It's that time of the year. We meet again.
The end of 2010 brings me back to these Daily Herald sports pages, where I spent 50 enjoyable years until my retirement in December of 2008.
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When I retired, I decided to stop writing but still keep one tradition going that appeared to enjoy a nice following through the years. I just needed to maintain the discipline that enabled me to collect my favorite sports quotes.
In a way, it's even easier now for me to find my favorite quotes because I have more leisure time and do a lot of reading. When I read something I like starting in January, the quote immediately enters a desk drawer at home. I don't even look in that drawer until this time of the year when it's time to make the final decisions.
I must admit this is an enjoyable project every year. It's always interesting to hear people rank their favorite quotes after the column appears. There's always a difference of opinion as to the No. 1 favorite.
Now make your No. 1 pick and compare it with family and friends. I hope you enjoy this 2010 version of the humorous side of our wide and wonderful world of sports:
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball coach and lifelong Cubs fan, on establishing standards for his Blue Devils: "Just judge people for who they are right now. We're not the Yankees. We're not, thank goodness, the Cubs."
Bud Selig, baseball commissioner and former Milwaukee Brewers owner, on the unveiling of a statue in his likeness outside Milwaukee's Miller Park: "The guy didn't have much to work with, considering I've never been confused with Clark Gable."
DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins cornerback, on his NFL-record-tying four-interception game against the Bears: "I had my mom, aunt and my two cousins in the stands. The first ball went to my mom, the second ball to my aunt and the next thing you knew, everybody had a ball."
Lou Piniella, former Cubs manager: "I'm really not a Facebook or Twitter guy. I'm a prime-rib-and-baked-potato guy."
Piniella again, reacting to criticism from broadcaster Steve Stone: "I won over 1,800 games as a manager and I'm not a damn dummy, I can tell you that."
Piniella again: "Look, you could bring a live goat here and put it in the dugout and it wouldn't bother me. Oh, Lord, I shouldn't say that. Scratch that."
Vin Scully, legendary baseball broadcaster, after falling at his house and being hospitalized: "I'm supposed to cut back on dangling participles, and I'm not allowed to split any infinitives for at least another week."
Helen Upperton, Canadian bobsledder, on how she focused for the Winter Olympics: "My sister locked me out of my Facebook."
Bailey North, Buffalo Grove High School basketball player, when she hit two clutch free throws in a 49-47 upset win over state-ranked Wheeling: "In the back of my mind, I knew I could make them. But in the front of my mind I wasn't too stable."
Christina Kim, LPGA star, on the U.S. Solheim Cup team's visit to the White House: "It was probably the quietest I've been since I was born."
Kim again, referring to Japanese player Sakuta Yokomine before the final round of the U.S. Women's Open: "Phew. I'm glad I don't have to play behind Yokomine today. She's slower than trying to bake a pie with a lighter."
Johnny Miller, NBC golf analyst, on Phil Mickelson during the Ryder Cup: "If he couldn't chip, he'd be selling cars in San Diego."
Robert Allenby, PGA player, when asked about the gallery reaction to his hole-in-one at the 233-yard 13th hole in the WGC-CA Championship: "Well, the four people that were out there, they were pretty happy."
Allenby again, on what he'll do with the fish he caught while recuperating from surgery to repair torn ligaments on his knee after he slipped on the deck of the boat: "Now I've got three weeks to cook it."
Chris Snyder, Pirates catcher, after dropping a throw that led to a run by the Mets in an 8-7 loss: "That's a play I make 99 times out of 100. Well, I guess now it's 98 times."
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald after Florida football coach Urban Meyer ranted against an Orlando reporter, calling him a bad guy: "Urban should know. Almost 30 of his players have been arrested over the years, so he apparently knows a bad guy when he sees one."
Matt Bradley, Washington right wing, on HBO's uncensored "Hard Knocks" series that focused on the Capitals and Penguins: "Hockey players don't swear, so we don't have to worry about that."
Alain Vigneault, Canucks coach on his goaltender Roberto Luongo after a 7-4 playoff loss to the Blackhawks: "He's the second-best goalie on the ice."
Scott Gordon, Islanders coach, on his goalie, Rick DiPietro, who allowed 13 goals in a two-game stretch: "If everything were going good for him, he'd be having success."
Morgan Pressel of the LPGA to her playing partner, Daniel Watkins, at the P&G Northwest Arkansas Championship after the 17-year-old First Tee participant said he was nervous about errant shots and hitting someone: "I told him Tiger hits it all over the place and has a lot more spectators than we do, so not to worry about it."
Michelle Wie, LPGA star whose latest endorsement deal is with McDonald's: "I'm 20 years old, and I'm proud to say I still eat Happy Meals. I would say it's more for the toy."
David Feherty, CBS golf analyst, on the beautiful weather conditions at Whistling Straits for the third round of the PGA Championship after two days of fog: "Gorgeous. There's only one way you can ruin a day like this, and that's to play golf."
Vern Tess, caddie for LPGA player Katherine Hull, discussing the tough setup for the U.S. Women's Open: "I figured out why they took out 8,000 trees at Oakmont. It's so people won't hang themselves."
Chris Volstad, Marlins pitcher, after Washington's Nyler Morgan charged the mound: "Obviously he's not coming to talk."
Thomas Morstead, kicker for the New Orleans Saints, who was asked how he felt when he learned coach Sean Payton wanted to open the second half of the Super Bowl with an onside kick: "I wasn't nervous. I was terrified."
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut basketball coach, addressing an NCAA investigation into alleged Huskies recruiting violations: "We may have broken rules … but we did not cheat."
Peter Gammons, Hall of Fame writer and Major League Baseball Network analyst, when asked how far the Minnesota Twins would go to re-sign hometown hero Joe Mauer: "I can see them buying Mauer the city of Duluth."
Tim Toone, Weber State wide receiver and the final pick of the NFL draft to earn the title Mr. Irrelevant, honored at a Los Angeles Angels baseball game by dragging the infield after the third inning: "Throwing out the first pitch would be too relevant."
Bruce Pearl, Tennessee basketball coach, on Pat Summitt's greatest players in her 36 years coaching the Lady Vols: "I guarantee Candace Parker wouldn't have just made my roster; she would have started for us."
John Daly, explaining one of the ways his weight loss has been bad for his golf game: "I don't have anywhere to put my elbows when I putt now."
Gant Desme, a former top prospect for the Oakland Athletics, announcing that he will quit baseball to become a priest: "I aspire to higher things."
Lee Trevino, 70, on nearing the end of his legendary golf career: "It's time to sit on the porch with a corncob pipe and a Bud."
Mark Calcavecchia, PGA player who turned 50 in June: "Someone asked me if I was excited to be going out there on the Champions Tour. I said I would be excited if the hole was bigger."
Ned Colletti, Dodgers general manager, on having seen free-agent Chien-Ming Wang throw only in a parking lot before the right-hander signed with the Nationals: "He had good command, though. He didn't hit any cars or anything."
Peter Schmuck, Baltimore sports writer, concerning the indictment of Roger Clemens: "Isn't it great to live in a society where the penalty for lying to a congressman can be up to 30 years in jail, but the penalty for a congressman lying to you is another two years in office."
John Moffitt, offensive lineman at Wisconsin, when asked if he even broke a sweat in one of the Badgers' football routs: "I break a sweat peeling an orange, so that's never a tough thing."
Mike Leach, former Texas Tech football coach, philosophizing on the use of timeouts: "They're a little bit like money. You don't want to die with them and give them to your kids, so you might as well use them if you need them."
Shaquille O'Neal, asked about becoming the fifth NBA player to score 28,000 points: "I got a call from my father and he said, 'I'm not going to congratulate you, dummy, because if you had hit your free throws, you would have made 33,000.'"
Shane O'Brien of the NHL Canucks, who needed several stitches to close a cut between his eyes, on what he thought when he saw all his blood: "I was hoping I could still be an underwear model after my career is over."
Al Michaels, legendary sports announcer, on how lucky he is to be living his current life: "I don't want to come back in the next life because I'll be in Mongolia in a sulfur mine working the night shift."
Doug Thompson, general manager of the Hyland Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., on the dried-out condition of the course after its watering system shorted out, leaving the course without irrigation for 26 days: "Our fairways were awful. They looked like Fort Bragg had messed up its firing range coordinates."
Bus Cook, agent for NFL quarterback Brett Favre, after learning that Favre once again was drawing out his decision of whether to return to the game in 2010: "Play, don't play. People are getting sick of it. I'm getting sick of it."
Bob Baffert, legendary trainer, on his horse drawing the deadly No. 1 post position in the Kentucky Derby: "It's like I was on the one-yard line in the Super Bowl and got a 15-yard penalty."
Doc Rivers, Celtics coach, after Glen "Big Baby" Davis suffered a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals: "I don't know what kind of test they can give him. He's delirious half the time anyway."
Ronald Nored of the Butler Bulldogs, talking about the team's jowly bulldog mascot, Blue II, during the NCAA basketball tournament: "When we run out for the starting lineups, we touch Old Blue on the head. Sometimes he barks, sometimes he bites. You have to play through it."
Hal Gill, Canadiens defenseman, on the feelings between Montreal and Philadelphia in hockey: "It's fun to hate the Flyers, just like it's fun for them to hate our fans and our team. It should be a good series as far as hate goes."
Miguel Batista, journeyman relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals, who was booed when the fans realized rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg wasn't going to pitch: "Imagine if you go there to see Miss Universe and you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos."
If I made you smile, it's mission accomplished for another year.
For obvious reasons, because I will be 75 in June, I hope we meet here again in 2011.
Happy New Year!