Even as basketball fans lose themselves in this scintillating time known as "March Madness," which offers intense competition, compelling drama and thrilling finishes, it should also be noted that the hardwood sport has produced some nifty quips and quellers over the years. Take a listen:
n Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain, about his attempt to improve his foul shooting by going to a psychiatrist: "After six months the psychiatrist could shoot 10-for-10, but I was still messed up."
n Gordon Chiesa, Manhattan coach, after walk-on Ralph Lewis scored 31 points and had 18 rebounds: "That guy is the best walk-on since Neil Armstrong."
n John Wooden, legendary UCLA coach on the secret of his success: "Very simple. Nothing will work unless you do."
n Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University coach, on winning: "Some people like people who win. Some people hate people who win. But people who win will never go unnoticed."
n Bob Weiss, telling Jerry Sloan that in Jerry's prime as a player he would have stopped Michael Jordan cold: "You really think I was that good?" Weiss: "Absolutely. After all, Jordan would have been 12 at the time."
n Referee Earl Strom, working a Milwaukee Bucks game and being told that someone had called the switchboard and threatened to blow Strom's head off at the half: "It's OK. What else you going to do in Milwaukee on a cold Sunday afternoon?"
n Frank Layden, Utah Jazz coach, on the kind of high school he attended in Brooklyn: "Boy was it tough. We had nicknames like Rockey, Scarface, Rat Head, and Toothless - and they were just the cheerleaders."
n Bill Fitch, assessing his Cleveland Cavalier squad: "We're so slow we had three loose balls roll dead in practice the other day."
n Pat Kennedy, Iona basketball coach, asked whether North Carolina's height advantage accounted for a 43-point defeat: "When you're hit by an avalanche, who has time to measure the boulders?"
n Digger Phelps, announcing Bobby Knight's new venture into the furniture business: "You buy a couch and he throws in a chair."
n Coach Charlie Just, about his youthful team: "We're so young, we've decided to dress only seven players on the road. We're pretty confident the other five can dress themselves."
n University of Minnesota women's basketball coach Linda Hill-McDonald on her team's woeful 6-22 record in 1991: "Things to so bad that I had to play my student manager for a while. They got really bad when he started to complain to the press that she wasn't getting enough playing time."
n Gary Williams, Maryland's respected and highly-lauded basketball coach handled soccer at Lafayette College years ago. On one occasion, after he had been penalized for riding the officials, one of them asked: "Don't you know The Golden Rule?" Williams rejoined: "The Gold Rule: I don't even know the soccer rules."
n Abe Lemons, about two disturbed alumni who were upset with his coaching: "They wanted to buy up my contract, but neither had change for $20."
n Analytical substitute to his coach: "Sir, I've been sitting on this bench so long, folks are beginning to call me 'judge.'"
Mitch Tullai is a sports historian and humorist. He resides in Lutherville MD and is an occasional contributor to Voice of the Fan.