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The Roanoke Times | File
Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall's love of the game — and of the various challenges it presented — was apparent.
The Roanoke Times | File 2011
Virginia Tech head basketball coach Seth Greenberg always was saying something worth hearing.
Associated Press | Fike 2003
Virginia coach Pete Gillen didn’t have much of a filter, and his strange aphorisms — “My name is Wes, I’ve got my own mess” — could always amuse.
The Roanoke Times | File 2006
UVa defensive end Chris Long was fond of saying that it’s a skill to be able to win a football game — something immeasurable that happens to a locker room. As the Cavaliers’ best player, he was asked for his thoughts win or lose, and rarely did he disappoint.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech defensive line coach Charley Wiles (left) is known for his wide variety of homespun opinions, but they come with an edge that sharpens his meaning.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Brandon Phillips had options.
Involved with one of the silliest plays of the Major League Baseball season Tuesday night - Houston's Jonathan Villar sliding face-first into his posterior - the Cincinnati Reds second baseman could have shrugged it off. He could have grinned and said "no comment."
Or Phillips could have done what he actually did, unleashing the following quote to the Houston Chronicle: "I liked the play, but I didn't like all that face in the butt. I felt uncomfortable and violated. I know he felt violated, too. I'm glad it wasn't my face."
Ah, the quotable sports figure. He enriches our lives so.
To him, there are two games played every night: the one between the lines, and the one in front of the microphones. Each offers an opportunity to win.
The quotable sports figure must be cherished, championed and encouraged to procreate. As Crash Davis taught us in "Bull Durham," banalities might be safer, but they don't make the sports world a better place.
Given that, let's pause a moment to salute the inaugural class of the Virginia Tech and Virginia Quotables Hall of Fame.
UVa defensive lineman (2005-07)
Quintessence: Gridiron philosopher
Summary: Long was fond of saying that it's a skill to be able to win a football game - something immeasurable that happens to a locker room. As the Cavaliers' best player, he was asked for his thoughts win or lose, and rarely did he disappoint.
Sample: "I think we've got guys that help old ladies across the street. Karma adds up and we get some good bounces." - Nov. 3, 2007, after UVa set an FBS single-season record with its fifth victory by two points or fewer.
Virginia Tech defensive line coach (1996-Present)
Quintessence: Good ol' boy with an edge
Summary: Whether it's the prospect of his unit getting "grenaded by injuries" or the frustrating tendency of the world to deem a game "big" only when you lose, Wiles delivers homespun opinions on a variety of topics. He also knows what he's doing; his unit is the biggest strength of the 2013 Hokies.
Sample: "We've got to pitch more of a fit. I don't think there was a bunch of ‘loafs' necessarily, but just don't be content with just winning your gap. We've got to chase it and fight. We're fighting for our lives, man, and you've got to play like that every play." - 2012, after a humbling 48-34 loss to North Carolina.
UVa basketball coach (1998-2005)
Quintessence: Mr. Stream of Consciousness
Summary: Whatever he thinketh, so Gillen speaketh, which is why he's since been able to transition into a successful career as an analyst. The fast-talking Brooklyn native didn't have much of a filter, and his strange aphorisms - "My name is Wes, I've got my own mess" - could always amuse.
Sample: "Certainly Duke is Duke. They're on TV more than ‘Leave it to Beaver' reruns."
Tech linebacker (2004-07)
Quintessence: Passion personified
Summary: A common thread running through most quotable sports figures is a keen self-awareness. Hall had a healthy confidence that stopped short of braggadocio. His love of the game - and of the various challenges it presented - was apparent. He spoke just as glowingly about the time he got "trucked" in middle school as the huge plays he made for ACC title-winning teams.
Sample: "He's real bummed right now and I understand that. Hey, he's a better man than I am. I couldn't have handled it. I would have snapped." - September of 2004, after Xavier Adibi suffered a torn biceps muscle that presented Hall with his first chance to start.
Tech basketball coach (2003-12)
Quintessence: Take it or leave it
Summary: Whether speaking in hushed tones after a loss or overflowing with excitement and pride and after a big win, Greenberg always was saying something worth hearing. His skill at breaking down the intricacies of basketball, combined with a wry sense of humor, have made him an instant hit as an ESPN analyst and a much-missed presence in ACC postgames.
Sample: "If you don't think this team is one of the top 65 teams in the country, you're certifiably insane." March of 2008, after a narrow loss to UNC in the ACC tournament.
Maybe next year (just missed): DeAngelo Hall, Rashawn Jackson, Jack Tyler, Jim Reid, Morgan Moses, Zabian Dowdell, J.R. Reynolds, Al Groh, Sergio Render.
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