Hilarious Quotes From John McKay


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John McKay was a legendary football coach. In the 1960s and 1970s, he coached the University of Southern California to 4 national championships. When the NFL expanded in 1976, adding new teams in Tampa Bay and Seattle, the Tampa Bay team called on McKay to help them build a winner like he had done at USC. He accepted the challenge and said he had a 5-year plan to make the team a winner. He, nor anyone else, realized how hard it would be. Fortunately, McKay’s sense of humor was every bit as legendary as his coaching skill. The team would indeed make the playoffs within the 5 years, but it was McKay’s quips that lived longer in the hearts and minds of the fans. McKay died in 2001 from complications from diabetes. As the NFL is about to start a new season, we present some of McKay’s most memorable quotes.

When asked how many games he expected the first Bucs team to win: “We’ve broken down the expansion teams and they’ve averaged winning 2.7 games their first year, which to me is rather difficult. I figured out the 2, but the .7 has got me wondering what the hell is going on.”

When asked if his players show enough emotion

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“Emotion is highly overrated in football. My wife Corky is emotional as hell but can’t play football worth a damn.”

On his team’s blocking strategy: “Hold when you’re at home and don’t hold when you’re on the road.”

On how coaching an expansion team is like a religious experience: “You do a lot of praying, but most of the time the answer is ‘no.’”

After losing 42-0 to the Pittsburgh Steelers: I’ll probably take a little time off and go hide somewhere. We will be back. Maybe not this century, but we will be back and we will be a better football team.”

Another gem from that game, played in frigid Pittsburgh: “Injuries kill you. I remember in Pittsburgh, we had no players and the ones we did have wanted to stay at the hotel by the fire. I was ticked because that’s where I wanted to stand.”

On the Buccaneers ineffective special-teams play: “They were absolutely horrible and that’s the best thing I can say. Besides that they were bad. These people are not poorly paid you know.

After a reporter told him the kicker finds the coach intimidating

“That’s going to be a problem for him because I plan on going to all the games. Kickers are like horse manure. They’re all over the place.”

When asked if he was looking forward to a road game against the Green Bay Packers: “If a contest had 97 prizes, the 98th would be a trip to Green Bay.”

On Tampa Bay ending its 26-game losing streak: “Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”

After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame in 1966: “I told my team it doesn’t matter. There are 750 million people in China who don’t even know this game was played. The next day, a guy called me from China and asked, ‘What happened, Coach?'”

When asked by a reporter what he thought about his team’s execution

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“I’m in favor of it.”

On the personality of those early Bucs teams: “We didn’t have a lot of talkers. We had two or three guys who could say a long prayer. In fact, one guy went so long one time he got a standing ovation. He was blessing everybody, the motor, the tire, the wheels, the fans. I kind of went to sleep.”

About those orange Bucs uniforms: “The uniforms were already picked out by the time I got here. I didn’t give it too much thought until I saw our buses and I said, `My God, we’re dressed just like that bus.’ ”

On 41-year-old kicker Jan Stenerud: “He may be the only kicker to kick and collect social security at the same time.”

On opening games: “Opening games make me nervous. To tell you the truth, I’d rather open with our second game.”

On the fan mail he received: “It was about three-to-one that I was not an SOB. But there were a lot of ones.”

As the Bucs struggled, losing every one of their first 26 games, McKay reminisced about his days at USC, particularly when OJ Simpson was there: “I keep a picture of OJ Simpson at my side at all times to remind me of the days when I knew how to coach.”

After receiving harsh criticism from the media about McKay’s coaching skills in the NFL, McKay replies “You guys don’t know the difference between a football and a bunch of bananas.” In the next interview, members of the media left bananas for McKay. He then replied, “You guys don’t know the difference between a football and a Mercedes Benz.”

On his team’s offensive line blocking: “Well, we didn’t block. But we made up for it by not tackling.”

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