Tom Heinsohn, former Boston Celtic star, explaining why he turned down a college football scholarship: "If I was going to get beat up, I wanted it to be indoors where it was warm."
Clint Hurdle, Kansas City Royals outfielder, who came into baseball as a much-ballyhooed phenom: "If I'd done everything I was supposed to, I would be leading the league in home runs, have the highest batting average, have given $1,000 to the cancer fund and have married Marie Osmond."
George Raveling, Washington State, one of the few blacks coaching a major college basketball team: "When the athletic director said I should recruit more whites to keep the folks in Pullman happy, I signed Rufus White and Willie White."
Leon Wandel, Belgian basketball official, in response to criticism from Soviet Basketball Coach Aleksandr Gomelsky at the Olympics: "Mr. Gomelsky can say what he wants. It's a free country."
February 12, 1981
Lynn Wheeler, after resigning as the coach of Iowa State's women's basketball team, which finished the season with 14 straight defeats: "I've taken this team as far as I can."
John Mackey, former Baltimore Colt tight end, lamenting the absence of a black head coach in the NFL: "l look at all the coaches in the game today, and I think to myself there's no reason why a black coach can't lose, too."
Gerry Cheevers, the goaltender-turned-coach of the Boston Bruins, who got off to a 3-9-1 start in the 1980-81 season: "Hockey was my life. This could be death after life."
Chico Resch, New York Islanders' loquacious goaltender, "If I wasn't talking, I wouldn't know what to say."
Willie Stargell, the Pittsburgh Pirates' 40-year-old first baseman, explaining why he didn't become a free agent: "You pull up an old tree from the ground and move it, say, to California. Well, you can damage the roots."
Harry Neale, coach of the Vancouver Canucks: "Last season we couldn't win at home, and this season we can't win on the road. My failure as a coach is that I can't think of anyplace else to play."
Art Donovan, former 310-pound Colt defensive lineman, describing himself as a light eater: "As soon as it's light, I start to eat."
Mickey Rivers, Texas Ranger outfielder, explaining why he opposed an early-season player's strike: "There are more games in the second half than the first."
John McMullen, Houston Astro owner and former limited partner of Yankee boss George Steinbrenner: "Nothing's more limited than being a limited partner of George's."
Joe Niekro, 21-game winner for the Astros in 1979, asked how he expected to pitch in '80: "Righthanded."
Ken Stabler, Houston Oiler quarterback, on his life-style: "There's nothing wrong with reading the game plan by the light of the jukebox."
Larry Kennan, Lamar University football coach, after Baylor attempted an on-side kick with eight seconds left and a 42-7 lead: "Maybe they were afraid we'd run it back all the way, then line up and go for 30 points."
Jean Cruguet, the French-born jockey: "When I first came here I worked the Florida tracks. It's hard to learn English when everybody is speaking Spanish."
Bum Phillips, Oiler coach: "Earl Campbell ain't like those high-priced, spoiled athletes. Why, he had me over to his office the other day just like one of the guys."
Billy Tubbs, the Oklahoma basketball coach: "This year we plan to run and shoot. Next season we hope to run and score."
George Archer, professional golfer, reflecting on what his sport means to him: "If it weren't for golf, I'd probably be a caddie today."
Cesar Geronimo, Cincinnati Reds outfielder, on becoming Nolan Ryan's 3,000th strikeout victim, as he had been Bob Gibson's 3,000th in 1974: "I was just in the right place at the right time."
Ray Mansfield, the former Pittsburgh Steeler center, at a roast for Linebacker Jack Lambert: "I taught Jack a lot—how to tie his shoes, how to brush his fangs."
Bill Lee, Montreal Expo southpaw, expounding on the subject of the brain's hemispheres: "You have a left and a right. The left side controls the right half of your body, and the right side controls the left half. Therefore, lefthanders are the only people in their right mind."
Jim Bakken, former St. Louis Cardinal placekicker, at a dinner roasting 285-pound Guard Bob Young: "For his salad, you just pour vinegar and oil on your lawn and let him graze."