The best football quotes can motivate a team, inspire a fan base, and have everyone ready for the game. We’ve taken a look at quotes from players, coaches, and football analysts to come up with this collection. Here’s the kick-off.
Good Football Quotations
Here are some of the best football quotes from NFL stars. Players who have competed at the highest professional level have some special insights on the game. Read on.
Troy Aikman Quotes
- Losing doesn’t eat at me the way it used to. I just get ready for the next play, the next game, the next season.
- 12 of the best years of my life – It will never be forgotten.
- I’ve always viewed myself as an achiever. I need to achieve it for myself.
Marcus Allen Quotes
- It actually took me a year to learn how to play running back – to understand what they were doing defensively and then what our guys were doing every single play.
- That’s the thing about fear. Death will kill you once, but fear kills you over and over and over if you let it.
- But Barry, to me, is head and shoulders above everybody.
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Sammy Baugh Quotes
He knocks the hell out of people, but in a Christian way.
Chuck Bednarik Quotes
Pros like myself played football not for money or glory, but for the simplest reason: the love of the game.
The positions I played, every play, I was making contact, not like that Deion Sanders. He couldn’t tackle my wife. He’s back there dancing out there instead of hitting.
And you get into that sort of cannibalistic feeling – all you want to do is go out there and, like I say, kill somebody. I’m going to get him. I’m going to kill’em. Not like you are going to put them into the ground after, but you just want to kill a guy.
You’ve got to play with that killer instinct, man. You’ve got to hate that guy across from you. Then after the game is over, tell him what a nice guy he is. Shake his hand. Especially if you win.
For what my generation did and went through and so forth, and what these glamour boys earn for what little they play, it’s a joke. Is it football? Are you guys football players? Is that what they call football? It’s not iron-man football, where you stay on the field for 60 minutes. Everybody! We were iron men. Not a bunch of pussyfoots.
About a minute-and-a-half to go. He goes on a down-and-in pass. As soon as he caught it, I really puffed him, and his head snapped and the ball flew, and Chuck Weber fell on it. I clenched my fist, I turned around, and I closed my eyes and I said, ‘This f-in game is over.’” (Bednarik, after his famous hit on RB Frank Gifford.)
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Bobby Bell Quotes
I just liked to play football, no matter what the position.
Football Sayings from College Football and the NFL
Terry Bradshaw Quotes
Fans are fans. I hated and loved them, hated and loved them, hated and loved them.
I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.
The bottom line is if you turn the ball over to a team that isn’t as good, you then have brought them up to your level.
The best thing you can say about any coach is his players play hard for him.
Ride it when you retire.
Bad attitudes will ruin your team.
As a player, it says everything about you if you made the Hall of Fame. But, then again, boy, there’s something about winning a Super Bowl.
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a quarterback? He loses his confidence.
I always wanted everyone to like me. I wanted the city of Pittsburgh to be proud of me. But in my first few seasons, I could count the number of people on my bandwagon on one finger.
You’ve got to stand up and do your own battles. My daddy taught me that a long time ago, that you fight your own battles. The only way to shut everybody up is to win.
No one will ever win four [Super Bowls] in six years again. It won’t happen. You can chisel that sucker in stone.
Imagine yourself sitting on top of a great thoroughbred horse. You sit up there and you just feel that power. That’s what it was like playing quarterback on that team [the Pittsburgh Steelers]. It was a great ride.
Jim Brown Quotes
- I loved the game. We played because we loved it.
- When you have a problem, rules don’t solve your problem. It’s caring and education.
- Nobody I ever broke bread with, and I see players all the time, talked about using their head running the football.
- If you truly believe something, and it’s incorrect, that doesn’t mean you don’t have integrity.
- I don’t teach kids to be number 1. Organizations and people that tell you you have to be number 1; that’s not it. You don’t have to be number 1. What I teach is to be as good as you can be. Use what you have and be as good as you can be. That’s all you can do, anyway.
- I had a choice to be lazy or lean – if I hadn’t changed, the thing probably would catch up with me.
Dick Butkus Quotes
- When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately – unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something.
- We’re a big check mark on everybody’s schedule. I told them it’s just another challenge; let’s go after it.
- Few people get to earn a living at what they like to do and there are hazards in any profession. Football is something I was made for. I gave the game all I could for as long as I could. I guess my only regret was that my career was too short.
- My thing is trying to convince them they can win.
- I want to be recognized as the best-no doubt about it. When they say all-pro middle linebacker, I want them to mean Butkus!
- I worked hard at becoming a professional football player, just like society says you should. It said you had to be fierce. I was fierce. Tough. I was tough.
- If we’re not on them, they go back to their old ways.
- If I was smart enough to be a doctor, I’d be a doctor. I ain’t, so I’m a football player.
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Earl Campbell Quotes
- Somebody will always break your records. It is how you live that counts.
- I played football with my whole body – My hands, my head, my face. I did it all.
- My running style was kind of just head-on because I couldn’t dance.
- I learned from different guys I played with, too. The key was probably three people: The good Lord, the offensive linemen I played with and great fullbacks that could block very well.
- I had two things I could do: I could run over you, and I could put a good stiff arm on you. That was about it.
Willie Davis Quotes
- If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.
- The road to success runs uphill
- Early start beats fast running.
Eric Dickerson Quotes
I think I’m proudest of making my parents proud.
I don’t give players a chance to hit me.
Running is so natural to me. When I was running track, people used to ask me, “When are you gonna start running hard?” The wind hits me in the face, and I feel so smooth – Man, I love to run!
I believe if I stay tall and run up high, I can see better.
I run upright mostly when I see daylight, so if you watch film you’ll see I don’t get hit in the chest much.
I’d love to be in the Hall of Fame one day and win Super Bowl rings, or even one – and stay healthy.
I’ll tell you one thing about me: I’m very private. I always have been private. People think I’m callous, arrogant. I didn’t like the media attention.
Mike Ditka Quotes
If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.
You never really lose until you quit trying.
We have a strange and wonderful relationship – he’s strange and I’m wonderful.
The ones who want to achieve and win championships motivate themselves.
If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn’t have given us arms.
Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.
Those who live in the past are cowards and losers.
Before you can win you have to believe that you are worthy.
I always tell people I want to live to be 150 and they say why would you want to do that. I say, well there’s a few people I haven’t made mad yet, I want to get them.
Tony Dorsett Quotes
- I’m a strong believer that you practice like you play, little things make big things happen.
- You hope in this life that you grow and don’t always repeat your mistakes.
John Elway Quotes
- You learn a lot more from the lows because it makes you pay attention to what you’re doing.
- It’s all about putting the best team together – not just in the front office but the players on the field.
- I always believe there’s a reason why you go through everything.
Marshall Faulk Quotes
- If you understand what the other team is trying to do to stop you, it makes your job easier.
- My vision is my best attribute. I can see everything.
- Knowledge relaxes me. Football is all about playing faster. You play faster when you know more.
- I’m not a big power-and-strength guy, but I have a lot of balance, and I can take hits and stay on my feet. I control myself real good, shift my weight, and run really low. I do things that people haven’t seen some of the running backs in the league do.
- Once the game begins, I play to that song in my head. I run to rhythm, and that allows my mind to be free.
- Going in is really more of an acknowledgment that kids in poverty, in their situations, can get out of it, and it doesn’t always come from sports.
- There’s no fast track, no easy track, especially from where I came from. You try to make the most of it and learn from it and hope others learn from it. That’s what it is about.
- I didn’t always walk that straight line. I’m not going to say that I’m an angel. But I made some right decisions along the way.
- If you’re going to start something—if it’s worth starting—then it’s worth finishing. That’s what I live by.
Brett Favre Quotes
- Wisconsin’s a special place.
- I love doing what I do.
- I know it’s not a one-man team wins or loses.
- Every day is not perfect.
- Every game I’ve ever played, regardless if it was pre-season or Super Bowl, meant the same to me, and I laid it all on the line.
- If I can change then anyone can change. I promise you that.
- I may be a successful football player, but I feel like such a failure.
- Life deals you a lot of lessons, some people learn from it, some people don’t.
Otto Graham Quotes
- All I asked was, where do I sign? Some of the other navy men said I was rooting for the war to last forever. (after Browns gave him a monthly stipend during the war)
- When Paul Brown talked contract, the championship game was part of it. We took the championship game for granted.
- I could throw a pass to a spot as well as anyone who ever lived – But that’s a God-given talent. I could never stand back and flick the ball 60 yards downfield with my wrists like Dan Marino does.
Red Grange Quotes
- Every football player knows when his time is up.
- I played football the only way I knew. If you have the football and 11 guys are after you – if you’re smart – you’ll run. It was no big deal.
- I haven’t seen a new football play since I was in high school. You have just so many holes in a line and you have eleven men playing, and there’s only so many ways you can go through those holes, and those ways have been used for forty, fifty years.
- The only football players in my time were fellows who really loved to play football. They were not in it for the money. There wasn’t much money there. They would have played football for nothing.
- No one ever taught me and I can’t teach anyone. If you can’t explain it, how can you take credit for it?
Joe Greene Quotes
- Going after the QB is like playing king of the mountain. When you get the QB, you’re on top of the mountain.
- They say that when you’re the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I’m glad we’re champs, so bring’em on, bring’em all on. If we die, we ain’t gonna die running. It’s gonna be a fight.
- For a football coach, there’s nothing that matches the pain of a team not playing up to its capabilities.
- I believe in being positive.
- I never had a desire to hurt anybody.
- When you win and you don’t have anyone to share it with, why win? You have someone to share it with you.
Forrest Gregg Quotes
- He made us realize that if the mind was willing, the body can go.
- If I had to put a percentage on it – I’d say not likely.
- You structure your system to fit him if he’s going to be your guy.
Ted Hendricks Quotes
I guess Madden had seen everything with our group, and everybody else had seen everything. (After coming to practice field riding a horse and wearing a German WWI helmet painted silver and black)
Elroy “CrazyLegs” Hirsch Quotes
Hollywood made a movie of my life; the film had me proposing to my wife on the football field – I would never misuse a football field that way.
Elroy “CrazyLegs” Hirsch
Sam Huff Quotes
- In the end, the game comes down to one thing: man against man.
- You can run on a football field but you can’t hide out there.
Best Football Quotes — Don Hutson
- For every pass I caught in a game, I caught a thousand in practice.
- I love to see my records broken, I really do, you get a chance to relive your life, the whole experience.
Best Football Quotes — Michael Irvin
- I’m no Superman.
- I can’t write my life story without Emmitt and Troy. They can’t write their life stories without me. We’re tied together forever. This is a day to remember for the rest of our lives.
Best Football Quotes — Deacon Jones
- And so now you think society is to blame for the mess you made of yourself? – Deacon Jones on whiners.
- There are all kinds of smiles. On the football field, I mostly used the one where the hawk spots the dove.
- I was the originator of smack. Some guys rattle with smack; with other guys, it rolls right off their shoulders like nothing.
Deacon Jones Highlights Video
Best Deacon Jones Sayings
When it comes to your life’s work, you can’t take yourself too seriously. Even Jesus had an occasional joke with the boys, take walking on water, for instance – but there’s a time and place for fun. Jesus never faltered when it came time to tip over the money stalls or to take his hard walk up the mountain.
If you feel like you want to die, it’s time to sit down and make a list of all the things you haven’t done yet.
You hear all this stuff about inner peace. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I say, hit that line hard. Crack that book – Do your very best all the time and inner peace will take care of itself. The Deacon guarantees it.
I believe that if you die trying to be your best, the world is still a better place.
I reserve the right to change my mind. But once I decide on something, I’m going to need a good reason to switch.
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More from the Deacon
First, you’ve got to get the job. “Yeah, I can do it,” I would say. When I was a kid, I could do anything. Lucky nobody ever asked me if I could fly a jet plane.
Know the difference between famous and great.
When I was a teenager, I was so dumb my mamma knocked me off the porch with a broom. You wish you had so good a mamma.
Somebody told me when Abe Lincoln was a young man, studying by firelight, he said, “I will work hard. I will prepare myself. And my time will come.” And you know, that’s exactly what I said about myself and football – What do you think? Were Abe and I both just lucky ducks?
How can you possibly be sympathetic to every fool on the planet? Just the other day, I heard a man whining about his hopeless love of cross-dressing. Call me unenlightened, but I started to laugh.
I never was very big on praying for victory. For God to give a big win to the Denver Broncos, wouldn’t he have to take it away from somebody else, say, the Green Bay Packers?
- The only rules not meant to be broken are those of love and virtue.
- Memory is what you did. Life is what you’re doing.
- All men are created equal. After that, it’s up to you.
- The only thing Native Americans ever did better than the rest of us is spirituality. Of course, that’s everything, isn’t it?
- A nation that spends billions to fix international problems will not have much leftover for the victims of tornadoes in Oklahoma.
- You are one of a kind, one in a billion, an incredibly unique individual. The problem is, so is everybody else.
- It took me a long time to figure out that real big-time success comes from taking lots of small, ordinary steps in the right direction. And you can’t ever take the next step until you take the first.
- You’ll find your life greatly simplified if you only worry about stuff you can fix.
- Be patient with the negative people of the world. Take a moment to think about how they are helping you clarify your own thinking and firming your own resolve. Then, head slap them out of your way.
Quotations from Deacon Jones
- I did come up with the term “sack” to describe the devastation I was bringing on the poor, cringing quarterbacks in the NFL. “Sack the quarterback.” That was nice. I thought it was lots better than saying, “Jones tackles the QB behind the line for another loss of yardage …” It had a ring to it, and it caught on with the sportswriters. But I tell you, doing it was a lot more fun than talking about it.
- When I flew from Orlando to Los Angeles in 1960, I sat next to a guy from Disney who was paying 75¢ an acre for the land. I thought he was some special kind of fool – and since they built the park, history has proven there was a fool sitting in one of our seats.
- The problem a guy who lies all the time faces is he never can tell when anybody else is telling the truth.
Jack Lambert Quotes
- Give me a 6 pack, half-hour of rest and let’s go play them again – We can beat them.
- I believe the game is designed to reward the ones who hit the hardest – If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t play!
- If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler.
- The Steelers drafted guys who were bigger, stronger, and faster than me, but they never found one who could take my job away from me.
- I am very aggressive and very physical. On the field, I guess I am just plain mean.
Dick “Night Train” Lane Quotes
- “Rookie Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane derails Charlie ‘Choo Choo’ Justice.” (a newspaper headline read) I thought it was pretty good to be mentioned in a big paper, so I decided to keep the nickname.
- You don’t go from being the son of a prostitute and reach the NFL Hall of Fame without fighting.
Willie Lanier Quotes
We had the kind of team that didn’t back down from anybody. If they wanted to intimidate us, we could intimidate them as well as they could. Our team was too big and too good to intimidate.
Sometimes I do feel a little pressure, but not that much because we play different positions.
There is no way that I could have survived if I had not changed my style of play.
My reality was that if there was a defenseless player if that person didn’t touch the ball, I would not hit them. I was not going to strike you if you didn’t have an opportunity to get the ball.
Bob Lilly Quotes
- I think when you are the parents of a gifted athlete, the best thing in the world you can do is to encourage them, in my opinion. My dad didn’t push me and I didn’t push my children in athletics.
- I think Jim Taylor was very underrated, never hear much about him. We played Green Bay every year in an exhibition, and generally, we played them every couple of years in the regular season. And I always thought he was a fierce competitor.
Best Football Quotes — Sid Luckman
- I assured myself that I’d seen the most wicked block perpetuated by man or beast.
- He was like a second father to me (of George Halas).
- When I grew up in Flatbush, ‘we played football, stickball, and baseball all the time, right out there on the city streets. Football was my favorite.
More of the Best Football Quotes
Best Football Quotes — Dan Marino
I don’t need to be motivated by anybody. Never have.
There is no defense against a perfect pass. I can throw the perfect pass.
You can do more, you can always do more.
I know I’ve got to just keep throwing the ball. That’s what I do best.
We didn’t win a Super Bowl together, and that’s something I’ll always regret – not knowing what that feels like. But you and I have won more games together than any quarterback and coach combination in the history of the NFL.
Sure the home field is an advantage – but so is having a lot of talent.
You have to feel you’re the best at what you do. You don’t have to come out and say it. But you have to know it within yourself.
The scoreboard can’t make you a loser. If you walk off the field with your head up, you don’t lose. You don’t hang your head for nobody. People in the stands think you’re the greatest or the worst – their opinion doesn’t make a difference. The only opinion that makes any difference is your own opinion of yourself.
Nobody can make you a loser.
Best Football Quotes — Joe Montana
- Confidence is a very fragile thing.
- Winners, I’m convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live.
- My mother and father, Joe and Theresa Montana brought me along and taught me to never quit and to strive to be the best.
- Always be prepared to start.
- Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live.
- Cause there’s only one reason for doing anything that you set out to do. If you don’t want to be the best, then there’s no reason going out and trying to accomplish anything.
- Some guys practice like all-Americans but they can’t play.
- Any quarterback that understands what the offense is really about is going to succeed.
- There’s no thrill like throwing a touchdown pass.
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Best Football Quotes — Randy Moss
- I don’t care about my image. I’m already paid. I’ve already got my money, so why worry about my image?
- I want to keep winning—the hell with the record
- I’m a country boy who hasn’t really been exposed to city living, and it throws me.
- My concentration and focus level tends to go down sometimes when I’m in a bad mood.
- Straight cash homey. When you’re rich, you don’t write checks.
- I’ve always just loved to play football, even if it was street football, like razzle-dazzle.
- I’m one of the most competitive guys in the NFL. Believe me, nobody wants it more than me.
- I’m just enjoying the ride. I’m just contributing what I can.
- The Moss of old is back!
- I don’t want records. I want a Super Bowl ring.
— Mike O’Halloran
Mike is a former contributing writer to USA Football, the youth arm of the NFL, and is the editor and founder of Sports Feel Good Stories.
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