Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Sports Talk, 101


1.  “We didn’t underestimate them.  They were just a lot better than we thought they were.”—Sir Bobby Robson, famed English soccer coach, referring to a Cameroon team in the 1990 World Cup.

2.  “There will be a game where somebody scores more goals than Brazil, and that will be the game they lose.”—Robson

3. “The first 90 minutes of a football match are the most important.”—Robson

4.  “I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.”—golfer Greg Norman

5.  “We now have runners on one and three.”—an Australian announcer during 2000 Olympics baseball game, referring to runners at first and third base.

6.  Bill Peterson, football coach at Florida State (1960-1979), was known for butchering quotations.  He once tried to inspire his team with this one:  “Just remember the words of Patrick Henry:  ‘Kill me, or let me live’.”

7.  This exchange between Cleveland Indian announcers Herb Score and Nev Chandler:  Chandler:  “That base hit makes Cecil Cooper 19 for 42 against Tribe pitching.”       Score:  “I’m not good at math, but even I know that’s over .500.”

8.  “The Yankees are only interested in one thing, and I have no idea what that is.”—Yankee outfielder Luis Polonia

9.  The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it, which is identical.”—Murray Walker, auto racing announcer, commenting during a race.

10.  “Well, that was a real cliff-dweller.”—baseball announcer Wes Westrum, commenting on a close game.

11.  “And the line-up for the final of the Women’s 400 meters hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede and a Frenchman.”—track announcer David Coleman

12.  Cuban middle-distance legend, Alberto Juantorena, was known for his 9-foot stride.  This from track announcer David Coleman:  “And there goes Juantorena down the back straight, opening his legs and showing his class.”

13.  “The drivers will have one foot on the brake, one on the clutch, and one on the throttle.”—auto racing announcer Bob Varsha

14.  “We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.”—Jason Kidd, NBA star.

15.  “My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.”—Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to coach Jim Valvano why he was so nervous (1982).

16.  Professional boxer Chuck Wepner’s trainer was touting a miraculous new salve guaranteed to close his fighter’s cuts during a bout.  A writer asked if he was worried about the other corner protesting the use of a foreign substance. “It’s not a foreign substance,” he replied confidently.  “It was made right here in the USA.”

17.  Mickey Rivers on hearing that teammate Reggie Jackson had an IQ reputed to be 165.  “Out of what,” he sneered, “a thousand?”

18.  “Folks, this is perfect weather for today’s game. Not a breath of air.”—broadcaster Curt Gowdy

19.  “You can sum up the game of baseball in one word:  ‘You never know’ ”—Joaquin Andujar, St. Louis Cardinals

20.  Years ago, Coach Jim Leyland told his mother that he might be squeezed out because there was no spot for him.  They already had Alex Grammas as their third base coach, and Dick Tracewski as their first base coach, and neither guy was going anywhere soon.  His mom asked, “Who coaches second base?”

21.  In 1992, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired a catching prospect from the Dutch national team, named Michael Crouwel.  When asked what he thought of the city of Philadelphia, Crouwel replied:  “The only thing I know about it is that it’s in New Jersey.”

22.  “All I’m asking for is what I want.”—Rickey Henderson, on his contract negotiations

23.  “Besides the two fighters, the referee is the most important man in the ring.”—world champion boxer George Foreman

24.  “Last night I failed to mention something that bears repeating.”—broadcaster Ron Fairly

25.  “On this special Fathers Day, we’d like to wish all of you a very Happy Birthday.”—baseball announcer Ralph Kiner

David Macaray, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd edition), is a former union rep. 

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is “Nightshift: 270 Factory Stories.” He can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
Lara Gardner
Why I’m Not Voting
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017