Victor Cruz, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana: Quotes from Books By NFL Stars

Victor Cruz, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana: Quotes from Books By NFL Stars


Of all of America’s favorite sports, football is just about as punishing as it gets. To excel in the game, strength of will is just as important as strength of body and mind; “that competitive fire inside,” John Elway once put it, makes all the difference. Truth is, we could all learn from football stars about getting up and shaking it off in the face of life’s challenges. With the BCS National Championship days away, we’ve rounded up inspiring quotes from some of the game’s greats. From legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s advice on taking criticism to “The Blind Side’s” Michael Oher’s moving message about never giving up, these player quotes from books new and old will get you fired up for some football.

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    1. It’s Only a Game

    Terry Bradshaw

    “There really has been only one thing in my life that has made me feel complete, and that is the game of football. The ability to throw a football was my God-given talent. That was my blessing and my passion; that was my calling in life, and everything that I’ve accomplished has derived from that.”

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    2. Dan Marino

    Dan Marino

    “I’ve tried, at every step in life, to find a lesson. And accepting criticism with the same grace that you do the applause is something every young athlete needs to learn. [….] I think it served me well to learn how to handle everything that came with the game’s ups and downs. Some people call it growing another layer of skin. I just call it growing up.”

  3. Joe Namath

    “I spent the nights before the Jets’ two biggest games last year–for the [1968] AFL championship and the Super Bowl–with girls. But I don’t consider that bad or foolish of me. [….]The night before a game, I prepare myself both mentally and physically for the next day. I think a ballplayer has to be relaxed to play well; and if that involves being with a girl that night, he should do it.”

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    4. Comeback Kid

    John Elway

    “If you ask what’s been my secret of success, most might say it’s my God-given athletic ability to throw a football. While talent is important, it’s not necessarily the most important thing. Thousands of talented people fail every day. My strength has been my will to win–that competitive fire inside.”

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    5. Finally Free

    Michael Vick

    “The beginning of my love for football goes back to when I was seven years old. I was spending time with my grandmother, Caletha Vick. I never knew anything about the game until one Sunday afternoon when she turned on the television because the Redskins were playing. They were my Uncle Casey’s favorite team–and my grandmother’s favorite too. After watching the game with them, I was hooked.”

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    6. Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies

    Learning from hard hits

    Chris Kluwe

    “Football is an absolutely idiotic pastime by any rational standards. You’re running into other people as hard as you can, you get frequent muscle strains and ligament tears, and the protective padding really doesn’t do all that much to absorb the blunt trauma.”

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    7. Slow Getting Up

    Nate Jackson

    “In our football lives, we pretend we are invincible, because we have to keep on playing. In reality, we are fragile and we are afraid.”

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    8. Tiki

    Tiki Barber

    “It’s a basic, elemental universe, one of the last remaining zones where violence and domination sort out who is top dog. That’s football’s glory, and its curse. The game of football doesn’t transfer well to the real world. You can’t treat your friends, neighbors, or loved ones the way you treat your opponent on the football field.”

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    9. LT: Over the Edge

    Lawrence Taylor

    “Football is not a game for the weak of heart, because every day you’ve got a hundred reasons to take all those pads off and say, ‘F–k it.'”

  10. 10. Rudy

    Inspiring underdogs

    Rudy Ruettiger

    “Football really was my salvation in high school. For some kids it’s art. For some it’s music. For me, it was strapping on those pads, yanking that helmet over my head, and getting out there with the team.”

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    11. Invincible

    Vince Papale

    “I excelled in basketball and track in school, but I didn’t play football (other than youth football) because even though I was the fastest kid around, I was small: 5 feet, 6 inches tall as a high school senior and only 145 pounds soaking wet. But when [George Corner] became the football coach before my senior year, he invited me to try out for the team. I trained like a maniac…. With that, even though I ended up going to St. Joseph’s College on a track scholarship, I had a vision: I was a football player.”

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    12. I Beat The Odds

    Michael Oher

    “It’s never been about football, but about becoming the best and fullest person I could be. And to think that I went from the kid with a GPA in the basement to going to college on a football scholarship–I was thankful and humbled by how far I’d come in just a few years. I knew that miracles really do happen.”

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    13. Out of the Blue

    Wisdom from wide receivers

    Victor Cruz

    “Sometimes on the basketball court or on the football field, you enter this place called ‘The Zone.’ You’re not supposed to acknowledge when you’re in ‘The Zone,’ but when you are, you simply cannot be stopped.”

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    14. Go Long!

    Jerry Rice

    “I could barely speak [after I was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers]. I was going to play for the defending Super Bowl champions…. I immediately thought of all the great players on the team. I was in awe, as I had watched these soon-to-be legends play on television. They epitomized for me what football was all about: the love of the game, the professional approach, and the desire to win.”



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