By Paul Katcher
Special to Page 3
With the Oscars on everyone's mind, and the American Film Institute's plan to name its list of top 100 movie quotes this summer, it's the perfect time to take a look back at the top 100 sports-related movie quotes that have made an impact over years.
Obviously, there's some subjectivity involved here, so here are our ground rules:
1. Quotes must be sports-related, though they don't have to come from a "sports movie." So the "It must be take a worm for a walk week" line in "The Karate Kid" doesn't qualify because Daniel-san wasn't in the process of getting his head bashed in at the time. But the diving scenes in "Back to School" count.
3. Real-life quotes are allowed if they made it into long-beloved movies, such as Lou Gehrig's speech in "The Pride of the Yankees." But Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles?" doesn't count.
4. No more than three quotes allowed from any one movie. This was a nearly impossible task for "Caddyshack" and, unfortunately, "Be the ball" is on the outside looking in.
Count 'em down:
100. "I must break you."
99. "According to Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power! Well, that football field out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans!"
And we have the first over-the-top pep talk of the list, compliments of Coach Boone.
98. "The drivers can't stand to be reminded of what can happen to 'em in a race car. They don't go to hospitals. They don't go to funerals. You get a driver to a funeral before he's actually dead, you've made history, darlin'."
97. "All right, men, now here's the play we're gonna use. I don't think the guards know this formation. It's called 'incidental punishment after the ball is blown dead.' Remember, any man you tackle gets an elbow, knee or kick in the mouth."
96. "You wanna know how stupid you are? Rube Walker, man. I conned you out. Rube Walker!"
95. "How many eyes do you need to finish this fight?"
94. "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."
North Dallas Forty
Don't really see Jared Fogle hawking these things, now do we?
92. "Oh, he was the catcher on the high school baseball team. The star pitcher had a big-league curve. Not all of his pitches hit Roy in the mitt. Ouch. The team thought 'Tin Cup' was a whole lot better than 'Clank.' "
91. "He's got one foot in the frying pan and one in the pressure cooker. Believe me, as a bowler, I know that right about now, your bladder feels like an overstuffed vacuum cleaner bag and your butt is kinda like an about-to-explode bratwurst."
90. "I love Brian Piccolo. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him."
89. "You better watch it, Dr. Death. I'm pretty damn fast for a Caucasian."
88. "Dead meat!"
87. "I wanna see the kid in the net who wouldn't take the test."
86. "Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man! Oh, my God! Einhorn is a man!"
85. "It's in the hole!"
That Bert. He's always being so supportive of Fast Eddie.
83. "I'll tell you what. Why don't we take all these bricks and build a shelter for the homeless, so maybe your mother will have a place to stay?"
82. "We're gonna yank 'em ... tear 'em ... rrrrip 'em. We're gonna take 'em and roll 'em around and rip 'em up to pieces. And then we're gonna slaughter 'em!"
81. "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."
80. [A reporter asks, "Rocky do you have something derogatory to say about the champ?"] "Derogatory? Yeah, he's great."
79. "All I want to do is race, Daddy."
78. [After Kareem Abdul-Jabbar protests being ejected from his farewell game.] "Well then, let me be the first to say, 'Farewell!' "
77. "I want a guy who can play 36 holes of golf and still have enough energy to take Warren and me to a baseball game and eat sausages and beer. Not light beer, but beer. That's my ad, print it up."
76. "People say that it can't work, black and white; well, here we make it work, every day. We have our disagreements, of course, but before we reach for hate, always, always, we remember the Titans."
75. "My dad died when he was 39. Hodgkins. My grandfather, my uncle, same thing. None of 'em made it past the age of 45, so I'm gonna live my life the way I want! Why don't you get off my back. Call your wife, go cry to her about it."
74. "He must be the stupidest son of a bitch alive. But he sure is fast!"
73. "520? You get 400 for just spelling your name correctly."
72. "See that look in their eyes, Rock? You gotta get that look back, Rock. Eye of the tiger, man."
71. "Dodgeball is a sport of violence, exclusion and degradation."
70. "My mother was 13 years old when I was born. Why? Because my dad raped a little girl that was in a room asleep. My dad was going out with my mother's mother. There you go. There's some bones for Jake the Snake."
69. "Hi, my name's Mae, and that's more than a name, that's an attitude."
68. "He didn't slam into you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you. He rubbed you. And rubbin', son, is racin'."
67. "Listen, Lupus, you didn't come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can."
66. "Wormser is a master of aerodynamics. He has engineered the javelin to complement Lamar's limp-wristed throwing style."
65. "If there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."
64. "I'll make it."
63. "The most important thing to remember is to protect your quarterback me!"
62. "Wax on. Wax off."
61. "And you're always talking about, 'Muhammad, you're not the same man you were 10 years ago.' Well, I asked your wife, and she told me you're not the same man you was two years ago!"
60. "Just a reminder, fans, about Die-Hard Night coming up here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant."
59. "This is a simple game: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball."
58. "Tackle by Jefferson! Jefferson! Jefferson!"
57. "You can do it!"
56. "Protect yourself at all times."
55. "Well, I figure against today's pitchers I'd only probably hit about .290."
54. "Let them play! Let them play!"
53. "Well you're better than any player I ever had. And you're the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up."
52. "Look, mister, there's two kinds of dumb. Uh, guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with."
51. "Good crowd out there tonight, boys, let's really try to win this one."
50. "I sure miss playing basketball. I got depressed as hell when my athlete's foot and jock itch went away."
49. "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."
48. "Hey, unless you're gonna kiss me, get your hands off my ass."
47. "I was crippled for the rest of my life. I got better. He made me better. Hell, you made me better."
46. [Ed Rooney learns the score of the baseball game is nothin'-nothin'.] "Who's winning?"
45. "Uh, Lord, hallowed be thy name. May our feet be swift; may our bats be mighty; may our balls be plentiful. Lord, I'd just like to thank you for that waitress in South Bend. You know who she is she kept calling your name. And God, these are good girls, and they work hard. Just help them see it all the way through. OK, that's it."
44. "People always say to me, 'When you get to the NBA, don't forget about me.' Well, I should've said back, 'If I don't make it to the NBA, don't you forget about me.' "
43. "You never played for Charlie Comiskey."
42. "If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says. At the end of the game, in my book, we're gonna be winners."
Coach Norman Dale's most emotional address to the Hickory High hoops team.
41. "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."
40. "In case you haven't noticed and, judging by the attendance, you haven't the Indians have managed to win a few here and there and are threatening to climb out of the cellar."
39. "You're 5 foot nothin', 100 and nothin' and you have nearly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you're gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself."
38. "I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool."
37. "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi! You ugly! You ugly! Yo momma said you ugly!"
36. "Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you're not good at them."
35. "Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn't one more thing that you could've done. Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart? If you can do that, gentlemen, then you're perfect."
34. "Billy, listen to me. White men can't jump."
33. "Hey, Yankees, you can take your apology and your trophy and shove 'em straight up your ass!"
32. "Put it in the face!"
31. "Sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper."
30. "So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
29. "I just slid my ticket across the table and I said, 'Sorry, guys, I gotta see about a girl.' "
No one speaks to Bob Barker like that without a fight. No one!
27. "I enjoy watching football in the afternoon. One of the things I love about this country. Baseball, too. I love baseball ever since Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series in 1919."
26. "If he had held the ball laces out like he's supposed to, Ray would never have missed that kick. Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell!"
25. "... Whose bright strips and broad stars, in the perilous night. O'er the ramparts we watched, as the da da da da da da. And the rocket's red glare, lots of bombs in the air ..."
24. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change."
23. "There will be an additional springboard installed for Melon's dive, the Triple Lindy!"
22. "Get him a body bag, yeaaahhh!"
21. "Which brings me to my second point, kids. Don't do crack."
20. "What about Brett Fav-ruh?"
19. "I'm gonna make Gretzky's head bleed for SuperFan99 over here."
18. "Jocks only think about sports. Nerds only think about sex."
17. "Mike Eruzione! Winthrop, Massachusetts! I play for the United States of America!"
16. "Well, Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live ... is it a live rooster? We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove, and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present."
15. "Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool."
Of all the cheesy "Rocky" lines and all the unintentional comedy they provide, this one still inspires. Balboa's gal implores him to kick butt, and Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now" is cued.
13. "Pick me out a winner, Bobby."
11. "If you build it, he will come."
10. "You're gonna eat lightning, and you're gonna crap thunder!"
9. "Oh, there they go. There they go. Every time I start talkin' 'bout boxing, a white man got to pull Rocky Marciano out their ass. That's their one, that's their one. Rocky Marciano! Rocky Marciano!"
8. "You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!"
7. "There's no crying in baseball!"
6. "Sweep the leg."
Some little snot's dad thinks co-pilot Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ("Roger Murdock") doesn't work hard enough on defense, that he sometimes doesn't even run down the court and that he only tries during the playoffs. Man, he has been hearing that crap ever since he was at UCLA! Also, this might be the most misquoted line on the list. Every time someone recites it, they throw in Russell or Chamberlain or somebody else. It's Walton and Lanier. Get it straight!
4. "Juuuust a bit outside!"
3. "Show me the money!"
2. "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let's face it. It was you, Charley."
1. "Yo, Adrian!"
Paul Katcher is a freelance writer based in New York City. He welcomes questions, comments and Web links to interesting sites and news items at firstname.lastname@example.org.