Bob Frisk looks back at some of the best Sports quotes of 2018
I'm back -- for one day.
I marched -- slowly -- past my 82nd birthday in June with relative ease, and today marks my annual return to the Daily Herald.
After retiring in December 2008 after 50 years at the Herald, I decided to keep alive -- nice choice of words -- my annual column of best sports quotes, a labor of love that I didn't want to see abandoned and readers seemed to enjoy.
I have always considered 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 extensive research process that covers 12 months. I do like to read and listen and watch. The fun is reserved for the readers, who say I save the best for last every year. That's a nice compliment.
Sit back, relax and see if family and friends agree with your favorite quotes in this latest collection. They are not presented in order of preference.
Envelopes, please. And the winners are ...
Scott Dochterman of the athletic.com after coach Lovie Smith's Illinois team lost to Iowa 63-0, the worst loss in Illini football history, before an empty house in Champaign: "All that was missing was a running clock."
Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette after the same game: "How do you repair a shattered backbone?"
Randy Edsall, football coach at Connecticut, after a 55-14 loss: "We're not big enough, we're not fast enough, we're not strong enough."
Chris Mack, former Xavier basketball coach, on the skill set of Villanova all-American Jalen Brunson, the former Stevenson High School superstar: "You peel Brunson's face off, he'd probably have wires coming out of it."
Joe Moorhead, head football coach of Mississippi State, getting his first taste of life in the South: "You can find fried chicken and biscuits at every gas station. That's pretty neat."
Tom Herman, football coach at Texas, discussing the Longhorns' offseason conditioning program last spring: "We'd know a lot more if some of these really fat guys lost some weight."
Eric Millstone, varsity boys basketball coach at Palatine, after losing a 69-65 overtime thriller to Rolling Meadows: "It was a real entertaining game. Unfortunately, we are not just in the entertainment business. This one stings a little bit."
Jim Furyk, PGA golfer and U.S. Ryder Cup captain, remembering the funniest comment he ever heard from a fan while standing on the first tee in Wales during a fog delay: "Hey, Jimmy, just follow your nose down the fairway. No way you'll get lost."
Phil Mickelson, as he attempted to try on the leather champion's belt he was awarded for beating Tiger Woods in The Match: "Is it big enough for my waist? Nope. They made it in Tiger's size."
Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Hall of Fame golfer: "I don't exaggerate. I just remember big."
Gary Player, another Hall of Fame golfer: "There is absolutely nothing humorous at the Masters. Here, small dogs do not bark and babies do not cry."
Charles Barkley, TBS broadcaster about the suddenly famous Sister Jean of Loyola during the NCAA basketball tournament: "It was pretty much 80-20 on me going to the pearly gates the other way, so I am not going to say anything bad about Sister Jean. It's going to be hard to make up that 80 percent, so I'm not going to hurt myself. I don't want to give that 20 percent away."
Mortiz Wagner of Michigan, on Sister Jean's bracket that her Ramblers busted: "I know she didn't have Loyola in the Elite Eight. She was on my Instagram a lot."
Porter Moser, on the early days in his head coaching job at Loyola: "My family members said they would walk through the school, and there would be more people in the student union than in our arena."
Bob Huggins, West Virginia basketball coach, who says he has grown as a coach because he steals good ideas from other coaches: "I've never had an original thought in my life."
Jim Thome, 2018 baseball Hall of Famer: "If you try to conduct yourself with honesty and authenticity, the result is the most natural high a human being can have."
Kevin Durant, NBA star: "Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard."
Fred Hoiberg, former Bulls coach, after C.J. McCollum of Portland scored 50 points against Chicago, 28 in the first quarter: "You have to guard. Our game plan was to blitz McCollum."
Steven Adams of New Zealand and the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, on his autobiography, which was ghostwritten: "I didn't write it. I can barely read, mate."
Nick Foles, Super Bowl-winning quarterback, on his newfound motivation since the birth of his daughter: "Takes the pressure away because I get to go home to her every night, and no matter what happens, no matter if I play a horrible game, she loves me. She has no idea."
Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers kicker, on missing four field goal attempts and one extra point in a 31-23 loss to Detroit: "I don't get this much attention unless it's really bad or extremely good. Looking back to my childhood, high school, this is one of the worst. I'm bummed about that."
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball coach, explaining his current good health: "I've got two new knees and two new hips, so I have a new body."
Jimmy Martin, Prospect High School quarterback, on teammate Michael Shafis: "I have been playing with him a long time. He is a freak, a freak of nature; I don't know any other way to describe it. The kid just does it all."
Carmen Benedetti, Double A outfielder with the Corpus Christi Hooks, after a swarm of bees swarmed the dugout, resulting in an 85 minute-delay: "Just another day in the life of a minor leaguer."
Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, when asked about upgrading the decrepit visitors clubhouse: "We're thinking about adding some hot water this year."
Roy Williams, North Carolina basketball coach, beginning his NCAA tourney news conference in Charlotte: "My opening statement is I saw that Tiger Woods just birdied."
Ester Ledecka, Czech snowboarder and Alpine skier, apologizing to the media after winning gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics: "I was not prepared to be at this ceremony, and I don't have any makeup."
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins star, who was not impressed with Philadelphia fans who put pictures of him in urinals at Wells Fargo Center: "It's not the first building that's happened to."
Will Power, Indy 500 champ, explaining how he lives up to his name: "I actually have good willpower. I really do. I can absolutely eat exactly the same meal every day just to be a little bit more healthy. I'm very disciplined that way."
Bartolo Colon, 5-11, 285-pound Rangers pitcher, after a 102-mph comebacker nailed him in the abdomen: "I have a lot of big belly so I can take it."
Dylan Bundy, starter for the Baltimore Orioles, after becoming the first pitcher in modern MLB history to allow four home runs without recording an out: "I was leaving pitches right down the middle and they were hitting them right over the fence."
John Gibbons, Toronto manager, on third baseman Josh Donaldson's right arm after struggling to throw to first base on Opening Day: "It's not a big deal. It's just dead."
Herm Edwards, head football coach at Arizona State, on the best advice he can give his social media-conscious players: "Don't press send!"
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, during a news conference about recovering from a season-ending injury and undergoing rehab on his off-season honeymoon: "Even on the honeymoon, just finding ways to get a little rehab in and things like that. I got some workouts in."
If I made you smile, mission accomplished for 2018.
Happy New Year!