Jul 272009

I love a good quote. Who doesn’t? When you quote someone else, not only do you get to borrow from the genius or insight of another, you can do so without culpability.

If anyone takes issue with it, just say, “Hey, I didn’t say it. I was just repeating what so and so said.”

I also love sports and I love the fact that some of the most memorable American quotes have been the product of our obsession with the games of our American pastime and the men who play them.

Not everyone is obsessed with the games men play with their balls…

Is it a reasonable thing, I ask you, for a grown man to run about and hit a ball?  Poker’s the only game fit for a grown man.  Then, your hand is against every man’s, and every man’s is against yours.  Teamwork?  Who ever made a fortune by teamwork?  There’s only one way to make a fortune, and that’s to down the fellow who’s up against you.  ~W. Somerset Maugham

I do like teamwork. I think it is a beautiful thing—especially in the great game of American football. I especially love teamwork when it involves my team—America’s team— the Dallas Cowboys.

“Football incorporates the two worst elements of American society: violence punctuated by committee meetings.”

~ George Will, author, commentator, humorist

The game of American football – especially at the professional level – lends itself to copious and memorable quotes, like the one above.

The Dallas Cowboys organization has been home to great leaders, singular players, and colorful characters throughout its noble history. Many of them have, with their words, weaved a colorful and rich tapestry, a verbal masterpiece draped on the walls of our memories.


Meredith: Always Quotable

If you are old enough to have been there, and if you can quiet your spirit enough, you can almost hear the even, measured words of  Tom Landry, uttered in that south Texas drawl, words of wisdom, words to play – and to live – by. You can hear the even more twangy Texas twang of the witty Walt Garrison deadpanning about his coach. You can hear the almost musical quality of Meredith’s smooth delivery of yet another masterful bon mot.

It is not easy to sift through these treasures and find the ten most memorable, or ten most representative quotes of the franchise’s history. I doubt I have succeeded in doing so. I am sure you will correct me…and add your own sweet memory to this tapestry.

Number Ten: “That was the triumph of an uncluttered mind.” ~ Blaine Nye on Clint Longley’s Thanksgiving Day performance

Number Nine: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, wouldn’t it be a merry Christmas?” ~ Don Meredith

Number Eight: “He couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘a.'” ~ Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson on Terry Bradshaw

Number Seven: “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” ~ Roger Staubach

Number Six: “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” ~ Tom Landry

Number Five: “He’s a perfectionist. If he was married to Raquel Welch, he’d expect her to cook.” ~ Don Meredith on Coach Landry

Number Four: “If the Super Bowl is the Ultimate Game, why are they playing it again next year?” ~ Duane Thomas

Number Three: “If it was third down, and you needed four yards, if you’d get the ball to Walt Garrison, he’d get ya five. And if was third down and ya needed 20 yards, if you’d get the ball to Walt Garrison, by God, he’d get you five.” ~ Don Meredith on Walt Garrison

Number Two: “Nope. But I have only been here nine years.” ~ Walt Garrison, when asked if he had ever seen Tom Landry smile.

Number One: “Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof so God can watch his favorite team play.” ~ D.D. Lewis

Like I said, it was quite difficult to narrow them down to just ten. These are my ten. It is entirely possible that the reader remembers ten others that were just as memorable, witty, or astounding. If so, feel free to reply and add your own list…or at least your own favorite quote.

As for me, I will let the most quotable Cowboy of them all get the final word…

“Turn out the lights: the party’s over.”