quotations about sports

Sports quote

Sports do not build character. They reveal it.

JOHN WOODEN, attributed, What I Know about Baseball is What I Know about Life


Good sportsmanship we hail, we sing.
It's always pleasant when you spot it.
There's only one unhappy thing;
You have to lose to prove you've got it.

RICHARD ARMOUR, "Good Sportsmanship"


Tags: Richard Armour

After serious matters, let us indulge in a season of sport.

HORACE, attributed, Day's Collacon


Tags: Horace

Guys care about sports teams. I'm not talking about simply rooting; I'm talking about a relationship that guys develop, a commitment to a sport team that guys take way more seriously than, for example, wedding vows.

DAVE BARRY, Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys


Tags: Dave Barry

Sports are a most excellent device with which to test a man's character.

OLAUS MAGNUS, attributed, Day's Collacon


The essential value of spectator sports lies in their capacity to illustrate, in a dramatic way, the process of human goal-achievement. They do this by making the process shorter, simpler, and more visually exciting than it is in daily life--and by giving us heroes to admire.

THOMAS A. BOWDEN, Santa Monica Daily Press, February 5, 2007


Tags: Thomas A. Bowden

You always know it's not going to be like this forever. That's just -- it's part of playing sports. You're always going to have down cycles. Unfortunately we go through those times. You don't ever want to go through them, trust me, it doesn't feel good, but it's just part of playing sport, and especially in our sport, longevity is just huge here. You've got a career that could literally span -- for me, 30 years on the regular Tour. There's no other profession really like that, that you can play at a high level for that long. No, you're going to have periods like that. You can't win every tournament.

TIGER WOODS, interview, December 9, 2004


Tags: Tiger Woods

I am delighted to have you play football. I believe in rough, manly sports. But I do not believe in them if they degenerate into the sole end of any one's existence. I don't want you to sacrifice standing well in your studies to any over-athleticism; and I need not tell you that character counts for a great deal more than either intellect or body in winning success in life. Athletic proficiency is a mighty good servant, and like so many other good servants, a mighty bad master.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children


Tags: Theodore Roosevelt

In a world of life-and-death conflicts, spectator sports give us a "time-out" -- an opportunity to relax and celebrate human skill, dedication, and success in a spirit of simple joy.

THOMAS A. BOWDEN, Santa Monica Daily Press, February 5, 2007


I can't imagine where I'd be without the opportunities provided to me in sports. Sports taught me that gender isn't an issue; in fact, when people talk about me being the first female governor, I'm a little absent from that discussion, because I've never thought of gender as an issue. In sports, you learn self-discipline, healthy competition, to be gracious in victory and defeat, and the importance of being part of a team and understanding what part you play on that team. You all work together to reach a goal, and I think all of those factors come into play in my role as governor.

SARAH PALIN, Alaska Business Monthly, December 4, 2006


Tags: Sarah Palin

You could turn up your nose at the president or Coke or even God, but there were names for boys who didn't like sports. When the subject came up, I found it best to ask which team my questioner preferred. Then I'd say, "Really? Me, too!"

DAVID SEDARIS, Me Talk Pretty One Day


Tags: David Sedaris

The playing field is more sacred than the stock exchange, more blessed than Capital Hill or the vaults of Fort Knox. The diamond and the gridiron -- and, to a lesser degree, the court, the rink, the track, and the ring - embody the American dream of Eden.

LEWIS H. LAPHAM, Money and Class in America


Tags: Lewis H. Lapham

Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick.

GEORGE LEONARD, attributed, Get Motivated!


Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify, because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city. You're actually rooting for the clothes, when you get right down to it. You know what I mean? You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player, but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt; they hate him now. Boo! Different shirt! Boo!



Tags: Jerry Seinfeld

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.

BABE RUTH, attributed, Babe Ruth


Sports are a delight because they are an aside. They are our liberty. They are our bursting of the shackles of conscientious suffering. They are, deliciously, ends in themselves.

MICHAEL NOVAK, The Joy of Sports: End Zones, Bases, Baskets, Balls, and the Consecration of the American Spirit


Sports have the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.

NELSON MANDELA, remarks at Laureus World Sports Awards, 2000


Tags: Nelson Mandela

I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.

RODNEY DANGERFIELD, stand-up routine, 1978


Tags: Rodney Dangerfield

I always turn to the sports pages first, which record people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures.

EARL WARREN, attributed, Sporting Wit: Athletic Wisecracks and Champion Comebacks


Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.

GEORGE ORWELL, "The Sporting Spirit", Tribune, December 14, 1945


Tags: George Orwell