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What are Some Famous Sports Quotes?

By John J. Jones
Updated May 16, 2024
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Many different people have made notable statements on the topic of sports, and it can be difficult to select just a few famous sports quotes. The list that follows identifies a few famous speakers from across a couple of different domains. Writers and poets make up the first grouping. These people typically make their comments from outside the realm of direct play or personal involvement, and as such often have more of an onlooker's or spectator's view. Then come some famous sports quotes from sportswriters and analysts. These people typically spend a lot of time studying athletics, and their comments often reflect that viewpoint. Coaches and trainers also typically have a lot to say on the subject, and of course no list would be complete without at least some quotes from athletes themselves. This list is predominantly focused on sports in the United States, but could be applied more universally, too.

Literary Voices

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

--Mark Twain, American fiction writer

Basketball, a game which won't be fit for people until they set the basket umbilicus-high and return the giraffes to the zoo.

--Ogden Nash, American poet

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, French philosopher

Commentators and Sportswriters

Professionalism in tennis ... only resulted in making billionaires out of rude children, producing an onslaught of moody defectors, and a lot of guys with hair that looks as if bats slept in it ... Meanwhile, my head swims with the thought that I have watched tennis progress from Don Budge and Alice Marble to Farrah Fawcett becoming John McEnroe's mother-in-law.

--Dan Jenkins, American author and sportswriter

The two most important jobs in America are held by foreigners — room service and goal-kicking.

--Beano Cook, American television sportscaster

When Mike Tyson gets mad, you don't need a referee, you need a priest.

--Jim Murray, American newspaper sports columnist

Coaches and Trainers

When you say you're a Padre, people ask when did you become a parent. When you say you're a Cardinal, they tell you to work hard because the next step is pope. But when you say you're a Dodger, everybody knows you're in the Major Leagues.

--Tommy LaSorda, American major league baseball manager

I was young and fearless in those days, but always enjoyed riding at Cartmel. They used to call me 'Cartmellor', probably because I kept coming back on a stretcher.

Stan Mellor, American jockey and trainer

If you want to know what you'll look like in ten years, look in the mirror after you've run a marathon.

--Jeff Scaff, American cardiologist and proponent of running for exercise

There's three things you can do in a baseball game - you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.

--Charles 'Casey' Stengel, American major league baseball manager

From the Athletes Themselves

Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.

--Muhammad Ali, American Boxer

You win some, you lose some, you wreck some.

--Dale Earnhardt Sr., American race car driver

An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.

-- Emil Zatopek, Czech runner

When I step onto the court, I don't have to think about anything. If I have a problem off the court, I find that after I play, my mind is clearer and I can come up with a better solution. It's like therapy. It relaxes me and allows me to solve problems.

--Michael Jordan, American basketball player

Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead.

--Roger Bannister, American runner

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Discussion Comments
By Vincenzo — On May 04, 2014

@Terrificli -- and that is a shame because Yogi Berra was one of the greatest catchers in major league baseball history. He started off with the New York Yankees in the 1940s, retired as a New York Met in the 1960s and worked as a manager and coach until 1989 (he was manager and coach for the Mets and the Yankees and retired as a coach for the Houston Astros in 1989).

I only mention that because Berra is mostly remembered from his mangled quotes and is portrayed as somewhat of a buffoon. In reality, he was a brilliant player, hitter and made his mark as a successful coach and manager, too.

Of course, the Yogiisms are great. No one since Ringo Starr has managed to use the English language so poorly and make it sound so great.

By Terrificli — On May 03, 2014

If you want some of the best sports quotes on the planet, fire up your favorite search engine and key in "Yogi Berra quotes." You'll find some of the greatest, self-contradictory bits of wisdom on the planet and laugh until you break all your furniture (well, maybe you won't laugh that hard). His misaligned quotes have become some famous they are popularly called Yogiisms.

I would well imagine that most people know Berra's quotes much better than they know his pro career.

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