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The good word from Al

AL McGuire was an American college coach and broadcaster, head coach at Marquette University from 1964 to 1977 and a national championship winner in his final season.

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, McGuire was born and
raised in New York, bringing his own street smart philosophy to both of his professional roles.

Here are a selection of his best quotes for your weekend amusement and edification.

“If winning weren’t important, nobody would keep score.”

“Life is what you allow yourself not to see.”
“I come from New York where, if you fall own, someone will pick you up by your wallet.”

“The nicest thing about coaching is that one day you feel like you can play handball against a curb, and on other days you feel like you can fly to the moon.”

“When I’m losing, they call me nuts. When I’m winning, they call me eccentric.”

“I had my moment on the stage. The trick in life is to know when to leave.”

“We rush for the stars as we crawl toward our graves.”

“I don’t discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I’m not interested in philosophy classes.”

“If a player leaves Marquette and doesn’t have some of my blood in him, then I don’t think I’ve done a good job.”

“Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more. In a generation, you’ll have something.”

“It’s a profession in which, the longer you stay, the closer you are to being fired.”

“The people who know basketball, their elevators don’t go to the top.”

“I let ballplayers yell back at me because I wasn’t trying to prove I’m boss. I know I’m boss.”

“Don’t call me son unless you’re going to include me in your will.”

“I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cab driver. Then they would really be educated.”

“I’m not saying that they were Einsteins; they were marginal students. But every ballplayer whoever touched me has moved up his station in life. And the players moved up my station.”

“The next time I will cry is when I die. My life has been that beautiful.”

“You can always tell the Catholic schools by the length of the cheerleaders’ skirts.”

“My rule was I wouldn’t recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house. That’s not my world. My world has a cracked sidewalk.”

“Remember, half the doctors in this country graduated in the bottom half of their class.”

“All love affairs end.  Eventually, the girl is gonna put curlers in her hair.”

“Winning is only important in war and surgery.”

“You cannot have a bland feeling about me – either I’m a showboating son of a bitch or I’m the darling that everyone picks on.”

“The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores.”

“If you’re straight with your players, they’ll be straight with you.”

“Can’t win without talent, you know.”

“The only mystery in life is why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.”

“Our guys took Shop and Advanced Shop. Shop is when you make a chair. Advanced Shop is when you paint it.”

“When a guy takes off his coat, he’s not going to fight. When a guy takes off his wristwatch, watch out!”

“I think the world is run by “C” students.”

“I’m an Einstein of the streets and an Oxford scholar of common sense.”

“God didn’t miss any of us.”

“Live every day as if it were Saturday night.”

“Dream big.”

“Don’t be just another guy going down the street and going nowhere.”

“Live in the moment that you are in.”

“Make your life exciting. Do what you have to do as long as you don’t hurt people.”

Mar 7

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.