Professional athletes are often put in no-win situations. After highly emotional battles on the field, the media jams a microphone in their face and expects a thoughtful and eloquent sports quote for all to hear. It is not a fair practice, but it is also our only chance to see the raw emotion that makes covering sports so great.
But when a sports figure has time to think after the pressure of a game has passed, and still makes an ignorant quote, it is inexcusable.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has long been a dumb sports quote All-Star. Now, after calling out teammate Ben Roethlisberger (“stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain't that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does”) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (“If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it, I hate him and will never respect him”) Harrison is going straight to the dumb sports quotes Hall of Fame.
Only anger management can help Harrison, but for the rest of you we have gathered decades of research to show the perils of talking publicly about certain subjects. Here are six subjects athletes should avoid talking about at all costs:
"We're not attempting to circumcise rules." - Former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach, Bill Cowher (pictured, below)
"They shouldn’t throw at me. I’m the father of five or six kids." - Former MLB player Tito Fuentes, after getting hit by a pitch.
“I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.” - PGA Tour Golfer Greg Norman
"My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt." - Former NC State basketball player, Chuck Nevitt.
"God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve, The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can't say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex." – Former MLB player Carl Everett
"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." - Former NFL Quarterback Joe Theismann
“Black culture is something I don't relate to much at all.” - Former NBA player, Dennis Rodman (pictured, right)
"The sun has been there for 500, 600 years.” - Florida Marlins Outfielder, Mike Cameron
"Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there." – Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, on reports that 50 percent of ballplayers use steroids.
"My career was sputtering until I did a 360 and got headed in the right direction" - NBA player Tracy McGrady after signing with the Orlando Magic in 2000
“I told you I needed to feed my family, they offered me 3 years at $21 million. That’s not going to cut it…If [owner Glen] Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you’re going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon.” – Former NBA All-Star Latrell Sprewell
“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – NBA All-Star Jason Kidd, after being drafting by the Dallas Mavericks (pictured, right)
"I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first." - Former New Orleans Saints RB George Rogers
"Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is 10, or something." - Dennis Rodman
“Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points, they almost always win.” – Former NBA analyst & current Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doug Collins
"This is how I feel -- if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he [Obama] would've invited Arizona if they had won." - Steelers linebacker James Harrison, explaining why he declined an invitation to the White House after winning the Super Bowl
"I feel like I'm the best, but you're not going to get me to say that." – Football Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice
“Don’t say I don’t get along with my teammates. I just don’t get along with some of the guys on the team.” – NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens
"The Hall of Fame ceremonies are on the thirty-first and thirty-second of July." - Baseball Hall of Famer, Ralph Kiner
“That’s what they get for building a ballpark on the ocean.” – Former MLB pitcher Dennis ‘Oil Can’ Boyd, after a 1986 game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium was postponed due to fog
"I couldn't find London on a map if they didn't have the names of the countries. I swear to God. I don't know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot. I learned that. I know London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him. That's the closest thing I know to London." - Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder talking about the teams trip to London in 2007 (thanks to reader James O'Hara for the suggestion)
“We went to a lot of clubs, but I can't remember if that was one of them." - Shaquille O’Neal (pictured, right) when asked if he visited the Acropolis while in Greece
According to Field Producer Doug Prusak, after New Jersey Devils Head Coach Jacques Lemaire announces the team is heading to Miami, an unnamed rookie responds “Why are we going to Miami? Isn’t that in Mexico?”
“I can go right, I can go left, I’m amphibious” – Former NBA player, Charles Shackleford
"He's one of the best power forwards of all-time. I take my hands off to him." – Former NBA All-Star Scottie Pippen
Phillies Randy Ready to Pirates Andy Van Slyke regarding Phillies switch-pitcher Greg Harris "he's amphibious", Van Slyke responds: "What does that mean, he can pitch underwater?"