Never ones to be accused to being too imaginative, we’ve given our friend Andy the same birthday gift every year for 10 years now— the 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said desk calendar. Adapted from the popular book series that collects the most mind-bogglingly dumb things ever said by human beings great and small, the calendar metes out one asinine proclamation for each day, virtually guaranteeing the reader at least 365 laughs every year. Andy used to save the best ones and bring them by my desk to share, and now my wife carries on that tradition. As a result my computer monitor is littered with choice inanities that never fail to make me smile, roll my eyes and offer thanks that there are a lot of well-known people who don’t know well enough to think before they speak. But given some of the evidence cited below, I’m not sure thinking before speaking would necessarily do any good. It’d just cause their heads to hurt just a little bit more. So now, without further ado (or, in the spirit of this post, without further adieu),
MY FAVORITE DUMB THINGS HEARD FROM THE WORLD OF SPORTS:
#5: "Freedom of speech is when you talk."
--Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, appearing before a congressional committee on the First Amendment
#4: "I was glad to see Italy win. All the guys on the team were Italians."
--Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda, on the soccer World Cup.
(I get the feeling Tommy could fill his own book…)
#3: "Down the left-field and right-field lines, it's 99 liters, whatever that means."
-- metrically challenged Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner at Olympic Stadium
#2: "The first pitch to Tucker Ashford is grounded into left field. No, wait a minute. It's ball one. Low and outside."
--San Diego Padres sportcaster Jerry Coleman
And the number-one Stupidest Thing Ever Said from the World of Sports:
"A lot of people think it's going to take the mustard off the World Series. Well, the World Series will always have mustard on it. Anytime you're playing for the ring, there's going to be mustard involved."
-- Relief pitcher Lee Smith, when asked whether interleague play would take the luster off the World Series
And now, because people who make movies can be awfully stupid too,
MY FIVE FAVORITE DUMB THINGS HEARD FROM THE WORLD OF MOVIES:
#5: None-too-talented child actor Jake Lloyd, discussing the character of Anakin Skywalker, his role in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, who will eventually become Darth Vader:
"Anakin Skywalker is a lot like me. He's really mechanical."
(This is really more of an embarrassing unintentional admission than a moment of pure stupidity, gleaned from one of the documentaries attached to the Phantom Menace DVD, but it was just so revealing that I couldn’t help but include it.)
#4: "There's not enough sarcasm in the musical score."
-- movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn
#3: "From now on, whenever you talk to you, keep your mouth shut."
-- movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn to writers during a script conference
#2: Film producer Harry Cohn: "You want to do a Bible epic? What do you know about the Bible? I'll bet you $50 you don't even know the Lord's Prayer."
Producer Jack Cohn: "Now I lay me down to sleep..."
Harry Cohn (pulling out $50): "Well, I'll be damned. I honestly didn't think you knew it."
And the #1 dumbest thing heard from the world of movies comes from an assistant to director Cecil B. DeMille who, when filming Samson and Delilah and discussing the scene in which Samson slays the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, said to a colleague:
"The jawbone of an ass? Never! This is a DeMille picture and we've got to use the whole ass!"
Now, you and I know that the worlds of sports and movies are virtual Petri dishes of stupidity and that there must be far more than just five great examples from each that could have been inserted into this column. And I know some of you probably have even better sources than the 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said desk calendar at your disposal. If you’ve got a stupid comment from the world of movies or sports that rivals these, please drop ‘em in the comments column and share some asininity with the rest of us, who obviously don’t get enough of it in our daily lives.