No article or commentary on Classic Sound Bites could ever be complete without first mentioning the great Muhammad Ali. He might as well be the originator of the sound bite, or an outstanding piece of spoken word that journalists and newspaper reporters seek when talking to public figures. Like we collectors search for great cards, pressman & paparrazi must prod and needle the people for interesting bits of information laced with theatrical enthusiasm. Ali personified this exact description and he was much more than a quip. He broke as many social and cultural barriers as the Civil Rights activists themselves. My favorite Ali-ism would have to be, "The man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb had a falling out in 2005 after their Super Bowl loss the previous season. The Eagles had a great 2004 but came up just short losing to the Spy-Gate Patriots. The game was punctuated by a pathetic 2-minute drill, the Eagles ran in the waning minutes of the game. The idea of running the 2-min offense is to go no-huddle so the defense can't make substitutions, giving Offensive side the advantage as well as saving some clock. The Eagles made it look more like the 10 minute drill; lots of standing around, lots of seconds ticking away, incompletions and... Vomiting?! TO later made reference to McNabb being out of shape in the biggest game to the Philadelphia media and Donovan came back with a GEM that I still use every chance I get to this day, "Keep my name out yo mouth."
"What are we talking about here?" The Philadelphia media really knows how to bring out the best in their sports stars. The little guy from Virginia that played quarterback in high school and was heavily recruited, but at 6 ft about 150 lbs really would've been kidding himself to choose football, Allen Iverson decided to play hoops @ Georgetown University for coach John Thompson. AI learned to share the basketball about 30% of the time, which was a 25% improvement in his two year stint in D.C. But still, practice became just too mundane an activity for Iverson whence he reached the pros. Another classic sound bite occured when Allen gave a press conference in 2002 to address the media about the Sixers and coach Larry Brown's issues with him. "Practice? We talkin bout practice?"
Save the most entertaining for last. Mike Tyson has given us too many special moments to count. From, "I'm gonna eat his children" to "then turn the camera off you bitch," Mike never disappoints. Muhammad Ali spoke to the world with an athletic tongue and a sharp intellect, while Mike Tyson spoke to us like we were his baby's mama's boyfriend. I'm happy for Mike now that he has entered Broadway. And comedy is really where he belongs. To be where he's been and come from the toughest streets, Tyson should have plenty of raw material to express on stage. I just hope he doesn't lose it on a heckler when he forgets a line or stammers when someone starts laughing during serious dialogue.