The Alphabet: Inspired by Sport

By: Alex Risen
By: Alex Risen

The Letter "M"...

MAYBE? (more like maybe not!)

bad question to ask as a sports reporter (or reporter in general):

  • To New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen, after pitching his perfect game in the 1956 World Series, "Is it the best game you've ever pitched?"  (Come on man!)

brief answers:

  • Boxer Bruce Woodcock, after being knocked out by Tami Mauriello, was asked which punch bothered him the most...he said.....wait for it is..."The last one."
  • After the second round of the 1961 Los Angeles Open, Arnold Palmer was asked how his game feel apart and, on the 18th hole, how he shot a 12...In response Palmer said...this is so good..."I missed my putt for an 11." So true!


famous and notable boasts in the history of sport

  • New York Jets QB Joe Namath predicted to the Miami Touchdown Club three days before the 1969 Super Bowl that his team would upset the Baltimore Colts (favored by 17 points by the way). He said, "I guarantee it." Final score Jets 16, Colts 7...well played Namath....well played.
  • Before the 1984 Olympic downhill competition, American skier Bill Johnson said, "I don't even know why everyone else is here. They should hand (the gold medal) to me...this course was designed for me, and everyone else can fight for second place." What makes it so great? He won the gold.
  • Golf great Walter Hagen often said, "Well, who's going to be second?" before teeing off.
  • Nike ad - Algerian middle-distance runner Nourredine Morceli was pictured thinking while running a race and the words he was thinking? "When I race, my mind is full of doubts...Who will finish second? Who will finish third?"


  • Recently, looking back at some great segments from WYMT in earlier years...I came across a lot of great sounds...something I believe you remember way after the scoreboard turns off and the fans leave the stands. So close your eyes and remember the times you've heard...
  1. the snap of the chin strap on a football helmet
  2. the club face strike the ball in golf
  3. buzzer going off in basketball and hearing the swish of the net for a game-winner
  4. the fans out in the stadium/arena while you're still in the tunnel/ locker room
  5. "peanuts here, get you're peanuts!"
  6. and of course...                                         nothing (because the absence of sound can sometimes be the most dramatic and inspiring moments of our lives...think of the eyes watching a football in mid-flight before it comes down with no time on the clock and it's for the win...the gasp when the ball is released...and the sound of joy...and of heartbreak...)

Thank you sports, for allowing us to hear emotion, both good and bad...and for making our lives that much more beautiful...I'd be lost without you

      (From FSU @ Louisville 2002...Cards defeated the Noles in a ton of water 26-20 in overtime...highest ranked team UofL had beaten in program history...great memories and what sports are about...overcoming obstacles and beating the odds...there's a reason you play the game...don't listen to any of the hype before the game and the stats one way or another...just go play...and see what happens...the elation on the Louisville sideline poured over to the community as a's about pride and passion...In Tallahassee it was disbelief...and a hunger to get back out on the field and redeem the town, not just the team.)


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