For years, I’ve joked that three famous Americans were born on February 6th; Babe Ruth, Ronald Reagan, and the most famous of the three, Irv Lippel. Now, unfortunately, we’re down to one; President Reagan passed away on June 6th. Ronald Reagan was one of the two best Presidents during my lifetime, the other being the man from my home state, Missourian Harry Truman. In addition to being a great President, Ronald Reagan was an avid sports junkie, and this week’s article is dedicated to his memory.
Story of the Week
CLASSIC COMMENTS BY SPORTS FIGURES
There have been some classic comments by sports figures down through the years. "Yogi" Berra is given credit for coming up with the best ones. But there are some brilliant non-Yogis, and I thought you’d like to read some you’ve never seen before. Because my column is "G" rated, there were some I couldn’t print; too bad, Andre Dawson.
New Orleans Saints running back George Rogers, when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."
And, upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the Redskins say: "I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl," Matt Millen of the Raiders said: "To win, I’d run over Jacobi’s mother, too."
Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."
Football commentator and former player, Joe Theismann, in 1996: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up alphabetically by height. And then you guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle."
Boxing promoter, Dan Duva, on Mike Tyson going to prison: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."
When Ted Williams noticed a flaw in teammate Johnny Pesky’s swing, and Pesky didn’t adjust, an annoyed Williams asked him: "Do you just want to be a lousy .300 hitter all your life?" (As it turned out, Pesky’s lifetime average was .307, 37 full points lower than that of the great Ted Williams.)
Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the training camp of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He’s a guy who gets up at 6AM every morning, regardless of what time it is."
Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: "That’s so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."
Chuck Nevitt, N. C. State basketball player, explaining to coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt."
Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I asked him, son, what is with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?" His response: "Coach, I don’t know, and I don’t care."
Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A & M, recounting what he told a player who received four F’s and one D: "Son, looks to me like you’re spending too much time on one subject."
Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips, when asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded: "Because she’s too bleeping ugly to kiss good-bye."
Irv Lippel, when told he had just won an all-expenses-paid trip to Puerto Rico for 10 days: He asked naively "What do I do all those nights?" They said "We don’t care as long as you stay out of Puerto Rico." (Rodney, I love ya.)
Last Week’s Trivia
The St. Louis Blues have been to the NHL playoffs 25 consecutive years, but have managed to avoid winning the Stanley Cup.
Trivia Question of the Week
What were the details regarding the Ali-Liston rematch in 1965? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.