A Bum Eleventary: Bum Phillips (1923-2013)

“Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half.” 

“The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.”

“You don’t know a ladder has splinters until you slide down.”

“Two kinds of ballplayers aren’t worth a darn: One that never does what he’s told, and one who does nothin’ except what he’s told.”

“How do you win? By getting average players to play good and good players to play great. That’s how you win.”

“Football is a game of failure. You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.”

“There’s two kinds of coaches, them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.” 

“Never contradict Mama, no matter what the subject and no matter who you think’s right and who you think’s wrong.”

Of his adversary Don Shula (and sometimes, of his mentor Bear Bryant, depending on how he told the story): “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.”

“In the end, the only won-loss record that really matters is nailed to the cross.”

After taking the Oilers to the AFC Championship Game two years in a row only to lose to the Super Bowl champion Steelers, “Last year we knocked on the door. This year we banged on the door. Next year, we’re kicking the door in.”

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