Flip on the tv to watch any sort of professional sporting event and you’re faced with athletic greatness. Athletes are fine-tuned machines, at the peak of physical fitness and skill who get paid a lot of perform well, whether on the ice, pitch, field or court. Yet, just watching these athletes do their thing is never enough. We also need to have ex-players and long-time specialists give a play-by-play commentary or ‘in-depth’ analysis during slow-downs or stoppages in play. When it comes to watching professional sports, the athlete-commentator package works well and really lets us enjoy the event in question.
Of course, problems do arise from time to time. Commentators need to keep talking because dead air is bad air. Over the years you’ve likely become used to the endless clichés and cut-and-paste comments. Of course the quarterback would like to have that interception back. Of course the player who just got hit in the groin “looks like he’s in a lot of pain.” Unfortunately, being so high up in that booth means the air is thinner, the brain gets starved for oxygen and things are said which don’t really make much sense. Down on the playing surface, everything is generally fine for the athlete as long as they keep playing. When the game or match ends and the mic gets shoved into their face, anything can happen. Sometimes we just get some generalizations about team effort, bad officiating or the need to give 110%. However, every once in a while we, the sports fans, get a real gem that either puts on the floor in fits of laughter or leaves us open-mouthed, shaking our head in disbelief.
The following list looks at some of these moments by assessing 25 of the most ridiculous and funny statements made by pro-athletes and commentators over the past few decades. We’ve got a little bit of everything from most major sports. You’ll see athletes and commentators grasping with (and failing miserably at) ideas of math, politics, sex, geography and general logic. If you’ve heard your share of dumb things coming from politicians and cable news ‘experts,’ why not sit back, relax and take in some gems from the world of sports.
25 Bobby Robson
“We didn’t underestimate them. They were a lot better than we thought.”
To start off this list, we’ll throw you an easy one. Sir Bobby Robson is a legend in English football and when he finished playing in 1968 he moved onto management. In addition to the England national side, he managed clubs in England, Holland, Portugal and Spain. It’s a good thing he knew football because as the above quote demonstrates, his grasp of the English language was less than ideal.
24 Greg Norman
“I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.”
The one-time #1 ranked golfer in the world, Greg Norman has 90 professional wins to his credit as well as dozens of trophies and personal awards. To say he knows his way around the Links would be an understatement. To say the Australian, nicknamed The Shark, doesn’t get family lineage and titles would be spot on. Now, I know they can do things a bit differently Down Under - but what other parents do you have Greg?
23 Alex Rodriguez
“Therapy can be a good thing; it can be therapeutic.”
Oh A-Rod, not you too? Alex Rodriguez needs no real introduction. It’d be an understatement to say he was a very good baseball player even if he was caught up in a steroid/HGH scandal. He has batted in nearly 2000 runs*, has nearly 3000 hits*, and over 650 homeruns.* Away from the diamond, however, even he puts out the odd funny quote. Thankfully A-Rod clears up that therapy is, in fact, therapeutic. If it wasn’t we’d have problems. Now, I wonder how he feels about playing baseball under a sun which can be sunny?
22 Ruud Gullit
“We must have had 99 percent of the match, it was the other three percent that cost us.”
Over a 20-year playing career, Dutch footballer Ruud Gullit played for several different clubs and tried his hand at the outfield playing positions of defender, midfielder and forward. Everywhere he went he won league titles or domestic cups. As a manager he enjoyed considerably less success over several seasons. We can only assume he didn’t do well in math class either. Then again, the two extra percentage points could be a result of injury-time.
21 Frank Gifford
“Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.”
Did you see who survived the Ravens-Steelers game last night? Or were you too busy watching the Colts survive? Sports personalities are the kings of exaggeration. Enter Frank Gifford, the former New York Giant turned-sportscaster. While others are talking about giving 110%, 120%, heck, even 150%, Frank is talking about how the NFL is a weekly nuclear holocaust. Also, the last time we checked they don’t hand out Vince Lombardi Trophies to the survivors of nuclear wars.
20 Sherman Douglas
“I don’t want to shoot my mouth in my foot, but those are games we can win.”
Sherman Douglas was a point guard who played in the NBA from 1989 to 2001 with the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. He didn’t have a stand out career but he did leave us with this little gem of a quote. In all likelihood, the former pro just mixed up the idioms of ‘putting your foot in your mouth’ and ‘shooting yourself in the foot.’ Nevertheless, we’re intrigued. What would it look like if Douglas shot his foot into his mouth?
19 Tito Fuentes
“They shouldn’t throw at me. I’m the father of five or six kids.”
Retired baseball player Tito Fuentes played from 1965 to 1978. During those 13 seasons, the Cuban-born second baseman enjoyed a modest career, getting nearly 1500 hits and 438 RBIs. Could he have done better? Potentially. After all, not knowing how many kids you have can make for a stressful day at the office. In all seriousness, they probably should stop throwing balls at him. It sounds like Tito has been hit one too many times.
18 Tim Sylvia
“I’m the oldest I’ve ever been, right now.”
For some reason we can only read that line in a Homer Simpson voice. Tim Sylvia might not be Homer Simpson, but his quote does make us chuckle. Sylvia is an MMA fighter and UFC Champion – so we won’t make too much fun of him. He’s been active since 2001 and won 31 of his 42 professional MMA bouts. And by the time you finish reading this, you’ll be the oldest you’ve ever been, right now.
17 Mike Tyson
“Fade into Bolivian, I guess.”
‘Iron’ Mike Tyson is one of the more colorful characters to grace the professional boxing ring in modern times. He’s known for his killer knockouts, bizarre behaviour and strange facial tattoos. He’s gone to prison and even bit an opponent in the ring, twice in the same match. Something Tyson is not known for is being smart. Nonetheless, we hear Bolvia can be nice this time of year which is why we believe the champ chose that location to “fade into” when asked about retirement by a reporter.
16 Charles Shackleford
“I can go right, I can go left, I’m amphibious.”
Charles Shackleford didn’t have an outstanding NBA career over his six seasons with the Nets, 76ers, Timberwolves and Hornets. We think we know why. No, it wasn’t because he jumped back and forth between European leagues and the NBA. Nor was it because he was just average, at best. Clearly, Shackleford couldn’t give his best on the court because he was always tired from living his secret life as Aquaman. Perhaps if he had been ambidextrous, instead of amphibious, the ability to use both hands effectively would have made him a better player.
15 Pedro Guerrero
“Sometimes they write what I say, not what I mean.”
Isn’t this just how it always works out. We’re sure a lot of other sports stars, celebrities and politicians are on board with the former L.A. Dodger and St. Louis Cardinal. For 15 seasons, Guerrero played infield and outfield positions. A World Series champ, MVP and five time All-Star, the Dominican born player had a pretty good career. That said, he clearly didn’t understand how sports journalism works.
14 Bob Varsha
“The drivers have one foot on the brake, one on the clutch and one on the throttle.”
While we sat and watched Formula One racing on the now-defunct Speed Channel, Bob Varsha was clearly watching something else altogether. We must have all missed it, but clearly F1 was trying out something with three-legged drivers for a while. Curse you Bernie Ecclestone – your constant changes to the rules and regulations mean Varsha will forever be the only witness to some form of short-lived mutant racing project.
13 Jason Kidd
“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.”
Jason Kidd enjoyed a very good NBA career. The former point guard won an NBA title and a string of accolades and personal awards over his 19-year career – too many to list here. He also enjoyed success with the national team, taking home five gold medals. Fans of the clubs he played for are generally grateful for his contribution. Given Kidd’s understanding of direction, everyone else is grateful he chose a career in basketball and not as a pilot or a ship’s captain.
12 Garry Maddox
“As I remember it, the bases were loaded.”
Between 1972 and 1986, Garry Maddox played centre field for the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. A great fielder, Maddox also contributed a bit with his bat, hitting 117 home runs and bringing in 754 runs. After one game during which he had struck a grand-slam, a reporter asked for Maddox’s views on the play. The multi-Golden Glove winning outfielder responded with the quote. Thanks Captain Obvious.
11 George Rogers
“I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”
George Rogers was a running back who made a name for himself in college and made the All-American squad. You know who else was a running back in college and was named to the All-American team? Forrest Gump. Rogers won a Heisman Trophy, Super Bowl Championship and was named to the Pro Bowl twice. Gump taught Elvis to dance, won the Medal of Honor and became a millionaire. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to eat lunch and dinner, whichever comes first.
10 Joe Theismann
“Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”
This whole time I thought Albert Einstein’s brother was Dennis Einstein. Thanks to former NFL and CFL quarterback Joe Theisman, that’s all cleared up now. The Super Bowl champ and NFL MVP had one of those classic ‘dumb athlete’ moments when he messed up the name of probably the most famous ‘genius’ the modern world has ever known. In any event, the statement couldn’t be any truer and Theisman showed that he was no exception.
9 Dennis Rodman
“Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is 10, or something.”
Former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman is known for his sometimes extreme ‘fashion’ and bizarre behaviour. He was, however, a good forward during his NBA career and led the league in rebounds per game from 1991 to 1998. You’d think keeping a count of the number of rebounds, watching the shot clock or maintaining the three-second rule in the key would help Rodman’s math – apparently not. There’s just so much wrong with this one-liner that we’ll let you figure it out.
8 Karl Malone
“I ain’t gonna be no escape-goat.”
Spaceships have escape pods, submarines have escape hatches and prisoners have escape-tunnels. Two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star basketball player Karl Malone beats them all with his very own escape-goat. Yes, we know what he means but it’s just too funny to picture a goat (maybe dressed up in tactical gear to suit the role) busting out of the arena with the 6-foot, 9-inch power forward hanging on for dear life.
7 Chad Ochocinco
“I’m travelling to all 51 states to see who can stop 85.”
Former NFLer Chad Johnson was an accomplished All-Star wide receiver. He could catch the ball and he could run. In front of the camera and on social media he always put on a show. However, when it came to numbers and math, the 36-year-old was not as accomplished. First off, there are only 50 states in the good ol’ US of A. Second, we all know your name change was to reflect your jersey number. Just one problem; 85 in Spanish in ‘ochenta y cinco.’
6 Terrell Owens
“Don’t say I don’t get along with my teammates. I just don’t get along with some of the guys on the team.”
TO’s 15 year NFL career may be behind him now but his showboating and massive ego will forever be linked to the game. Whether working out in his driveway while television crews filmed him or standing in the middle of the star on the Cowboys’ home field in defiance of the fans, Owens was always at the centre of the story or controversy. However, he had his own Derek Zoolander moment when asked about friction with other team members. We guess he could mean the mascot, water boy and cheerleaders – they are technically part of the team, right?
5 Brian Kerr
“In his interviews, [David] Beckham manages to sit on the fence very well and keeps both ears on the ground.”
We all know what former Ireland manager and television analyst Brian Kerr meant by his quote about David Beckham – the imagery is just pretty funny. David Beckham has enjoyed massive success as a footballer, model and spokesperson. According to Kerr, the former England star could potentially start a career with the Cirque du Soleil. Sitting on a fence, stretching down to keep not one, but two ears on the ground at the same time – marvelous.
4 Doug Collins
“Anytime Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points, they almost always win.”
Sometimes, sports can be confusing with all the rules and scoring methods. Good thing we have former player, manager and current analyst Doug Collins to help us make sense of the crazy world of NBA scoring and winning. While doing commentary for a game involving one of his former teams, Collins gave us this beauty of a quote. The cherry on this sundae is that they “almost” always win, leading us to wonder if there is some strange scoring loophole only Doug understands.
3 Ozzie Guillen
“I love Fidel Castro, I respect Fidel Castro, you know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that motherf****r is still here.”
Former player and manager Ozzie Guillen is no stranger to saying stupid things. Over the last several years he’s had his share of politically-incorrect and offensive statements. In 2012, while managing the Miami Marlins, Guillen came out with the gem above. First, it’s nothing but classy for a manager to drop the F-bomb in interviews. Second, when trying your hand at politics, know your audience. The Marlins play in Miami. Miami has a very large Cuban community who generally do not like Castro – that’s why they live in Miami and not Cuba. Unsurprisingly, Guillen didn’t last long with the team.
2 Shannon Sharpe
“Ray Lewis is the type of guy, if he were in a fight with a bear I wouldn’t help him, I’d pour honey on him because he likes to fight. That’s the type of guy Ray Lewis is.”
Three-time Super Bowl Champion Shannon Sharpe was a pretty good tight end during his career with the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. That said, we’re not sure if he’s the type of guy we’d want around in an emergency. Yes, we know it’s an exaggeration that he used to show how tough Ray Lewis is - but honey, really? The mental image is funny and highly disturbing at the same time. God only knows what Sharpe would do if Ray Lewis was fighting a fire?
1 Carl Everett
“God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex.”
From 1993 to 2006, Carl Everett was an MLB outfielder and designated-hitter. A two-time All-Star and 2005 World Series Champion, Everett had a decent MLB career. Everett played for nine different MLB teams over his career and we think we can now understand why. The only time anyone has ever seen Adam and Eve together was in the 1999 rom-com Blast From the Past, starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone. Whether Everett took one too many balls to the head or ate too much pine tar, the fact remains that this is one of the strangest and funniest things to come out of a pro-athlete’s mouth.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!