Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 72 Humorous Quotes from Our Readers

A week ago, I sent out a request to a number of our readers to see if they had any favorite humorous stories or quotes about the sport of Track and Field

Sylvia Gleason:  The Talmud says it is ok to tell a lie or break a law if it will save someone's life.  We're not supposed to run on the Sabbath, but if I stayed at home that day and did nothing I would probably kill somebody.

Ernie Cunliffe, Stanford University, US Olympic team 800 meters 1960, wrote:
Our coach Payton Jordan wrote slogans on the dressing room wall.  One was :  "Champions are gracious and humble."  Someone added two words   "and fast." 

Steve Price:
Two quotes from   Wayne Yarcho (U. of Nebraska, 1939).  Wayne was a track athlete, then road runner, later a race walker.

After participating in a 24 hour relay (8 guys running repeat miles for a day) Wayne stated.
"You know,  this is almost too much of a good thing."

The other memorable quote from Wayne was:  "I'd push my mother out of the way to finish one place higher in a race."    I am not sure   he didn't really meant it.

Ed Bowes:  "I'm a masochist when I run, and a sadist when I coach."

From Bruce Kritzler comes a Marty Liquori quote. 
"Road racing is  Rock and Roll.  But track racing is Carnegie Hall."
Doug Brown always told the team, "Never bet on a horse with a hard-on." Also told them, "Don't piss down your leg" (meaning don't choke).

From George Brose:   on  Bill Carroll, former coach at the U. of Oklahoma (1959-63).  He would have a team meeting at the beginning of the year.  Bill had a habit of getting all nervous and worked up while he was talking.  He would say something like.
"You're grown men now, not high schoolers.  So I'm not going to lay down any rules."  This would go on for awhile, and then at the end he was really carrying  on  like a Baptist preacher in a lather, and I distinctly remember the capstone to that speech was.  "Keep it in your pants, and dammit , go to church on Sunday!"

True but not so funny,  we usually went on Spring Break to Arizona State for a dual or triangular meet, then down to U. of Arizona for a dual meet.   Normally we  got dusted pretty bad as we were just coming out of indoor season and the Arizona teams were three meets  into their outdoor season.  Well, we upset Arizona edging them on the last event, the mile relay.  After the meet one of our top athletes went to the coach and suggested that a nice reward for the win would be a trip down to Mexico, so the coach rented three white convertibles. We drove down to Nogales for the day/evening and three guys came back with something they picked up in a bordello.  Team meeting a week later.   The coach says, well, our broad jumper came back with a runny nose.  Any of you others having a similar problem?  
One that comes to mind was from one of my teammates Anthony Watson at Oklahoma describing the runners at Texas Southern University who were tearing up the relay circuit in the mid 1960's. 
"They put their pants on one leg at a time......vastly superior legs.

From Walt Mizell, former Oklahoma half miler on Bill Carroll the OU track coach:

One of Bill's favorite sayings when meeting the team before an important track meet was,
    "This ain't no county track meet."
 Hal Higdon once told a story in possibly  "On the Run from Dogs and People" about being on a long Sunday morning run in the Bible belt in the Midwest.   As he approached a church that was emptying after the Sunday service,  a couple of old biddies looked with distain and horror at the near naked heathen coming down the road.   The runner/heathen yelled up to the old gals,  "Ladies, for the last two hours, I've been closer to God than you will ever be." 

Along the lines of the Higdon story…
A riding buddy of mine Wayne DuBois told me once how to justify missing Sunday services for a ride. -  “I’m pretty sure the good Lord would rather I be on my bike thinking about him than sitting in church thinking about my bike!”
From Ray Olfky (Centerville, OH)
From Bill Blewett U. of Oklahoma

 I like the quote of Abe Lemons, the Oklahoma City University basketball coach and humorist who once said, "track is the easiest sport to  coach.  Just tell the runners to bear left and hurry back."

From Stephen Fisher,  
Yes, that sounds like Abe Lemons. He also said, in my hearing, "No, I don't jog. I wanna be sick when I die." Some time after that Billy Tubbs got his ass nearly killed running on  a Norman, OK  road, but I think Abe was referring to actual illness. Runners are too healthy.

These quotes from Abe Lemons are so good, I had to look up some more to include.

"One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn't do you any good."
"I told [Johnny] Bench once, 'If you had come with me, you could be the principal of a high school by now'."                                                   
"Coaches are creatures of habit. I knew a coach who got a deal going where his players had to run a mile in six minutes. I asked why. He said, 'gut check'."                                                   

From John Bork  1961 NCAA 880 Champion at Western Michigan.

George the best track and field quote I remember was by John Telford of Wayne State University,who made a USA team and toured Europe
in 1959 or thereabouts.

When he was participating in a "clinic" he was asked how he ran the 400.
John's response was "I start out all out and then gradually build up the speed".

My favorite sports quote was in the aftermath of Mark Spitz' 6 gold medal preformance. at the Munich Games.
When a reporter asked another Swimmer who won a single Gold medal  from USC, what he thought about Spitz'
amazing performance he said "It could have happened to a nicer guy!" 

The craziest story I heard was before the 1972 Olympic Games. As I remember it  the AAU Committee was meeting and were dolling out
positions for the 1971 Team management and coaching positions. When someone nominated Eldon Fix, who was from a small Oregon school and was a long time AAU "plugger" was nominated for head coach: 
But, Olympic Coach for 1972 - Bill Bowerman, shot up out of his chair and said "You can't choose Eldon Fix, He's a potato head!!
The guys on either side of Coach Bowerman, tried to restain him and get him back into his chair.
So, much for Bowerman's disdain for AAU croniism !

George: I had a super polite girl I coached in High School cross country. When she would pass someone during race she would say EXCUSE ME!!

I also had a boy scout, my  number two runner on the  team.  In one meet he came in toward the back of the pack. I came up to him after the race wondering what had happened. He showed me with excitement his collection of praying mantis insects all over his jersey that he collected during the race for a school project !!

Quote: My Dad thought that the only reason to do Track and Field is to Win. If not “you might as well stay home and work.” He said that “Run For Fun” sh.t is for losers.

My father would go to the track with me occasionally to watch and time me ,in the summer when I was home from college. One day Dad said some cat he worked with  said he could beat him in  a sprint. They were going to race on lunch break in a alley at General Motors. So Dad said would I time him for a 100 yard dash. He was wearing slip on canvas Vans like shoes.  With a standing start he ran 10.9 hand timed. He was a chain smoker, coughed for 10 mins. I said you better walk some. He said he was waiting for his ass to catch up with him. Dad was WWII seabee. He was 56 at the time.s!!



Phil Scott



This from an Aussie website:  How's the nipples Mate?"
        "Fantastic..they are the only part of me that doesn't hurt"
        Conversation after the 10km event at the Noosa Half Marathon
This was  purloined from the internet.  I had to wade through a lot of inspirational, syrupy tripe.  This one got through the filter.


If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want -- Why? Because
(a) you'll burn all the calories you consume,
(b) you deserve it, and
(c) you'll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.
--Don Kardong

Here is a link to some digital age track humor.  I think we ran this one a few months ago.  number 5 definitely is material for a blonde joke.
The inspiration for this exercise came from the list of football hockey and baseball quips below.

"Last year we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure as a coach was that I couldn't think of anyplace else to play."
- Harry Neale, professional hockey coach
"Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch."
- Reggie Jackson commenting on Tom Seaver
"I'm working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time.  If I can just die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect."
- Doug Sanders, professional golfer
"All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, 'See, there's a fat guy doing okay.  Bring me another beer.'"
- Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers Pitcher
"When it's third and ten, you can have the milk drinkers; I'll take the whiskey drinkers every time."
- Max McGee, Green Bay Packers receiver
"I found out that it's not good to talk about my troubles.  Eighty percent of the people who hear them don't care and the other twenty percent are glad you're having them."
- Tommy LaSorda, LA Dodgers manager
"My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren't as good."
- Vic Braden, tennis instructor
"When they operated, I told them to add in a Koufax fastball.  They did – but unfortunately it was Mrs. Koufax's."
- Tommy John N.Y. Yankees, recalling his 1974 arm surgery
"I don't know. I only played there for nine years."
- Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry ever smiles
"We were tipping off our plays.  Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one was pale as a ghost."
- John Breen, Houston Oilers
"The film looks suspiciously like the game itself."
- Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints, after viewing a lopsided loss to Atlanta Falcons
"When I'm on the road, my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo."
- Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher
"I have discovered in 20 years of moving around the ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats."
- Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner
"Because, if it didn't work out, I didn't want to blow the whole day."
- Paul Horning, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon.
"I have a lifetime contract.      That means I can't be fired during the third quarter if we're ahead and moving the ball."
- Lou Holtz, Arkansas football coach
"I won't know until my barber tells me on Monday."
- Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game.
"I tell him 'Attaway to hit, George.'"
- Jim Frey, K.C. Royals manager when asked what advice he gives George Brett on hitting
"I learned a long time ago that 'minor surgery' is when they do the operation on someone else, not you."
- Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers
"Our biggest concern this season will be diaper rash."
- George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores.
"The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday."
- Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach
And my favorite, which I can really identify with, is:
"My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget."
- E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations 


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