The calendar doesn’t lie. Another year has raced by in my fourth year of retirement from the Daily Herald.
That calendar also brings me to what you see here today.
When I retired after 50 years at the newspaper, I decided to stop writing. However, those plans did change two times in 2012. I returned to writing a column to my 14-year-old grandson as he entered high school, a tradition I had followed for the first 10 years of his life.
Today, I also am keeping an annual tradition alive by offering my favorite sports quotes of the year. This writing exercise started so many years ago I have lost track of the exact date.
In a way, it’s even easier now for me to find my favorite sports quotes because I have more leisure time and do a lot of reading. However, it still requires personal discipline.
When I read or even hear something I like, starting in January, I immediately file it away in a desk drawer at home. I don’t even look at that collection until just before putting this column together.
I enjoy preparing this annual project and hate to leave out any of the quotes, but space obviously dictates.
Now make your No. 1 pick and compare it with family and friends. I have not presented them in the order of my favorites.
I hope you enjoy this 2012 version of the humorous side of our wide and wonderful world of sports.
Arnold Palmer, golfing legend, while receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his service to the country, for promoting excellence and sportsmanship: “I’m particularly proud of anything that the House and Senate agree on.”
Mike Brey, Notre Dame basketball coach, on his team being scheduled to play Cincinnati on Jan. 7, the night of the BCS football title game: “I may get thrown out at halftime and end up in an Irish bar.”
Lee Westwood, European Ryder Cup player, after his team’s dramatic victory at Medinah Country Club: “We’ll get together with the American team tonight and have a few beers. But our beer will taste better.”
NaVorro Bowman, 49ers linebacker, on Aldon Smith’s 5½ sacks in a 32-7 victory over the Bears: “I thought he was paying off the tackles, it was so easy.”
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, White Sox announcer, who launched an on-air tirade against umpire Mark Wegner and was then admonished by Commissioner Bud Selig: “We had a talk. Actually Bud talked and I listened. If it had been a prize fight, they would have stopped it in the first round.”
Giselle Bundchen, supermodel and wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, after the Super Bowl: “My husband cannot throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”
Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants, responding to Bundchen’s criticism: “She just needs to stay cute and shut up.”
Mike Trout, Angels outfielder, on living with his parents during the off-season: “No curfew. I live in the basement. I got everything I need. Home cooking … it’s awesome.”
Juli Inkster of the LPGA on how she was spending her time while recovering from elbow surgery and not playing golf: “The poor dog is walked to death. Every time I grab the leash, she just cringes.”
Morris Claiborne, LSU cornerback, on scoring only 4 on the NFL’s Wonderlic test given to draftees: “I mean, I looked at the test, and wasn’t nothing on the test that came with football, so I pretty much blew the test off.”
Jim Leyland, Tigers manager, on the end of spring training: “I’m ready to go. I’m Applebee’s out.”
Bubba Watson, after winning the Masters on the second hole of a playoff: “I never got this far in my dreams.”
Watson, asked why he never asks his longtime caddie, Ted Scott, to help with his swing? “He’s not very good. That’s why he’s a caddie.”
Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers announcer, talking to NBC’s Dan Patrick about his 14 career home runs: “Three came off Hall of Famers (Sandy Koufax, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins). Perry told me it was the worst day of his life. Not just his baseball life. His whole life.”
Kevin Love, forward for the Timberwolves: “A slump is like a comfortable bed. Easy to get into, hard to get out of.”
Magic Johnson, after he and his Guggenheim partners agreed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion: “I plan to be heavily involved. I just wrote a big check.”
Lawrence Frank, Pistons coach, after his team trailed Washington 34-30 at halftime but won 79-77. “The NBA called. They want to throw us both out of the building.”
Chris Singleton of the Wizards, about buying 10,000 one-dollar Mega Million lottery tickets after the jackpot reached $640 million: “It was either that or blowing it in the clubs.”
Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State center, after the Spartans upset second-seeded Missouri in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament: “We even messed up my bracket.”
Sergei Kirdyapkin, Russian gold medalist in the 50-kilometer race walk: “We are not just right in the head. That’s why we do it.”
Zoltan Szecsi, goal keeper for the Hungarian water polo team at the Olympics: “They picked me for a doping test. They simply cannot believe such a great body can be built without any banned stuff.”
Bill Snyder, Kansas State football coach, when asked to compare his current team to the one that came within a victory of playing in the BCS title game: “I’m 73 years old. I hardly remember what happened yesterday, let alone 1998.”
Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox right-hander, upon being named the club’s closer in April: “I’m excited. I really am. I know it doesn’t look like it. I have a bad face.”
Gabrielle Douglas, 16-year-old Olympic gymnast, responding to social media postings about her hair being unkempt during her history-making routines: “Really? I won 2 gold medals and … what’s trending is my hair?”
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies reliever, upset at umpire D.J. Reyburn after a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers: “I just wanted to know if he could throw me out for what I was thinking.”
Tom Bradley, boxer, seconds after he was announced as the controversial split-decision winner over Manny Pacquiao: “I’ve got to view the tape and see if I really won.”
Lt. Robert Swanigan, of the Georgetown (Ky.) police, after a 73-year-old Louisville fan punched a 68-year-old Kentucky fan during a basketball argument at a clinic for kidney patients: “I think this is a first at a dialysis clinic.”
Sonya Thomas, after eating 45 hot dogs in 20 minutes to win the women’s segment of the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest: “I’m going to be 45 so I wanted to eat my age.”
Robert Garrigus, after shooting 194 for 54 holes and breaking Arnold Palmer’s Canadian Open record: “Oops. Sorry, Arnie.”
James Corrigan, writer for the Daily Telegraph, after a BBC commentator called Bradley Wiggins’ cycling road race gold medal “one of the great accomplishments by any human from these islands”: “Yep, it’s right up there with the discovery of penicillin.”
Vin Scully, announcing he’ll return for another season as Dodgers play-by-play man in 2013: “I have to go over my carefully prepared ad-libs.”
Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants linebacker, after a 24-17 loss to Dallas: “I haven’t been held this much since I was a baby.”
Bart Scott, Jets linebacker, refusing to talk to the media after a victory over Buffalo: “I’m holding a media mutiny.”
Clarke MacArthur, Maple Leafs winger, after a 3-0 home loss to the Rangers: “You can see why they win a lot of games. They just try to bore you out of the rink.”
Bobby Valentine, Red Sox manager, before he was fired: “This is probably the weakest roster in baseball in September in the history of baseball.”
Valentine, after the Red Sox blew a 9-0 lead to lose to the New York Yankees for the team’s worst meltdown in 18 years: “If this isn’t the bottom, then we’ll find some new ends to the earth, I guess.”
Wayne Elliott, NFL replacement official, who gave Seattle a last-second victory over Green Bay: “I’d probably call interception now. I learned a rule by screwing up a rule.”
Ed Hochuli, NFL official and also a trial lawyer, when asked if he watched any football during the officials’ strike: “I don’t watch a lot of football for fun. I’ve tried, but I’m always looking to see if the left tackle is holding.”
Daniel Chopra, PGA Tour player, after making two holes-in-one during a practice round at Pebble Beach: “When the second one went in, I was like Tiger Woods on steroids.”
Mike Leach, first-year Washington State football coach, on his seniors after a 2-4 start: “Some of them are zombielike. Some honestly have an empty-corpse quality.”
Alex Smith, 49ers quarterback, asked if he had lost his confidence before an 18-for-19 passing performance at Arizona: “It was in my closet. I found it.”
Jeffrey Loria, baseball Marlins owner, after trading three starters to Toronto, largely for prospects: “We finished in last place. Figure it out.”
Bud Selig, baseball commissioner, on the Marlins’ controversial trade: “I want to be my usual painstaking, cautious, slow, conservative self in analyzing it.”
Pam Shriver, ESPN broadcaster, on air during the Australian Open, after reading a promo for her network’s airing of the Winter X Games: “You know, I’m happy I played a sport where you’d make a mistake and the worst thing that could happen to you was love-15.”
Jamie Moyer, 49-year-old pitcher, when asked the last time he hit a batter intentionally: “Maybe in the minor leagues. With my velocity, they would pick it up and say, ‘Hey, you dropped something.’”
Clint Hurdle, Pirates manager, after his team committed 7 errors in a 12-2 loss to the Cubs: “There’s always a sense of pride you take out on the field to play your best every night. Sometimes your best stinks.”
Jay Feaster, NHL Flames general manager, on the confrontational image of New York Rangers coach John Tortorella: “He was born without the politically correct gene.”
Ian White, Red Wings defenseman, on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: “I gotta be honest. I personally think he’s an idiot.”
Bernard Tomic, 19-year-old Australian tennis prodigy, asking a chair umpire to remove his father from the stands during the Sony Ericsson Open: “I know he’s my father, but he’s annoying me.”
Soccer legend Pele: “People always ask me: ‘When is the new Pele going to be born?’ Never. My father and mother have closed the factory.”
That’s it for another year. Did you smile? It’s nice to be back in the Daily Herald for at least one day.
For obvious reasons because I turned 76 last June, I hope we meet here again in 2013.
Happy New Year!
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