They say kids say the darndest things, but it’s really professional athletes that say the most ridiculous things. See, kids have an excuse: They don’t know any better. But professional athletes, they know better, they just don’t care what people think. Be it cringeworthy mistakes when it comes to word choice or a sentence that literally makes no sense, these athletes are famous wordsmiths for all the wrong reasons.
Introducing 30 times athletes said the darndest things.
Didn’t Lawrence Taylor break Joe Theismann’s leg, and not his head? If that’s the case, why on Earth is Theismann talking like Taylor sacked him and extracted his brain from his helmet? Seriously, Albert Einstein is arguably one of the world’s most famous people, in a field that often doesn’t get much attention. Einstein is synonymous with physics and has expressions about him, like, “Hey, you’re an Einstein,” and even has bagel shops named after him.
So how could Joe Theismann butcher his name that badly? Like, it would have been slightly less egregious if he mixed up Einstein’s first name with a different name that began with the letter “A.” But no, he went all the way to “N” and dropped a Norman on him.
A member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, legendary trainer, promoter, and manager Lou Duva is a not what we would call a wordsmith. Clearly, Duva was referring to one of his boxers and the strong work ethic said boxer possessed. The only problem is, Duva said something that made no sense. Fortunately, Duva wasn’t in the industry of telling time or schedule-making.
Apparently he was more into left hooks and uppercuts than understanding what 6 o’clock in the morning really means. Duva passed away from natural causes in 2017 after spending virtually his entire life in boxing, dedicated to helping the sport grow and become mainstream.
You ain’t gonna be no NBA champion either, Karl. OK, that was a bit harsh for the NBA Hall of Famer and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Malone led an outstanding NBA career, one that is also largely defined by what’s not on his résumé: a championship.
Yep, winning the Finals eluded Malone at every turn, and one thing Malone wanted to ensure was that he would not be blamed for his team’s troubles. He would not be the scapegoat. And when it came time for him to get out of town, Malone apparently decided that he wasn’t going to be an escape-goat, either. Malone has stayed busy during retirement, opening up a plethora of businesses.
Slow down there, Pete. You’re telling us that you, a non-betting man, would not bet on baseball if you were a betting man? Processing. Processing. OK, now that we’ve processed that, we have to call you out on your nonsense. After 15 years of adamantly denying that he bet on baseball, Rose came clean.
In a shocking yet not-so-shocking admission, Rose told the world that he bet on baseball, specifically that he bet on his team every night. For Rose, all of that betting got him blacklisted from the Hall of Fame. According to Rose, he doesn’t worry much about the Hall. On the other hand, based on this quote, can we really trust “Charlie Hustle”?
Shaq is the people’s champ. He will party, mob, mosh, and fist pump with the locals every chance he gets. But all that partying sure does get the “Big Diesel’s” memory a bit hazy. That’s why, when asked about the Parthenon in Greece, Shaq replied with this quote.
Yep, Shaq’s presumably epic Greek vacation was filled with so much history, wine, booze, and olives that he just couldn’t remember if he went to the Parthenon or Club Acropolis, or both. The four-time NBA champion has a larger-than-life personality and has blessed us fans with as many funny off-court moments as he did with awe-inspiring, backboard-breaking dunks.
Good call, Greg. You inherited your good golfing genes from your parents, especially your mother and father. Nicknamed “The Shark,” Greg Norman is one of the more famous Aussie golfers and is a two-time Open Championship winner. Despite being a solid golfer, this quote was no hole in one.
We obviously get what he was trying to say, but what we don’t understand is why Norman had to elaborate that his parents included his mother and father. Could his parents include other things? Maybe he was raised by wolves, in an isolated pack in the Australian Outback. With The Shark, anything goes, but one thing is clear: He owes a lot to his mother and father, aka his parents.
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, no. Mike Cameron, you are many things, but here you are just one thing: wrong. The sun, my friend, has been there for at least 1,000 years. OK, all jokes aside, the sun has been tanning those below it for billions of years. Have some perspective, Mike!
We don’t need to be geology, astrology, or any other major that ends in -ology to realize how old that dang burning ball of fire is. A journeyman and one-time All-Star, Cameron is notable for hitting four home runs in one game. He’s less notable for flunking chemistry in high school, which prevented him from playing baseball that year. That explains a fair amount.
OK, let’s get one thing straight. George Rogers, a former No. 1 overall pick, was down to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever came first? In what world can you get 1,500 of something before getting 1,000 of that same thing? Not this one. Not this world, the one where the sun is older than 500-600 years.
Rogers, who also won a Heisman Trophy at South Carolina, won a Super Bowl with the Redskins. After retiring, Rogers had trouble with the law. Today, however, Rogers has cleaned up and runs an eponymous foundation that helps provide scholarships to first-generation college students.
Burn. Total burn. Steve Spurrier, aka “The Ol’ Ball Coach,” is a funny man full of trick plays and one-liners up his polo sleeves. One of his better quips came after an Auburn University football dorm room burned. Consumed in the conflagration were 20 books, and that is when Spurrier pounced. Spurrier wasted no time in taking shots at Auburn University and their education level, or lack thereof.
Spurrier, not so subtly, implied that Auburn football players had coloring books instead of excessively large and expensive textbooks like the ones his players at Florida and South Carolina were so accustomed to. Unsurprisingly, not many people outside of those schools are big Spurrier fans.
Well said, Mr. Best, well said. You are blunt, honest, and clear with your finances, unlike most people. You have accurately accounted for your funds and where the pounds (dollars) are going. Now, we’re not endorsing what you spent your hard-earned dollars on; we’re simply giving you a pat on the back for being a financially responsible professional athlete.
And hey, Mr. Best, you grew up in Ireland and played professional soccer in England. What does that mean? You spent your entire life surrounded by good and plentiful beer in cultures that embrace it. Naturally, you had an inclination toward imbibing, and you did just that.
In fact, observation through watching is one of the best ways to learn. This mind-bending “Yogism” has to be repeated a few times to truly understand the magnitude of the quote. Is it the most repetitive thing ever, or the smartest? Is Yogi a philosophical genius or something else?
That’s for you to decide, but one thing about the quote is Yogi isn’t wrong, because one can observe through auditory stimulation as well. Either way, let’s all appreciate Yogi for being Yogi and gifting us with countless malapropisms and comical quotes, dubbed Yogisms. Berra caught Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Yogi Berra (again)
The math doesn’t add up, does it? Who cares, Yogi Berra is going to say what Yogi Berra wants. He’s not going to be confined by the laws of mathematics. He’s not going to be boxed in by some numbers and percentages. Yogi Berra, an 18-time All-Star, knew a few things, like the fact that baseball is a sport that requires the utmost mental strength.
Just ask the fans that are tasked with sitting through a three-hour game. Yogi also knew that baseball, although being 90% mental, is a physical sport as well, one that requires 50% strength to compete. Seriously, don’t get caught up in the math behind this quote, and just accept how rigorous baseball is, both for the body and mind.
Yo! How cool would it be to be an amphibious NBA player? Well, just ask Charles Shackleford, a man who is able to dribble with both hands, making him … amphibious. Charles “Frogman” Shackleford uttered that hilarious remark back when he was a student at North Carolina State University. Since then, that’s arguably become his ultimate career highlight.
While at NC State, Shackleford was suspended because of poor grades. And while not the sole explanation for Shackleford claiming he was amphibious, his poor grades and academic suspension do shed some light as to why he may have said that. In 2017, Shackleford passed away.
Most people subscribe to the philosophy that the numbers don’t lie. And true, they may not lie, but they also don’t tell the entire story, at least according to Lou Piniella. Piniella is often associated with storming the field in an angry tirade which turns into him kicking home plate and creating mini dust clouds that perfectly represent his frustrations.
When the dust settles, Piniella is escorted back to the dugout following his ejection. Then he watches the game from the clubhouse, analyzing the statistics, but not too closely, of course. On a serious note, this quote does explain the importance of not relying on stats for everything. There are immeasurable intangibles, too.
But you did smoke a lot of batters. Tug McGraw was as honest as they come. When a reporter asked if he preferred grass or AstroTurf more, McGraw answered as honestly as possible, claiming he never messed with synthetics, didn’t smoke anything fake, and definitely wouldn’t vape. No, McGraw was all-natural.
As a pitcher, McGraw won two World Series and was a two-time All-Star. He was also a United States Marine that served on reserve duty while pitching in the Majors. One of McGraw’s children is country superstar Tim McGraw. Tug McGraw passed away in 2004 and has a foundation in his honor that works toward helping people with brain tumors.
Drew had to chase the rainbow and get to the other side. He had to deal with multiple shades of himself. He had to overcome diversity to become an NBA player. Drew Gooden was a journeyman. And through that journey, Gooden made stops all over the country playing with people from all walks of life. The common theme here? Diversity. Say it with me.
Diversity. Gooden overcame the oppressive summer humidity in Orlando, the boredom of living in Sacramento, the lake-effect snow in Cleveland, and the pain of playing on the Wizards — to name a few. The point is, Gooden wouldn’t be the man he is today without overcoming all of that diversity.
Give it to ’em straight, Marv! Tell those reporters how you really feel! Football is a game! No game is a “must-win.” There are bigger things than football, things that matter, like winning World Wars to quell the spread of evil. See, Levy had some perspective. He was a World War II veteran and understood the importance of actual must-win situations.
So when a reporter asked him whether the upcoming game was a must-win, Levy doled out some perspective. Sure, being the head coach of a team that lost four consecutive Super Bowls probably wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. It wasn’t a close second, either. That honor goes to the city of Buffalo.
Is that what Tyson did to his opponents? Hit them so hard that they faded into Bolivian? Tyson was a terror, a tremendous force in the ring. At times, he looked unhinged and unstoppable. Also at times, Tyson appeared to be a well-spoken, sophisticated boxer with one of the quickest tongues since Ali.
Other times, Tyson said some pretty funny things, like when a reporter asked what he would do after boxing, to which Tyson replied with this gem. Now, we’re not saying that retiring and fading away in a Bolivian sunset would be the worst thing, but there do seem to be a few more ideal spots for Tyson.
As a boxer, Rocky Graziano learned how to dodge punches and avoid getting knocked out. Surprisingly, one of the worst knockouts Graziano suffered was at the hands of an overly complex word. That overly complex word didn’t knock out Graziano physically, but it definitely got to his head and took him out — of school.
The Ring magazine ranked Graziano the 23rd best puncher of all time. Oxford Dictionary didn’t, however, name him one of the greatest spellers ever. Graziano retired with a career record of 67 wins and 10 losses. The 11th loss, while not on his official record, was spelling. It was also the first major defeat of his life.
Head-scratcher right here. And no, Andre, that is not what you want all the kids to do to you. Far from it. The 1987 National League MVP and eight-time All-Star was one of the game’s great outfielders. He had a cannon for an arm and was fast enough to track most balls in the outfield.
At the plate, Dawson was consistent and even led the NL in home runs and RBIs one year. While Dawson’s on-field accomplishments are many, his quote here is absolutely cringeworthy. But not as cringeworthy as the team Dawson was forced to play for for the majority of his career, the Montreal Expos.
You tell them what’s up, Peter! The English striker was asked what he would be if he wasn’t a soccer player, and Crouch gave a succinct (and honest) answer. Maybe Crouch isn’t the biggest looker on the planet, but we’re surmising he’s being a bit too hard on himself. A 6-foot-7 guy with blonde hair and a nice set of pearly whites?
Someone would be down to love him. Crouch, who is often referred to as “RoboCrouch,” is known to bust out “the robot” dance move after scoring goals. Now that, my friends, could be the reason Crouch said he’d be a virgin. Because he’s got game like a dang robot.
Jerry, are you serious? You did not just simultaneously say you think you’re the best while affirming that you’d never say that, did you? No way, right? Wrong. You did that, and you couldn’t slip it by us, unlike your undocumented use of Stickum that helped you snag all those footballs. No, seriously, great job avoiding controversy for decades despite downright cheating, cut-and-dried.
Unlike Tom Brady, who gets roasted on hypotheticals (think inflated footballs), Mr. Rice gets a slap on the wrist for downright cheating! Lathering up your hands with a material that sticks to footballs like glue? No problem, GOAT. Rather, not-self-proclaimed-but-still-not-so-humble-GOAT.
What on God’s Earth are you talking about, Matt Stairs? Sure, everyone likes a nice dugout celebration. Everyone likes hitting a long ball, circling the bases, and getting mobbed by teammates for their achievement. And sure, a nice slap on the rear end does go a long way — in sports. It’s almost as common as a high five or fist bump.
But getting your you-know-what hammered by a bunch of your teammates? What exactly does that mean? And there’s no better feeling? Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Or, are you dead serious? Stairs, who played for seemingly every ball club over his two-decade-long career, won his first and only World Series in 2008.
Per the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a 5-foot-2 man named Jorge Lugo tossed ice in the face of Charles Barkley. Barkley defended himself by grabbing the diminutive Lugo and chucking him through a window. Barkley then told the paper:
“What (police and witnesses) said happened, happened. What he did was inappropriate. I’m going to defend myself. Let there be no debate. If you bother me, I’m going to whip your ass. The guy threw ice in my face, and I slammed his ass into the window. I’m not denying that. I defended myself. He got what he deserved.”
The incident landed Barkley in prison with aggravated battery and resisting arrest without violence charges. Barkley, who was released on $6,000 bond, was asked if he regretted anything about the situation. In fact, he did. That he wasn’t able to chuck Lugo through a window from a higher floor. Say it with me, SAVAGE.
When asked why he shoots so many threes, Antoine Walker responded perfectly. “Because there are no fours,” he said — which begs the question, should the NBA have a four-point shot? Teams like the Warriors would abuse it with their arsenal of long-range specialists. Walker, no matter the team or situation, would be a threat to put four quick ones on the board.
He would practically live beyond the four-point line, rent-free, waiting for his chance to jack up a long shot. Swish. Brick. Clank. Or bank. Walker doesn’t care. He just wants to shoot and shoot often. The 2006 NBA champion and three-time All-Star ranks 40th of all time in three-pointers made.
No, this isn’t a character from a Mel Brooks movie. It’s Vitas Gerulaitis, an American tennis player and 1977 Australian Open winner. See, Vitas had an indomitable spirit. It would take an army and then some to keep young Vitas down. Jimmy Connors, one of the all-time greats, tried to do it. But alas, he couldn’t. Connors beat Vitas 16 times in a row.
Connors was sucking the life out of poor Vitas, hoping to crush him for good on the 17th match. But then Vitas rose from the clay and slayed the mighty Connors, ending a dramatic (and absurdly long) 16-game losing streak to one opponent. Afterward, Vitas dropped this epic line, exclaiming that no one can beat Vitas 17 times in a row!
Charles Barkley (again)
First off, why was Tonya Harding calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating? Is it because neither of them won anything? That’s honestly where the similarities end, because Barkley was an all-time great, whereas Harding was a total bum who is best known for being a shady POS.
Sure, Barkley rubbed people the wrong way, but he definitely didn’t hire henchmen to take out Michael Jordan’s knees in the 1993 NBA Finals. Barkley also appears to be an honest man, openly admitting that he has no grounds to sue the despicable Harding for character defamation because he lacks that very thing — character. Props to you, Sir Charles.
Terry Crisp was tasked with coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning during their inaugural season and for four ensuing seasons. Needless to say, that period was rough. Rough as in the Lightning were getting bashed, beaten, and destroyed more often than not. It’s a natural course of action — just ask David Carr and the Houston Texans when they entered the league back in the early 2000s.
Anyhow, Terry must have been burnt to a crisp by a lightning strike. His team must have been defeated handily. So, in classic coach fashion, Terry went to the annals of history to pull out a classic reference of a sound defeat — General Custer and his boys getting pummeled at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
One of the fieriest personalities in tennis, John McEnroe was known to serve up insults and dish out on-court tantrums like no other. He was a hothead who was triggered easily. A bad call, an extra-loud grunt, or a bad shot could set him off. McEnroe had a short fuse, one that would blow easily.
One day someone clearly got on the star’s nerve, and McEnroe let him hear it, lashing out at him with a volley of insults that could have sent that man’s soul straight to the grave. Game. Set. Match. A perfect serve, an ace. McEnroe retired with seven Grand Slam singles titles and nine Grand Slam doubles titles.
“Spider” Lockhart isn’t wrong. Jim Brown was an unstoppable force. He was ahead of his time and set the standard for what a modern-day running back should do on the field. He was power, speed, agility, intelligence, and toughness. Jim Brown was the Cleveland Browns. Rumor has it he’s actually the last great player to step on a football field in Cleveland.
To this day, Cleveland has been trying to fill the massive void that Brown left. Sure enough, after retiring, Brown did indeed go into film, leading a successful acting career. Brown starred in films such as Slaughter, The Slams, and 100 Rifles.
Chad, do you know something we don’t? Have you discovered the famed 51st state? You know how to catch a football and score touchdowns. No one doubts that, but do you know one of the more simple facts about the country you grew up in? So, in 1959, the U.S. accepted Hawaii as the 50th state. Yes, the 50th, and as of this article, last state in the Union.
But Johnson, a man willing to search far and wide for someone who can stop him, is even down to go to the uncharted, unclaimed, and undiscovered 51st state, which is to be named. Alas, this, by no means, is the most foolish thing Johnson has said or done. That honor goes to changing his last name to OchoCinco to reflect his jersey number.
You see what he just did there? Sneaky, huh. Jim Finks is one sly man, willing to test the waters and see what he can get away with. This time, however, Finks wasn’t so lucky and was caught disparaging the referees, albeit in a subtle way. Finks was a sports guy through and through. He played football then coached it.
After that, he took up administrative roles in multiple professional sports, the NFL and MLB. After leaving the Bears front office, Finks joined the Chicago Cubs where he was named president and CEO. When Finks was over baseball, he migrated back to the NFL to lead the New Orleans Saints, a team he helped guide to the franchise’s first winning season.
At that point, just bow out and collect your participation trophy on the way out. Former Magic general manager Pat Williams was a realist. He knew what his team could and couldn’t do. And when things got bad, Orlando simply ran out of Magic. So when Pat Williams’ squad was on a losing streak, he gave it to us straight.
And, on the off chance he’s looking for suggestions of where to play, he could round up his Magic and transfer to the WNBA, the Big 3, or even the G-League. There are lots of options, Pat, you simply need to do what’s best for you and your squad. Or, and this is a big or, draft better, hire better coaches, and win more games.
You’re kidding, right? You didn’t actually forget how many kids you have, did you? We all remember the infamous Antonio Cromartie quote where he basically forgot the names of his children. For a quick brush-up in history, Cromartie has a ton of kids, so forgetting a few of their names isn’t that out of the ordinary.
But names and numbers are separate beasts. Forgetting names is ok (maybe that’s a stretch), but forgetting how many kids you have? That’s a new level of mess up. Leave it to Tito Fuentes to warn pitchers not to throw at him while simultaneously winning the “Worst Father of the Year” award.
A 360 is a cool dunk. A 360 isn’t what you need when you’re trying to turn your life around. That, Tracy, would be a 180. See, a 360 will spin you around and leave you facing the exact same direction you started in. A 180, on the other hand, will give you a completely new direction, opposite of the one you were traveling in.
There is a slight chance that Tracy did such a dramatic 360 that his entire sense of direction was thrown off, and in that moment of confusion, he thought he was headed somewhere else. Somewhere new. Somewhere to get him out of the rut he was stuck in.
This article was originally published on TieBreaker: The Most Ridiculous and Funny Athlete Quotes.
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