Friday, February 16, 2007

February 16: Sports Quotes Day

Today is the birthday of tennis great John McEnroe. He was born in 1959 in Germany where his father was serving in the U.S. Army. McEnroe is remembered not only for his masterful play as a singles champion, but also for his many victories in doubles and mixed doubles. His most memorable play came at Wimbledon in the 1980s where he battled Bjorn Borg.

Although he won many major tennis titles and spent many years as the number one ranked tennis player in the world, John McEnroe is most remembered for his words and antics on the tennis court. Smashing tennis rackets and challenging umpire decisions, McEnroe became one of the most volatile and boisterous athletes ever.

Perhaps his best known line was one shouted in the direction of an umpire at Wimbledon in 1981: "You cannot be serious!" This line became so often associated with McEnroe, that he used it for the title of his 2002 autobiography (1).

Today's Challenge: The Sports Section

Great writers aren't the only ones with profound things to say. Below are some famous quotes by athletes and coaches. See if you can identify the speaker of each quote.

1. Football is like life -- it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.

2. Bear Bryant could take his'n and beat your'n, or he could take your'n and beat his'n.

3. Sports Do Not Build Character...They Reveal It.

4. There is no room in your mind for negative thoughts. The busier you keep yourself with the particulars of shot assessment and execution, the less chance your mind has to dwell on the emotional. This is sheer intensity.

5. Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.

6. I wouldn't ever set out to hurt anyone deliberately unless it was, you know, important -- like a league game or something.

7. A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.

8. You can't climb to the second floor without a ladder. Try for a goal that's reasonable, then gradually raise it.

Quotes of the Day:

-If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead. - Erma Bombeck

-If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base. - Dave Barry


1. Vince Lombardi
2. Bum Phillips
3. John Wooden
4. Jack Nicklaus
5. Yogi Berra
6. Dick Butkus
7. Jesse Owens
8. Emil Zatopek


1 - The Biography Channel "John McEnroe."