Columnist weighs in on life lessons and quotes about sports

In my job as director of news and media relations at Wichita State University, I’ve often told reporters, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

That usually elicits a laugh, a smile or groan.

Well, this week I’m going to take it one step further with my column, which falls in the midst of the so-called dog days of summer. “I’m from the Free Press and I’m here to help!”

There are multiple reasons why people like sports. But the truth is, for better or worse, sports is a microcosm of life.

I’ve compiled a variety of what I believe are interesting quotes from all kinds of people, former and current athletes, coaches, broadcasters and other characters in life.

So take a moment to sit back, relax, and ponder the wisdom, or maybe the lack thereof, with some observations about sports and life from a BrainyQuote website. It might make you laugh, smile, or groan as you shake your head, thinking, “There go a few minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.”


“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Bobby Unser

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

“Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.” Casey Stengel

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Vince Lombardi

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Vince Lombardi

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” Mike Singletary

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” William Arthur Ward

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Babe Ruth

“That’s one thing you learn in sports. You don’t give up; you fight to the finish.” Louis Zamperini

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.” Knute Rockne

“Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Mark Twain

“A lifetime of training for just 10 seconds.” Jesse Owens

“The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.” Billy Graham

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of 10 and be considered a good performer.” Ted Williams

“Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five.” Paul Harvey

“We knew sports was important to us and our family, but there are priorities in life. Obviously, faith is foremost; how we did in school is important. If we didn’t handle that business, then there were no privileges.” Stephen Curry

“So much about big-time college sports is criticized. But the worst scandal is almost never mentioned: the academic fraud wherein the student-athletes, so-called, are admitted without even remotely adequate credentials and then aren’t educated so much as they are just kept eligible.” Frank Deford

“If you give all your effort and all the fight and all the heart you got, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win, and that’s what’s tough about sports.” Tyronn Lue

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.” Earl Warren

“Making kids watch the U.S. Open (golf) is a great way to get them to either go play other sports outside for a while or go to the dentist.” Michael Collins

“I never use the word ‘hero’ in sports. Hero is way above ‘star.’ I save ‘star’ for sports. Sports is entertainment; that’s all it is.” Bud Grant

“I try to be real and honest about everything and very genuine with people and say, ‘Listen, I’m a Christian, and I’m not perfect. I screw up every day, but I think that’s what grace is all about.” Tim Tebow

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” Satchel Paige