Gentlemen, This Is a Football: Football's Best Quotes and Quips

Gentlemen, This Is a Football: Football's Best Quotes and Quips


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Gentlemen, This Is a Football: Football's Best Quotes and Quips by Eric Zweig

"Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck."
- Don Shula

Football has changed the way we speak, adding new words and rewriting the definitions of old ones. NFL games dominate Sunday's television ratings as millions of fans tune in to watch their favorite teams.

Gentlemen, This is a Football is a quote from Vince Lombardi, and this book celebrates more of the wit and wisdom in the game of football. Fascinating quotations taken from superstars and celebrities will engage fans of all ages, who will find plenty to cheer about here.

These quotes mix the hilarious with the sarcastic and the sincere with laugh-out-loud zingers. Of course there are groaners — and lots of "oops" moments, too. Here's a small sampling:

  • Terry Bradshaw couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A. (Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson)
  • Pressure is something you feel when you don't know what the hell you're doing. (Peyton Manning)
  • Most football players are temperamental. That's 90 percent temper and 10 percent mental. (Doug Plank)
  • Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing. (Vince Lombardi)
  • Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football. (John Heisman)
  • Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein. (Joe Theismann)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554072286
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 09/12/2006
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Eric Zweig writes for the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Sun and is also the author/editor of dozens of books, including Home Plate Don't Move. He is a third-generation football fan who, when eight years old, had Joe Theismann sign his cast.

Table of Contents


Bad Breaks
Bad News
Bowl Games
Bronko Nagurski
Clean Your Plate
College Try
Finding Fault
Fussin'and Feudin'
Girl Crazy
Good Advice
Hired To Be Fired
Home Field
Image Problems
In the End Zone
It's Like
Make Your Own Luck
Mental Make-Up
Mom and Dad
None the
Old Age
Ring's the Thing
Running Backs
Run, Pass or Kick
Say What?
Snappy Answers
Sore Losers
Super Bowl
Too Old?
Tough Enough
Trash Talking

Photo Credits



"Well kid, signing casts isn't exactly my bag..."

Joe Theismann, hobbling on crutches with a broken ankle, to an eight-year-old boy who had asked for an autograph on his own broken wrist

If you saw the play (and anyone who saw it has never forgotten),I know what you're thinking. How could anyone in his right mind ask Joe Theismann to sign his cast? Theismann had suffered what is quite possibly the worst sports injury ever seen on television. An injury so bad,it's been spoofed on The Simpsons!

Well, I was that eight-year-old boy. In my defense, I did not ask Theismann for his autograph after the famous career-ending injury of November 18,1985. This was after the significantly less famous, Toronto Argonauts' season-altering injury suffered on August 3,1972. Though I work in hockey now and am known to my friends as a baseball fan, football was my first love, and Joe Theismann was my hero. (He did sign my cast, by the way, and I kept it for nearly 20 years, until it had all but disintegrated. Joe probably didn't keep either of his.)

"People break legs all the time in football," Hall of Fame lineman and former Monday Night Football analyst Dan Dierdorf told a Washington Post columnist on the 20th anniversary of Theismann's injury. "It involves the cracking of a bone, but most times, you can't see it. That night, what you saw was so graphic, and when you watch something that's so far out of the normal, you just gag, but you almost can't help watching it again and again."

Let's face it. Violence is a big part of football. If baseball is a pastime, then football speaks to our technological -- and sometimesdangerous -- modern lives. In the words of comedian George Carlin, "The object in football is for the quarterback to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use a shot-gun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line." Football has changed the way we speak, adding words and rewriting definitions in all of our personal dictionaries.

When I did a similar book about baseball last year, it was not surprising to find funny and insightful quotes on a wide range of topics. Football people can be just as funny, and equally insightful, though an awful lot of their most entertaining quotes involve pain -- how to handle it and how to inflict it!

It also becomes obvious that people take their football seriously, and that they have for a very long time. John Heisman (for whom the Heisman Trophy was named),played college football in the 1880s and '90s,then coached until 1926 -- most notably at Georgia Tech, which beat Tennessee's Cumberland University 222-0 in 1916. Heisman certainly took the game seriously, as the following pep talk illustrates: "Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football."

But just because football is serious business doesn't mean it's not a lot of fun! I hope you'll have as much fun reading this book as I had putting it together. After all, as Bill Cowher, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said shortly before his team beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, "Sometimes you love a play. Sometimes you don't like a play. It's an emotional game and I love it. It's three hours of fun."

So enjoy!

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