Whether it’s kids or sports figures, people do say some funny things

At the risk of divulging my advanced age, I’m going to ask you a question. Do you remember Art Linkletter? He hosted a show titled “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” The program was hilarious, as you never knew what the little ones would come up with.

While watching an Indians-White Sox game recently, one of the announcers brought up the name of former big leaguer Dick Allen. My thoughts immediately went to something he said years ago that had made me laugh. Soon the story was repeated.

In this column, I will share some of the lighter moments from the world of sports. You can then determine who is funnier — the kids or the grownups.

For our first segment, I will give you the quote and then you can guess who said it. Then later I will mention the ballplayer and we’ll see if you remember what they said.


“Playoffs? Playoffs?”

A former NFL head coach was asked if he thought his team would make it to the playoffs. The question was asked after a particularly poor performance by his team and he thought it ridiculous.

Jim Mora ranted and raved about his Indianapolis Colts ineptness and made clear that he was in no mood to talk about the playoffs. I can see the look of incredulity on his face as he went on and on.

“We’re talking practice, man!”

Do you remember the former NBA player who was none too pleased when he was asked about his lack of dedication toward practice? Yes, it was Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers. Apparently, he didn’t see the need for practicing a game he had played for so long. Speaking of long, his complaint about the question lasted a very long time. I wish I had a nickel for every time he said the word “practice” in his tirade. I could be as rich as he… OK, not that rich!

“They are who we thought they were!”

It’s back to the NFL for this coach’s comment. The Arizona Cardinals blew a 23-3 lead late in a loss to the Chicago Bears, and head coach Dennis Green went bananas afterwards.

He was not about to give the Bears credit for the win and took a shot at his own team. The rant was very much out of character for Green, who was normally very reserved. Tough losses though can bring out interesting responses. All in all it was pretty funny listening to his soliloquy.

Some of my favorite one-liners came from baseball players. Of course Yogi Berra was the best interview. Anybody who says with a straight face “nobody goes to that restaurant anymore, it’s too crowded” has to be the best. However, there were others who said some cool things, beginning with the aforementioned Dick Allen.

Allen, who was called “Richie” early in his career, played for the Phillies and White Sox. He was an excellent hitter, but was not known for his fielding. On one occasion, Allen was asked what he thought about playing on Astroturf and he came up with this gem:

“If horses can’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it!”

Amos Otis was a great defensive centerfielder for the Kansas City Royals. He had a penchant for using just one hand to catch fly balls. A scribe asked him why he only used one hand to catch balls and he responded thusly:

“Because I only have a glove on one hand!”

One of the largest players of his era was Dave Kingman. He was known for his prodigious swings resulting in towering home runs if and when he made contact. He also struck out frequently, which may have been the reason a reporter asked him once why he swung so hard. His answer…

“In case I hit it!”

Finally a comment from John Kruk has always brought a smile to my face. Apparently a female fan saw him in the corner of the dugout smoking a cigarette during a game.

The woman then admonished him for doing so, suggesting that he should not be smoking as he was an athlete. Kruk looked at her and said this:

“Lady I ain’t no athlete, I’m a baseball player!”

So there you have it. Some of the best quips from the world of sports. If you want to decide if the sports figures are wittier that little kids, go right ahead. Just in case you were too young to remember Art Linkletter’s show you might want to wait.

The show is going to be brought back soon. If you’d like to make the decision now, I can give you an example of kids saying,well, the darndest things!

A woman from Bascom was babysitting her little granddaughter who was playing with a toy telephone. She was having an earnest discussion with someone and grandma assumed it was probably her father or grandfather. So, she asked her who she was talking to.

The little girl pulled the receiver from her ear and put it over her chest before saying:

“Jake, from State Farm!”

Al Stephenson is a columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.

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