never be a full forward so long as your arse points to the ground“

Kelvin Moore

Jacko then performed his famous and much photographed hand stand   

Mark Jackson
VFL ratbag Mark Jackson doing his famous hand stand

Mark ( Bomber ) Thompson

Mark ( Bomber ) Thompson – AFL & Essendon great & captain

Was coaching Geelong when the runner came off and said to him –

“ Boss Henry Playfair has got concussion and does’nt know who he is “

Bomber replied –

“ tell him he’s Wayne Carey and send him back on “

Mark Thompson
Mark ( Bomber ) Thompson
Mark ( Bomber ) Thompson coached Geelong to 2 AFL Premierships

Leigh Matthews

Justin Leppitsch  –  AFL & Brisbane Lions great

Travelling with some other players, in the elevator to their Grand Final Celebration Dinner after winning their 3rd premiership in a row, said to legend coach Leigh Matthews –

“ hey coach, what would you be without us players “

Matthews replied –

“ I guess that I would just be the player of the century “

–  ouch

Leigh Matthews – Great Hawthorn Star – 4 Premierships as a Player – 4 Premierships as a Coach

“ the demands of the game, style of play, the acts of courage, the selflessness, the sacrifices  – only players can truly understand what it takes “

Leigh Matthews
Leigh Matthews
Leigh Matthews with Justin Leppitsch

Dennis Cometti

Dennis Cometti on Eddie McGuire –

“ Eddie had an aura, I remember he asked his PA – have you seen the letter opener – it’s his day off she replied “  –  “ I was impressed “

Dennis Cometti
Dennis Cometti and Eddie McGuire
Dennis Cometti and Eddie McGuire

Ted Whitten

“ winners are grinners and the losers can please themselves “

“ some say Football is a matter of life and death, I assure you that it is much more serious than that “

“ he couldn’t get a kick in a Bart Cummings stable “

Ted Whitten  –   VFL Legend
Ted Whitten
Ted Whitten with son Ted Jnr

Mick Malthouse

“ soccer players pretend their hurt, AFL players pretend their not “

“ the meek may inherit the earth, but they will never win a footy match “

“ statistics are like bikinis, they show a lot, but not everything “

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse  –  AFL Hall of Fame

Lance Whitnall

Lance Whitnall – Big Red – Carlton AFL Star – despite battling with weight

It was said of him  – 

“ Lance Whitnall was never the same player after they took the McDonalds Logo off the match ball Sherrin “

“ If we shouldn’t eat late at night, how come they put a light in the refrigerator “

Lance Whitnall
Lance Whitnall
Lance Whitnall – Big Red

Richie Benaud

“ 2 for 22 “

“ marvellous “

“ and Glen McGrath is dismissed for 2, just 98 runs short of his maiden test century “

Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud –  Former Australian Cricket Captain and legendary commentator

Rod Marsh

Australian Wicketkeeper Rod Marsh –  to English Captain Ian Botham

“ So how’s your wife and my kids “  –  Beefy replies “ the wife is fine, but the kids are retarded “

Rod Marsh
Rod Marsh
Rod Marsh

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath – Australian fast bowling legend – to English Captain Mike Atherton

“ Athers, it would help if you got rid of that shit at the end of your bat “

Atherton picked up the bat and looked at the bottom end 

“ No, no, no – the other end “ McGrath said

An English player kept playing shots and missing and then studied the face of the bat –

“ the instructions are on the other side “ McGrath said 

Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath And Shane Warne

Mark Waugh

Mark Waugh to an English Cricketer

“ your not good enough to play test cricket “ who replied – “ maybe not but at least I’m the best player in my family “

Mark Waugh

Shane Warne

Shane Warne to Daryl Cullinan

“ I’ve been waiting 3 years for another crack at you “

Shane Warne

Cullinan replied –

“ looks like you’ve spent them eating “


Barry Richards

“ the only time an Australian walks, is when his car breaks down “

Barry Richards
Barry Richards –  South African Cricket Great

Keith Miller

Former Australian Test Cricket Star and WW2 fighter Pilot with Hollywood looks

“ Pressure ? Pressure is a Messerschmidt up your arse, Playing Test Cricket ain’t Pressure “

Keith Miller
Keith Miller
Keith Miller

John Wooden

“ Never play the waiting game “

“ today is the only day, yesterday is gone “

“ winning takes talent, to repeat takes character “

“ it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts “

John Wooden
John Wooden
John Wooden  –  Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach

Jim Valvano

“ every single day, in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things “

He once asked a referee –

“ hey ref, can I get a tech foul for what I’m thinking “

– of course not the ref replied – 

“ well then, I think that you’re a cheating dickhead, so he tech fouled me, you just can’t trust them “

Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano  –  NCAA Championship Coach – The Jimmy V Foundation

George Best

“ I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars, the rest I just squandered “

“ in 1969, I gave up women and booze, it was the worst 20 minutes of my life “

“ Pele called me the greatest player in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life “

“ I used to go missing a lot  –  Miss Canada, Miss USA, Miss World “

 “ I once said that Gazza’s ( Paul Gascoinge ) IQ was lees than his shirt number ( 8 ), he said to me what’s an IQ “

George Best
George Best
George Best – Irish Soccer legend and party boy

Wilt Chamberlain

“ the only way you can stop him is to lock the changeroom door before he comes out “

“ when he was in college, they had a 12’ practice ring in the Gym, Wilt could dunk on that ring “

“ I was always cast as the villain, because I was bigger and stronger, so they cast me as the villain everywhere that I went “  

Wilt Chamberlain  – 7’1” Basketball superstar

Michael Jordan

“ There is no i in team but there is in win “

“ there is no i in team, but there are 5 in individual brilliance “

“ some people want it to happen, others wish it would happen, very few make it happen “

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan with Wilt Chamberlain

Rodney Dangerfield

“ I went to a fight the other night and an Ice Hockey game broke out “

Rodney Dangerfield  –  Comedian

Mario Andretti

“if everything seems under control, then your just not going fast enough“

Mario Andretti –  American Racing Car Driver
Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti with his son Michael 

Vince Lombardi 

“ it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up “

“ winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing “

“ if winning isn’t everything, then why do they keep score “

“ winners never quit and quitters never win “

“ the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary “

“ if you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm “ 

Vince Lombardi 
Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi  –  famous Green Bay Packers Coach

Rocky Graziano

“ fifth grade at school were the best three years of my life “

“ I never stole nuttin’ unless it began with an A –  A truck, A car, A payroll “

“ I quit school in 6th grade because of pneumonia, not because I had it, but because I couldn’t spell it “

Rocky Graziano ( Thomas Rocco Barbella )
Rocky Graziano ( Thomas Rocco Barbella )
Rocky Graziano ( Thomas Rocco Barbella ) –  World Middleweight Champion

Lorenzo ( Yogi ) Berra

“ it ain’t over ‘til it’s over “

“ It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings “

“ 90 % of baseball is mental, the other half is physical “

Lorenzo ( Yogi ) Berra
Lorenzo ( Yogi ) Berra
Lorenzo ( Yogi ) Berra  –  US Baseball Icon

Unknown Basketball Coach

“ we have a great bunch of outside shooters, unfortunately all of our games are played inside “

“ we can’t win at home, we can’t win on the road, I just can’t figure out where else to play “

MLB Pitcher was asked 

“ what do you prefer Grass or Astroturf “  – he replied

“ Dunno, I’ve never smoked Astroturf “ 

Unknown Basketball Coach

Unknown 

“ a journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step “

“ the pursuit of excellence in every endeavour that you undertake, should be the fundamental principle of every day of your life “ 

Unknown

Famous Sportsmen’s Famous Quotes

One Response

  1. Glenn McGrath’s quotes are so uniquely Australian, cut to the bone… A great post, well worth sharing, thanks Malcolm.

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