Bob Frisk's favorite sports quotes of 2008
That was a short retirement.
I'm back. For one day.
Where did the year go? How can it possibly be time for another column of my favorite sports quotes?
I always consider this column an adventure of both hard work and enjoyment. It's fun.
The hard work centers on the discipline and persistence required in the intensive research process that covers 12 months. The fun is reserved for the readers.
Once again, golf, for whatever reason, is the runaway leader in making the most contributions to this column.
For those readers who have always said I saved the best for last every year, this is your day. We all need something to smile about in these challenging times.
I hope I succeeded today.
Welcome to the 2008 version of the funny, witty and sarcastic quotes from our sports world.
Lou Piniella, fielding reporters' questions at the annual Cubs Convention: "You guys better hurry up and ask me quick, because one more Bloody Mary and you're not going to understand anything I say."
Ralph Nader, responding to The Washington Post's decision that it wouldn't cover his presidential campaign because he had no chance of winning: "Then why are you covering the Nationals?"
Pat Riley, former Miami coach, when his NBA Heat were 11-46: "I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do. I just don't know where to start."
Venus Williams, tennis star, on her surprise at how popular she is in Poland: "I thought maybe my last name was Williamsowski or something."
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs pitcher, on his diet of water, Gatorade and bananas to stop late-inning pain in his right arm. "Sometimes I go home and I feel full, too many bananas. More than one. I feel like a monkey now."
Mario Andretti, on the importance of soccer in Italy: "First, mother love. Second, soccer. Maybe a photo finish."
Chuck Long of Wheaton, when his San Diego State football team was 1-8: "We really have done well from Sunday through Friday."
Herman Edwards, coach of the struggling Kansas City Chiefs, on whether he's a candidate for the job at San Diego State: "I've got a college team now."
Mike Gillespie, UC Irvine baseball coach, on complaints that the school's anteater mascot isn't ferocious enough: "If you're an ant, then an anteater is ferocious."
Joey Sindelar, Champions Tour player, on his struggling short game: "I think the only way I can explain it to my sons, who are 18 and 15, is that my scoring software has a virus."
Jeff Grybash, after being named the new Buffalo Grove High School baseball coach, on why he changed his mind after originally wanting to be a lawyer: "I saw they (lawyers) worked 80 hours a week. So I decided to take less money and work 80 hours a week."
Alexander Sukhorukov, Russian swimmer, describing what it is like to race against Michael Phelps: "He may be human, but he's from a different planet, a different galaxy."
Johnny Miller, NBC golf analyst, on the pressures of the Ryder Cup compared to regular golf tournaments: "It's like Michael Phelps training with a great white shark in the pool."
Kobe Bryant, on how his Los Angeles Lakers blew a 20-point, second-half lead and lost to the Boston Celtics 97-91 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals: "We just wet the bed. A nice big one too. One of the ones you can't put a towel over."
Charles Barkley, regarding the steroid allegations haunting Barry Bonds: "You all act like it's a big deal to gain weight when you get old. I got it down to an exact science."
Andrew Coltart, European Tour golfer, complaining about the toughening of courses for major championship venues: "When athletes start running the 100 meters too quickly, they don't suddenly make it 102 meters."
Paul Casey, when asked if he planned to go to practice after shooting 79-70-76 in the first three rounds of the U.S. Open: "I'm not sure the range is the place to go. A padded cell might be nice."
Vijay Singh, PGA Tour's FedEx Cup champion, on trying to stay in shape at age 45: "The older you get, the harder it is to feel younger."
Babil Bindra, after son Abhinav won the 10-meter air rifle to take India's first ever individual Olympic gold: "Now I have lots of work ahead as he is the country's most eligible bachelor."
Mike Greenberg of "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio, on whether he thinks Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson is a rivalry: "No. Not unless you consider a hammer and a nail a rivalry."
Geoff Russell, golf writer, when Tiger Woods unveiled plans for a $100 million resort course on the Baja California coast: "If you're looking for something that is recession-proof, Woods might be it."
Geoff Ogilvy, on the first golf major in more than 10 years to be played without Woods: "I just hope they've taught the engraver how to put an asterisk on the trophy."
Stewart Cink, after getting blown away by Woods in match play: "Maybe we ought to slice him open to see what's inside. Maybe it's nuts and bolts."
Toby Harrah, on the year he played for the New York Yankees: "Everybody should play for the Yankees one time just so they get an idea of what it's really like to be hated by everybody."
Lou Holtz, on his greatest thrill coaching at South Carolina: "Someone wrote a great new football song for us which could only be sung after a winning game, but by the time we won a game everyone had forgotten the words."
Felix Trinidad, 35-year-old boxer, after hitting the canvas twice in a unanimous-decision loss to Roy Jones Jr.: "If I could have avoided the knockdowns, I think I could have won the fight."
Bill Maher of HBO, on Roger Clemens: "You can't deny you did steroids if your head is wider than it is tall."
Greg Norman, captain of the 2009 International Presidents Cup team, when asked how his charges will match up against the U.S. team, led by Fred Couples: "We can outdrink their team. I'll put Ernie Els up against anybody."
Steve Elkington, 44, whose last golf victory was in 1999, on why he is playing more: "My son, who is 11, asked me where I bought all my trophies."
Brian Burke, the NHL Ducks general manager, on reports that he was considering firing Anaheim's coach: "Randy Carlyle is as safe as a baby in a car seat in a Hummer."
James Caan, actor, after hitting his first tee shot into the water in round one of a celebrity pro-am: "I smoked the ball. I killed a bass."
Jack Vettriano, famous Scottish artist, when asked by the National Galleries of Scotland to paint a portrait of golfer Colin Montgomerie: "I'm afraid the answer is no. I don't do men with breasts."
Joe Namath, Hall of Fame quarterback: "The only time in my life I questioned the mercy of God was when I looked at my knees after I retired."
Louise Suggs, LPGA Hall of Famer, accepting her second prestigious award in two years: "I'm more famous now than when I was famous."
Pat Knight, Texas Tech basketball coach, after his team lost to Kansas 109-51: "I feel like someone put a meat necklace around my neck and threw me into the lions' den."
Ron Chandler, Cedar City (Utah) Golf Club manager, explaining a local rule to writers: "You don't lose a stroke if a prairie dog takes your ball."
Jack Kemp, former Bills quarterback who went on to become an outstanding political figure: "I knew that politics were for me the day I tossed my hat into the ring and it was intercepted."
John Daly, to a spectator who asked Daly to autograph an empty beer can at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic: "Don't you have a full one?"
Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics coach, after being asked how long Kevin Garnett would be out with a strained abdominal muscle: "You know Doc's a nickname, correct?"
Tim Woods, former high school student from Indianapolis, after setting the world record for sit-ups by doing 15,525 in 10 hours, and being asked what his next goal would be: "Going to the bathroom."
Rory Sabbatini, PGA Tour player: "Lick the lollipop of mediocrity once and you'll suck forever."
Elaine Fulps, 60-year-old fan who won a $10,000 funeral at a Grand Prairie AirHogs minor-league game: "I almost croaked many times. God has me around for a reason - to win a funeral."
Gregg Brandon, Bowling Green football coach after watching his Falcons lose 63-7 to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6: "I don't know what happened. We were out of it before we were in it."
Carl Edwards, NASCAR driver, on being a substitute schoolteacher in a tough area before becoming a full-time driver: "You're not really teaching as a substitute. You're just making sure the kids don't end up in a hospital."
Alia Kudryavtseva, explaining what spurred her to an upset victory over Maria Sharapova in Wimbledon's second round: "I don't like her outfit."
Morgan Freeman, co-star of the movie "The Bucket List," when asked what would be on his personal bucket list if he only had a short time to live: "I'd like to break 90."
Coco Crisp, Red Sox outfielder, on the team's decision to stop fans from spreading cremation ashes at Fenway Park: "It's kind of freaky knowing you're diving into somebody's grandpa."
Happy New Year!