T here is a feeling among some of our citizens that football is becoming too serious a business. On one level, perhaps. But on another level, maybe not. Here are some collected past quotes and quips which might evoke a smile or two.
n Wade Phillips, on replacing Buffalo Bills Coach Marv Levy, who holds a master's degree from Harvard: "Marv's more likely to quote Homer, and I'm more likely to quote Homer Simpson."
n Jack Molesworth, incisive former Western Maryland College football coach upon learning of Michigan's annual football budget: "With that kind of budget, I could invade Albania."
n Christian Holgard, assistant coach at North Dakota State, who during his entire high school football career, never heard his school's fight song because his team never scored a touchdown: "I was always under the impression that our school song was 'The Star Spangled Banner.'''
n Buddy Parker, reviewing an old Chicago Bear film: "Their defensive line play was so dirty it left a ring around the screen."
n Knute Rockne on coaching: "Halfbacks are born. Some coaches take a lot of credit for having developed certain halfbacks. What is generally meant by that is that a man with a lot of talent comes to a coach, and the coach does him on particular harm."
n Former Lafayette coach, Edward "Hook" Mylin, after having lost a game by the lopsided score of 46-0, was leaving the stadium and accidentally bumped into a lady on her way out. "Pardon me," he said, "No offense." The lady's response: "You're telling me."
n Dick MacPherson, former Syracuse and New England Patriots coach on the unruly USC fans who came all the way from California to see the Trojans play Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic: "USC fans proved once again that they travel with just a $20 bill and some underwear and they don't change, either."
n Former Iowa State coach George Veenker, to a banquet audience: "I would like to introduce the boy who made our longest run of this season, a run of 90 yards. Unfortunately, he didn't catch the man with the ball."
n Doug DuVall, highly successful coach at Wilde Lake High School (Md.), about the program he inherited - it was 2-7 and had been the homecoming game for seven opponents: "We were so many people's homecoming games that I thought we should have had our own float."
n Kentucky football coach Bill curry on how tough it was to pleas writers when he was at Alabama: "There was a joke going around that when I went on a fishing trip, the boat tipped over, but I got to shore by walking on water. The headline in the next day's paper read: 'Curry fails at swimming."'
n University of Miami coach Dennis Erickson, describing a football fan: "A typical fan is a guy who sits on the 40, criticizes the coaches and the players and has all the answers. Then he leaves the stadium and can't find his car."
n Buddy Ryan, Eagles' coach, to Mike Quick, who after he was elected captain asked if that meant he would be the authority to exert more power and make decisions: "Yeah. You can call heads or tails on the coin toss."
n Sam Rutigliano, former coach of the Cleveland Browns, on the divine power of Al Davis: "He knows the serial number of the Unknown Soldier."
n Woody Widenhofer, Vanderbilt coach, on what he wanted his team to show against Alabama: "The kind of confidence that the 82-year-old man had when he married a 25-year-old woman and bought a five-room house next to an elementary school."
n Charlie Havens, successful and respected Western Maryland College mentor, to former player who, as a young college coach, was attending his first meeting of the American Football Coaches Association: "Let me give you some good advice. You're going to be nervous here at first. You'll be dazzled by all the great coaches you're going to meet. But don't take it too seriously. The first day you're here, you'll wonder how you made it. After that, you'll wonder how the rest of us made it."
n Lou Holtz, while football coach at Arkansas, opening his weekly TV show after his team's loss to SMU the fourth defeat in five games: "Welcome to the Lou Holtz show. Unfortunately, I'm Lou Holtz."
Mitch Tullai is a sports humorist and historian and former coach. He lives in Luthersville, MD and is an occasional contributor to Voice of the Fan. He's written a book "Football's best quips, quotes and quellers."