Sports- What Would Mark Twain Say?

March 07, 2008 |


I’m writing this from the Sheraton Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut.  I’m performing this weekend at a comedy club nearby.  One of my favorite authors, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) lived in Hartford with his family for many years and the home in which  he wrote several of his novels and many short stories, is just a couple of miles away. 

I’ve visited the home before and highly recommend the trip to anyone with an interest in America’s most revered writer.    His humor, his pathos, his sense of craft and story-telling are unmatched.  What some people don’t know about Twain is that not only was he an incredible writer, he was also a brilliant speaker who captivated audiences around the world spinning tales from his own life and offering perfectly phrased observations about life in America and abroad. 

Below I’ve taken a few of his quotes and tried to put a sports “spin” on them.  Love the quotes themselves and I hope this motivates some of you to read more of his work.  

“Always acknowledge a fault.  This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.” 

Brian Roberts, Andy Pettite… etc… etc…

“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Every year, Yankee fans worry about their team not making the playoffs and every year… Sucks, doesn’t it?

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

Don’t know how it applies to sports but I love the quote.

“In the first place, God made idiots.  That was for practice.  Then he made school boards.”

Read Rex Snider’s blog entitled “Drug Dealers Rejoice… You Can Play Baseball in Anne Arundel County.

“The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing.  The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.”


“Barring that natural expression of villainy, which we all have, the man looked honest enough.”

Roger Clemens or Brian McNamee?  You decide.

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

I wonder if Michael Vick has been reading Twain while in prison?

“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”

The Golden Rule for anyone who’s ever hosted a sports talk show, including myself.

Below I’ve listed a few more of my favorite quotes with no sports “spin” added.  Feel free to make up one of your own or use any Mark Twain quote you’d like.

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

“Don’t part with your illusions.  When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.”

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”