Duh…what did they say??

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Have you ever wondered why athletes are paid millions for playing children’s games?

Based on a little research (plus some info from my buddy, Bobby Eure), the answer is because the majority of jocks don’t have enough intelligence to hold a regular job. While extremely gifted athletically, if their minds were elevators, most would never get off the ground floor.

The great Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees who later became a Major League Baseball manager, is perhaps the most quoted athlete of all time. A few of his mindless quotes are famous…such as “This is like déj vu all over again”; “You can observe a lot just by watching”; and, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Once, Yogi’s wife Carmen asked, “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?” Yogi replied, “Surprise me.”

But Yogi didn’t corner the market on quotations that leaves the listener or reader scratching their heads in a “say what” notion. Here are some others:

Former New Orleans Saint running back George Rogers, when asked about the upcoming season, said, “I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”

“I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body.” – Winston Bennett, then a basketball forward at the University of Kentucky; now a retired pro basketball player.

“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – Jason Kidd, upon his drafting to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

In 1991, Torrin Polk, University of Houston wide receiver said this about his coach, John Jenkins: “He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.”

Five years later, pro football commentator and former NFL player Joe Theismann remarked, “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Epstein.”

The now late Tug McGraw, who pitched for the Mets and the Phillies, when asked whether he preferred grass or Astroturf said, “I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.”

Stu Grimson, a now retired pro hockey player who was famous for fighting on the ice, once explained why he keeps a color photo of himself above his locker: “That’s so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes.”

Chuck Nevitt, former North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: “My sister’s expecting a baby and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.”

“It’s permanent, for now,” said former Cincinnati Red outfielder Roberto Kelly upon announcing his new name would be “Bobby.”

“That’s why I don’t talk. Because I talk too much.” – Joaquin Andujar, former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for three teams over his 22-year career.

“We’re not attempting to circumcise rules.” – Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.

And, saving the best for last, this from former NC State basketball player and NBA performer Charles Shackleford – “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter; I’m amphibious.”

Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332.7207.