Deion Sanders (Sunday Conversation, 1995): "I want to be the first
black dude to have a fishing show, Fishing with Prime Time."
Dan Patrick, after using his trademark "en fuego" to describe Ryan Smyth's
hat trick in an Oilers win over the Maple Leafs (SportsCenter, 1996):"Yes,
somebody left the ESPN cliché cabinet open and I went to town."
Steve Levy, on Allen Adams, who won a contest to kick a field goal during
half-time of a Steelers-Ravens game, then was arrested on an outstanding
warrant (SportsCenter, 1996): "Bottom line: he missed all three kicks,
then was handcuffed and taken to jail. How was your Sunday in comparison?"
Charles Barkley, on the difference between the WNBA and the NBA (Up
Close, 1997): "Our best player in Houston is pregnant - that can't happen
in the NBA."
Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes, on Michael Jordan's response
when she asked him if she could name her son Jordan (ESPN.SportsZone, 1997):
"He rubbed my stomach and said, 'Only if he has a sweet jumper.'"
Bristol University Dean, Chris Berman, instructing students in football
rhetoric (NFL Countdown commercial, 1997): "There is no such thing as a
stupid question, just stupid people that ask questions."
Kenny Mayne, coming up with a better Ken Griffey Jr. home-run call than
"It's never iffy if it's Griffey" (SportsCenter, 1997): "I am amused by
the simplicity of this game."
Linda Cohn, reporting on the Rangers' 8-11-8 start to the 1997-98 season
(SportsCenter, 1997): "The Rangers continue to suffer from PMS - Post Messier
Phil Jackson, on sports talk radio ("Sports Talk Mania," Outside the
Lines, 1995): "I listen to National Public Radio. I'd rather be informed
Beano Cook (SportsCenter, 1987): You only have to bat 1.000 in two things
- flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go four for five."
Pat Riley (Sunday Conversation, 1992): "I believe there is winning and
misery, and even when we win I'm miserable."
Dan Patrick, on what will happen if Dick Trickle ever wins the Winston
Cup (ESPN.SportsZone, 1997): "It will be a national holiday at ESPN."
Bobby Knight (Up Close Primetime, 1996): "The will to prepare to win
is so much more important than the will to win. When they're throwing it
up, everybody wants to win, but how much has everybody wanted to win on
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday getting ready for Saturday's game?"
Lou Holtz (Up Close, 1997): "If I finish second in the country at Notre
Dame, everybody calls me an idiot. If a guy finishes last in medical school,
they all call him doctor."
Shaquille O'Neal (Up Close Primetime, 1997): "Winning the NBA title
is very, very important to me. I've won on every level except college.
I haven't won in college because, you know, I left early."
John Elway (Up Close, 1997): "If I never get a Super Bowl ring, at least
I can wake up in the morning, get up, brush my teeth, look myself in the
mirror and say that I did everything I possibly could do to get it done
and it just didn't happen."
Chris Berman, after the Broncos defeated the Packers 31-24 to win Super
Bowl XXXII (SportsCenter, 1998): "This cements John Elway's place in history.
By the way, it's a place that's been there for him all along."
Tony Kornheiser, on Greg Norman's collapse in the final round of the
1996 Masters (The Sports Reporters, 1997): "Norman must have died a thousand
deaths out there. People who wanted him humbled got more than they asked
for. Who knows if Norman will ever win another major, but I think I'm on
the side of the angels when I say I'm rooting for him."
Greg Norman (Sunday Conversation, 1997): "I screwed up."
Bill Murray, on how the media treated Greg Norman after he blew his
six-stroke lead (Up Close, 1996): "When someone has a bad day like that
on the golf course, you say, Greg, you look good, you look fantastic. I
like your shoes, I like your pants, I like your . . . well, the hat's okay.
I mean, you need to keep it light. Instead they say, Greg, what's next?
Suicide? Alcoholism? Drugs?"
Richard Nixon, on how he responds to the losers in a championship ("All
the Presidents' Games," Outside the Lines, 1992): I always write the losers,
because I know that when you win you hear from everybody, but when you
lose, you hear from your friends."
Barry Sanders, on why he doesn't strut after scoring (Sunday Conversation,
1994): "Usually it just doesn't come to mind. I'm tired, I want to get
back to the bench."
Wayne Gretzky, on if he still likes being called The Great One (Up Close,
1996): I'm more comfortable with people just calling me Wayne. There's
been a couple of stretches in my career where I probably could have been
The Good One or The Mediocre One."
Jimmy Roberts, on Tiger Woods's persona (ESPN.SportsZone, 1997): What
is often mistaken for aloofness and arrogance is really nothing more than
the demeanor of a basically shy and reticent young man. Just remember,
when you were 20 years old, how do you think you would have handled all
Martina Hingis (Up Close, 1997): "It flatters me to be compared to Tiger
Woods, but I always say, I'm even younger. I've had more success in tennis.
I've reached a little more."
Larry Holmes (Sunday Conversation, 1992): "I feel I'm the best thing
ever to happen to this world. I think God blessed me. I'm the greatest
thing ever. I love me! Thank God for Larry Holmes."
Charles Barkley, on NBA salaries in the late '90s compared to when he
entered the league in 1984 (Up Close Primetime, 1997): "You guys didn't
get a hundred million dollars because you were worth it. You got it because
you were just born later."
Frank Robinson, on escalating baseball salaries (Up Close Primetime,
1996): "I think Joe DiMaggio described it best when they asked him what
he would be worth today. He said, 'I'd walk in and say to the owner, Hello
Rebecca Lobo (Sportsmanship in the '90s Town Meeting, 1997): "The athlete
is not the one who decides whether or not they're a role model. It's the
young kid out there who's watching you, and you respect that responsibility."
Dennis Rodman, on his role as a rebounder (ESPN Radio Network, 1995):
"I'm the gravedigger - I put the body in the hole."
Packer fan Randy Rutherford, on the Lambeau Leap ("Inside Titletown
U.S.A.," Outside the Lines, 1996): In New York they throw stuff at the
players. Here the players throw themselves at us."
Rick Pitino ("Coaching in the '90s," Outside the Lines, 1993): "Back
in the old days, you just told the players what to do. Today you can't
do that - you have to tell them what to do, why they're doing it, how to
do it and where it's going to lead them."
President Bill Clinton ("All the Presidents' Games," Outside the Lines,
1992): "If Mike Ditka was running for President, I'm not sure I'd get my
Grant Hill (Up Close Primetime, 1997): "People think of Coach Knight
as some crazy wild man. But I've learned in my short career in basketball
that every coach is a crazy and wild man. Especially the great ones."
Nick Bakay (SportsCenter, 1996): "There will be no peace on Lake Erie
until the Dawg Pound gets to toss Art Modell's head around the stadium
like a beach ball at a Foghat concert."
Dennis Rodman, on his relationship with David Stern (Up Close, 1997):
"I'd like to take David Stern as my prisoner, strip off all his clothes,
rub lipstick and makeup all over him, dress him up like Frank Sinatra and
sing to him, 'I Did it My Way.'"
Charley Steiner, reporting on Tyson-Holyfield II (SportsCenter, 1997):
"Evander Holyfield and a portion of his right ear arrived at Valley Hospital
tonight. In separate cars."
Chris Berman, putting the Broncos victory in Super Bowl XXXII into perspective
(SportsCenter, 1998): "The image of the number 0 has been larger than life:
0-3 for Elway in the Super Bowl; 0-4 for Denver in the Super Bowl; 0-9
for the illustrious quarterback class of 1983; 0-13 for the AFC in Super
Bowls since 1984. And, in one fell swoop, the 0-fers were goners."
Bill Conlin, on the respective futures of Latrell Sprewell and P.J.
Carlesimo (The Sports Reporters, 1997): "Latrell Sprewell will play more
games in the NBA than P.J. Carlesimo will coach."
Barry Switzer, responding to reports Leon Lett would be found in violation
of the NFL drug policy for the second time (NFL PrimeTime, 1996): "I don't
want to know. I never want to know."
Marge Schott, on Adolf Hitler (Sunday Conversation, 1996): "When he
came in, he was good. He built tremendous highways and he got all the,
you know, factories going and everything. He was good at the beginning,
but then he went nuts. He went berserk, I guess, and I think even his own
generals tried to kill him, didn't they? Everybody in history knows that
he was good at the beginning but he just went too far."
Marge Schott, when asked if she was happy (Sunday Conversation, 1996):
"Well, I'm not ashamed."
O.J. Simpson, on whether being a celebrity influences his behavior (Up
Close, 1989): "I never wanted to be a victim of my celebrity, saying that
I couldn't do that because I'm O.J. and the people don't expect it. What
I do, I do if it's morally acceptable to myself."
Mike Tyson (Up Close Primetime, 1997): "We need to show our heart, our
determination. We're there to spill our blood. If we think we're there
just to look good and gain fans, no, that's not it. We're there to suffer.
We're there to die."
Allen Iverson, after being arrested for speeding and possession of a
gun and marijuana, on how he would explain it to his daughter (Sunday Conversation,
1997): "Daddy made a mistake."
Wilt Chamberlain, on abstinence (Sunday Conversation, 1993): "I can
believe in it. I don't know how long I can sustain it."
Michael Jordan, on his retirement from the NBA (Sunday Conversation,
1995): "I can walk away from the game and not worry about a lot of things
that happened, the traveling, the stardom, the respect, the money. Those
are all monetary things that don't mean much to me anyway. I play the game
because I love the game. If I don't have a purpose, I walk away from the
Billy Crystal, on Mickey Mantle (SportsCenter, 1991): "He just was everything.
If it was a hot, gorgeous day and I lived right on the beach, I'm inside
watching the Yankees. I limp like him. I walk like him. At my Bar Mitzvah
I had an Oklahoma accent. After my haftorah I wanted a beer. And I think
I once told my parents, Play me or trade me."
Ken Griffey Jr., on Cal Ripken Jr. (Sunday Conversation, 1996): "He
makes us all look bad."
ABC News chairman Roone Arledge, on Howard Cosell ("Howard Cosell: His
Life and Times," Outside the Lines, 1991): "He's the garlic that makes
the stew work."
Jesse Jackson ("Breaking the Line: Jackie Robinson's Legacy," Outside
the Lines, 1997): "On that dash between birth and death is where our lives
are lived. On that dash many live meaningless or meaningful lives. Jackie,
on that dash, emerged as an authentic American and, indeed, global hero.
"On that dash, Jackie stole bases. On that dash, he solved the pain
of others. On that dash, he swung the bat while pitchers threw balls at
his head. On that dash, Jackie bore the burden and the scars of a people,
the destiny of a nation.
"And then, of course, 25 years after playing baseball, Jackie made the
dash home. He stole home. The team won. America won. Jackie won. Because
God sent this very special person our way to make us better."
Howard Cosell, on Mike Tyson (SportsCenter, 1992): "He's a common criminal
who's getting what he deserves. He's finished, washed up, deserves to be,
period. He's a thug."