Not saying Sean Avery isn't an asshole. Or a horrible teammate. Or, for that matter, a room-wrecker the Dallas Stars should consider dumping.
I'm just saying he shouldn't have been suspended - or worse, pending this afternoon's meeting with NHL poobah Gary Bettman in New York - merely for his "sloppy seconds" zinger.
It was a classic barb. Years from now Stars' fans - shoot, all sports fans - will associate sloppy seconds with him. As in, "Dude, don't go home with her. Unless you want to be Phaneuf to my Avery."
His insult got me to thinking about the all-time sports zingers. Care for a hastily assembled Top 10? Well then, jump to it.
We've all wanted "a pitcher, not a belly itcher" and put our rival in his place by reminding him that his mother, in fact, did wear military issued footware. As I type this, you're probably working up a one-liner about Tina "Scarface" Fey.
What? Too soon?
With apologies to George Costanza's "jerk store" comeback; Cincinnati coach Sam Wyche's "Stop throwing stuff on the field. You don't live in Cleveland."; our own Robert Wilonsky writing "Remember when Steve Martin was funny? Apparently, neither does he." in his review of Cheaper by the Dozen; Hunter S. Thompson labeling '68 Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey a "brain-damaged old vulture"; and Molly Ivins' classic summation of Michael Jackson - "He was a poor black boy who grew up to be a rich white woman" - I present 10 of the all-time best sports-related zingers:
10. "I'm not the next Anna Kournikova. I'm actually going to win matches." - Maria Sharapova on being compared to her similarly hot countrywoman.
9. "I was going to confront him about it, but he took his fat ass off the field instead of shaking my hand." - Cowboys' coach Jimmy Johnson on Eagles' coach Buddy Ryan after the infamous '89 Bounty Bowl.
8. "I'm ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah." - Mike Tyson to opponent Lennox Lewis during the pre-fight press conference.
7. "He has everything a boxer needs except speed, stamina, a punch, and ability to take punishment. In other words, he owns a pair of shorts." - Iconic Dallas columnist Blackie Sherrod about a no-name heavyweight contender.
6. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds." - Stars' winger Sean Avery to everyone in general and Calgary's Dion Phaneuf in particular.
5. "How does he lead the world in walks? Because he has a strike zone the size of Hitler's heart." - Legendary Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray on Rickey Henderson.
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4. "He might have been a great ref, but I wouldn't hire him to manage a Dairy Queen." - Mavs' owner Mark Cuban on NBA head of officials Ed Rush.
3. "You can't see as well as these fucking flowers! And they're fucking plastic!" - Wimbledon champion John McEnroe to some poor schmuck linesman.
2. "It's like an octopus falling out of a tree." - Golf analyst David Feherty on Jim Furyk's quirky swing.
1. "Terry Bradshaw's so dumb he couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a'." - Cowboys' linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson to Steelers' quarterback Terry Bradshaw before Super Bowl XIII. - Richie Whitt