Toronto Star


Hilarious gaffes, unfiltered moments cut through gloom

- Bruce Arthur

I just found out Canada has its own government. Even more shocking, it’s not led by Wayne Gretzky. Separation of church and state, I guess. STEPHEN COLBERT

The situation in the NFL is awful. It’s gotten so bad that even the Redskins want to change the commission­er’s name. DAVID LETTERMAN

Awful year, really. Whether you were a sports fan or just someone who enjoys reading the news, there was plenty to make you reach for the bottle, or the remote, or the power cord. We could all just live in the woods, right? Except, the mosquitos. So, that won’t work.

But even in the bad times, it helps to laugh. Otherwise, what is there?

So, here is an incomplete collection of the funniest sports quotes of the year. See if it helps. “Being from Oakland all I knew about him is he punched people. That’s my kind of person.” — Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, on Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable “I just taste for the first time a smoothie ... MAN GOD BLESS AMERICA.” — Greek rookie Giannis Antetokoun­mpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, on Twitter “Now I have to thank my team. Max, agent, make me rich, thanks a lot.” — Tennis star Li Na, in on-court speech after winning the Australian Open “Torts told us they were starting their idiots over there, so we had to match that.” — Vancouver Canucks winger Tom Sestito, after a game-opening brawl between the Canucks and Calgary in which both coaches started tough guys, Sestito included “So weird to see free-standing penalty boxes with nobody sitting behind them. Truly a glass case of emotion now.” — Greg Beacham of The Associated Press, during the Ducks-Kings outdoor game

“If someone asks you a question, you’re emotionall­y imbalanced at that time and you feel an urge to tell the truth.” — Kenny Shiels, manager of Greenock Morton of the Scottish League, on giving up post-game interviews “Everybody here has been nice to me. It’ll take a little getting used to.” — Twins pitcher Phil Hughes, on adjusting to Minnesota after seven years with the New York Yankees “Our offices are closed today due to icy roads. Yes we recognize the irony that the Road Warriors Hockey team doesn’t want to brave icy roads.” — Tweet from the Greenville Road Warriors, the New York Rangers’ ECHL affiliate “If the Leafs fire Carlyle, the headline’s gotta be ‘Randy’s toast.’” — Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports, on Toronto’s appearance in HBO’s 24/7 “I think I might’ve enjoyed myself watching the State of the Union more. No, probably not.” — Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas, after losing 6-2 to Boston, which was his team when he refused to visit the White House

FEBRUARY “Would you mind walking 250 yards further forward?” — Billy Foster, the caddie for Lee Westwood at the World Match Play Championsh­ips, to a fan after Westwood hit a tee shot that bounced into the woman’s sweater “Also on the bright side: I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something.” — Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune, after tweeting a picture of malodorous, yellow tap water in a Sochi mountain hotel “I’m seeing images of these frightful Sochi hotel rooms and I’m thinking ‘You know what you needed, Russia? More gays.’ ” — Tabatha Southey of the Globe and Mail “There’s absolutely no truth to the rumour that the winner of U.S.-Russia game gets to pick Ukraine’s next Prime Minister.” — Mark MacKinnon of the Globe and Mail, at the Olympics “Four years ago I was drunk on a couch and said I wanna go to the Olympics. Four years later I’m drunk on a couch at the Olympics.” — Canadian bobsledder Tim Randall, after his events were done “Speaking of medals, the United States hockey team had no trouble getting through the airport metal detector.” — David Letterman, after the Olympics

MARCH “No. I like challenges, but I’m not stupid.” — Rafael Nadal, asked if he was happy that Novak Djokovic existed, after losing to him in the final of the Sony Open “Is it going to be hard in two years, when you’re no longer president, and people will stop letting you win at basketball?” — Zach Galifianak­is to U.S. President Barack Obama, in his Between Two Ferns series “Tommy John is probably glad he wasn’t the first person to undergo a vasectomy.” — Matt Sussman, @suss2hyphe­ns on Twitter, on the namesake of Tommy John surgery “Not that it mattered much before, but is there a Paralympic truce?” — Nikolaus von Twickel, Moscow correspond­ent for Deutsche PresseAgen­tur, on Russia invading Ukraine after the Olympics were done “You can’t control crazy. That’s why they’re crazy.” — Hawaii basketball coach Gib Arnold, after a UC Santa Barbara fan rushed across the court to confront him during a game “Yesterday No. 12 seed Harvard beat No. 5 seed Cincinnati. Harvard students haven’t been this excited since the last time they told someone they go to Harvard.” — Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon

APRIL “Did someone tell you that I gave them a motivation­al speech? They lied to you.” — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, during his team’s sevengame first-round victory over the Dallas Mavericks “If you pay $7,500, you ought to be able to bring out a quesadilla.” — Skier Bode Miller, after he was asked to surrender his lunch when he attended the Masters “What, you mean like blood pressure?” — Minnesota Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, asked if there was more pressure on him in the playoffs “Will it be called ‘You Can Play: Down Under’? No because that sounds vaguely inappropri­ate.” — You Can Play co-founder Patrick Burke, announcing an anti-homophobia initiative in Australia “Magic Johnson isn’t good enough? A man so universall­y respected, even HIV doesn’t want to bring him down?” — Larry Wilmore of The Daily Show, on Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant about his girlfriend posing for a picture with Magic Johnson “Every time I get tested for steroids reminds me of the elderly lady at the airport that TSA pulls out of line for a pat down.” — Matt Hasselbeck, backup quarterbac­k for the Indianapol­is Colts “His future — and his hair — are quite incredible.” — Philadelph­ia 76ers coach Brett Brown on generously coiffed prospect Nerlens Noel “I meet with my coaches out on the court and they tell me what they think we should do. I ignore them, go back to the bench and tell the players what I think they should do. They ignore me and go out and do whatever they want to do.” — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, on coaching “It’s just funny. I never do that. But unfortunat­ely I’ve done it twice in the last little bit here.” — Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins, on spearing opponents in the groin twice in three weeks “Really? I’m shocked that Bryan Colangelo would say that.” — Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce, after Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri said “F--- Brooklyn” before their first-round playoff series MAY “I probably should have taken more notes in that class.” — Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods’s ex-wife, during a graduation speech at Rollins College, on taking a Communicat­ion and the Media course just before the breakup “At Milan, they treated me like a king. People were courteous, welcoming and always willing to help. At a restaurant, in France, you sit down and not only do they make you wait for a very long time, but they treat you badly. It was disconcert­ing, but now I’ve adapted: if someone treats me badly, I treat them badly in return. I’m a real Parisian now.” — Defender Thiago Silva, on moving to Paris Saint-Germain “I didn’t mean to. I thought you were Marchy.” — Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban on the ice to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, teammate of pest Brad Marchand, after Bergeron asked why Subban punched him in the head “Don’t talk unless it makes you money.” — Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsso­n, on what the doctor told him after he was hit in the throat with a puck “Donald Sterling’s girlfriend said she’s going to be president of the United States one day. Yeah, like we’re going to elect someone who secretly records people’s private phone calls and conversati­ons.” — Jimmy Fallon, after the Clippers owner was run out of the NBA “Donald Sterling has now been banned for life. That’s ironic. This guy has been blackliste­d.” — David Letterman

JUNE “The good thing is we haven’t had resources to pay attention to the advanced stats.” — Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney, on newly acquired Sam Gagner coming with some troubling advanced statistics “I’ll kill Luis if he sends me again, but I’m ready to play tomorrow.” — Hefty Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro, after being waved all the way around the bases by third base coach Luis Rivera before being thrown out at home “Tomorrow, I will see Belgium put in its place. Wherever that is. I don’t know. I have an American public-school education.” — Brian Phillips of Grantland, before Belgium played the Americans in the World Cup “To be fair to Luis Suarez, I can’t resist an Italian sub either.” — Jason Gilbert, an editor at Yahoo Tech, after Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit reserve defender Giorgio Chiellini of Italy in the World Cup “Eat some more ice cream.” — 11-year-old Lucy Li, on her plans after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, interviewe­d while eating an ice cream cone “To New York fans: Good luck extending the Stanley Cup finals another game! To L.A. fans: The Stanley Cup finals is a hockey series.” — Comedian Bryan Donaldson, during the Stanley Cup final “We’re in the middle of the World Cup. Nobody cares.” — San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, after winning the NBA championsh­ip, on how his home country of Argentina would react

JULY “If you see me hugging, kissing a cheerleade­r after a game, don’t worry.

If it’s two or three, there’s a problem.” — Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez, on his daughter becoming a school cheerleade­r “Ball was higher than my boobs, and not my old boobs.” — Natalie Punto, wife of Oakland Athletic infielder Nick Punto, after her husband was called out on strikes to end a 3-2 loss to Seattle “Man, if this P.K. Subban saga drags on much longer, Montrealer­s are going to take up smoking.” — Adam Proteau of The Hockey News, on the Canadiens defenceman’s contract negotiatio­ns “Well, until today, he was unemployed, so he may be in the HR office filling out paperwork.” — Maverick Carter, the business manager for LeBron James, on why his friend skipped the Teen Choice Awards after signing with the Cavaliers “Out of habit, the German players are going to try to hide on the Argentinia­n sidelines.” — Sean Gentille of The Sporting News, during the World Cup final “NFL releases new study on dangers of concussion­s in youth soccer.”

— The Onion

AUGUST “Walking on the beach this morning, doing a little thinking when I saw foot- Odell Beckham Jr.’s sensationa­l catch, above, wouldn’t have been possible without Eli Manning’s erratic throw, while critics feasted on Luis Suarez for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, left prints in the sand. Reminded me of the poem Footprints in the Sand.” — Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, on Twitter “‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ thought Carl, the engineer in charge of outlet placement for Westin hotels.” — Pitcher Brandon McCarthy, on Twitter “I made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake.” — Aaron Cruden, New Zealand rugby player, after being dropped from the All Blacks lineup for missing a flight “To provide arena security, hires Ferguson, Missouri police department.” — From David Letterman’s Top Ten Signs Your Team Owner Is Nuts “NBA rules are clear that you get $25K for tampering, $10K for tinkering, $5K for fiddling about, and a stern warning for gettin’ in the mix.” — Twitter’s @GourmetSpu­d, on the Raptors being fined $25,000 for Drake tampering with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant “I don’t like getting spanked. There are special clubs for that. I don’t go to them.” — Pascal Dupraz, the coach of Évian Thonon Gaillard in France’s Ligue 1, after a 6-2 loss to Rennes


“You know things are not going well whento a TMZ you reporter,lose the morala man high whose groundempl­oyerMinaj— HBO’s Bamboobles­ran Johna story Oliver,this Her week afterAss titled Critics.’”NFL com- ‘Nicki missionerb­y “500 TMZ yardson Rogerthe and Ray17 Goodellpoi­ntsRice tape don’twas scoopedrea­lly go before together. dinner. It’s Whichlike havingI like to dessertdo. Becauseand not it my shows parents.”I’m in control of my life — Bennett, Chicago after Bearsa loss tight to end Green MartellusB­ay

“No,— Sacramento­do you know Kings where centre Alabama DeMar- is?” cus asked Cousins, before playinga game forby a Team foreign USA, reporterwa­s if he knew where Slovenia “Whenwas an alienhe first from came Prometheus.”out, I thought he — Redick,Los Angeleson the birth Clippersof his guard first J.J. child “No. makes— Krunic,money SerbianI knowme she asked very tennismade­it’s if 30 sad.”she by playerper knew losingcent Aleksandra­how the muchThat U.S. Open “Jeter’speopleAnd­y— Jason Pettitte.” quarter-finals. like,. Gay,. 29 “OK Kittenson . Derek. . 11 That a.m. Jeter Look. . . Let’s startingLi­ke go, his “The gotten own situations­o website.bad thatin the even NFL theis awful. Redskins It’s want name.”— Davidto change Lettermant­he commission­er’s

OCTOBER “Depressed Billy Beane drinks a case of beer with the most efficient alcohol-tocost ratio.” — Oakland Sportspick­,Athletics lost aftera wild Beane’swildcard“A virgin.” game to Kansas City — would Golfer have Rory been McIlroy,had he on not what gone he into golf “Oh, I see. Because the Oilers stole Maple Leafs idea of never making the playoffs, Toronto steals Edmonton’s sweater toss. Real mature.” — Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun “Hopefully, we have windows on that son of a bitch.” — Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, on whether he was worried the team bus would get egged in Oakland “I just found out Canada has its own government. Even more shocking, it’s not led by Wayne Gretzky. Separation of church and state, I guess.”

— Stephen Colbert

“They played a great job.” — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, on New England’s offensive line “This Sabre tank job is like the guy who calls in sick by claiming he has ebola of the smallpox. Maybe rein it in a bit to keep it realistic.” — Sean McIndoe of Grantland, better known as Down Goes Brown “I thought that was his name. When I found out that it wasn’t, I just kept calling him Ray.” — Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks, on why he calls teammate Doug McDermott “Ray.” “A Toronto tradition passed from father to son: leaving a ‘Leafs lost’ note on my sleeping boy’s desk just as my Dad did on mine.”

— Robert Benzie of the Toronto Star “I just go up to the refs, most of the refs are good, actually all of them. They’ll warn me first ‘Ah, cut that out, don’t do this, don’t bite them, stuff like that.’ “— Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder “If you’re reading this from Lincoln Financial Field and you see a female carrying a prosthetic leg that probably isn’t hers, call 9-1-1.” — Pressbox announceme­nt during an Eagles-Giants game, during which a veteran’s artificial leg was stolen. It was later recovered “I’m sick of sports commentato­rs saying ‘You couldn’t write a script like this.’ If people can write scripts about dystopian futures where life is in fact a simulation made by sentient machines to harness humans’ heat and electricit­y as an energy source, they can probably write ones about Gary TaylorFlet­cher scoring a last minute equalizer against Stoke.” — From a letter ascribed to an emailer named “Joey” and published in England’s parody-heavy Viz magazine

NOVEMBER “I guess take the tape off it and use it in practice.” — Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Chicago Blackhawks, on what he’ll do with the puck from the first goal of his NHL career that was awarded, after the fact, to someone else “We tried everything. We played four white guys and an Egyptian.” — Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, on whether his team ran up the score in beating Savannah State 87-26 “Your brain. I think it’s brain, is more important (than iPads). Don’t forget — you have a lot of those things. But I’m joking. iPod, probably.” — New York Islanders centre Mikhail Grabovski, on what you need to have on a long road trip

“Tell my kids I play for the Bills.” — From Letterman’s Top 10 Things Overheard In The Jets’ Locker Room “We have lost George Clooney. I think that’s enough for this year.” — Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, on his promise to get married if the Nets didn’t win a title within five seasons “I guess you’ve got to throw it just bad enough where they’ve got to make a great catch.” — New York Giants quarterbac­k Eli Manning, on throwing memorable passes to David Tyree and Odell Beckham Jr. “The Martin deal should help convince my two-year-old that working on his pitch framing is more important than another episode of Curious George.” — Bannister, Ex-major on league Toronto pitcher signing Brian catcher Russellmil­lion deal Martin to a five-year, $82“We’reguy.” gonna go with that Bumgarner — his New quarterbac­ksYork Jets coach Rex Ryan, on

DECEMBER “A Or MLBas he umpireput it, I’M has OUT.” revealed he’s gay. — Dale StephenSco­tt Colbert, on MLB umpire

“Pressing— Washington­my luck.” Nationals outfielder Jaysoning what Werthhe was to doinga state going trooper 105 askm.p.h. “I will wait till you’re done, then say no. I opt not to be rude.” — Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim general manager Jerry Dipoto, on handling trade offers for Mike Trout “The best thing that could be going through my mind, which was nothing.” — Washington Capitals winger Eric Fehr, on what was going through his mind on a breakaway “That is just wrong. Why would anyone surrender to the Raiders?” — Colbert on St. Louis Rams receivers protesting with the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot gesture before a game against Oakland “That question is really above my pay grade. All I’m not paid to do is play.” — Baylor quarterbac­k Bryce Petty, on whether he thinks the NCAA playoff system is the right system

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 ??  ?? Elin Nordegren: Live and learn
Elin Nordegren: Live and learn
 ??  ?? Rising Sixers forward Nerlens Noel: The hair apparent
Rising Sixers forward Nerlens Noel: The hair apparent
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Clockwise from top left, Tom Sestito, Li Na, P.K. Subban and 11-year-old Lucy Li made some sports fans smile.
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