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What is your favorite Woody Hayes quote?

"You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."
12% (249 votes)
"Because we couldn't go for three."
70% (1412 votes)
"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization."
8% (159 votes)
"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium."
7% (144 votes)
3% (59 votes)
Total Votes: 2023


Oyster's picture

My father and I went to a speach he had at Newark High School one evening in 83 or 84.  He spoke about WWII and the impacts it had on the world today.  There was a big snowstorm and he was about 45 minutes late getting there.  He apologized for being late and he didn't want to cancel because he knew all of us wanted to hear him speak and he didn't want to disappoint us.  I clearly remember him saying how sorry he was that we had to wait for him, so I obviously chose 'Other'.

3M hoards the KoolAid like Elaine hoards sponges.

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

There are so many to choose from...

"Now that's enough of that!  To hell with Notre Dame.  Let's talk about OUR OWN university."--to Paul Hornung and a professor discussing ND football

"What do you mean upset?  It's never an upset if the so-called underdog has all along considered itself the better team."--on "upsetting" #1 Purdue in 1968

"We respected one another so damn much. Now that doesn't mean I didn't get so mad at him that I wanted to kick him in the, uh, groin." --Woody Hayes on Bo Schembechler


"[F 'em].  Run 'em over."--on Michigan State fans blocking the bus after the game

"Son, women give brith to babies every day of the year, but we will only once play this game against SMU."--in 1968 to DE Mike Radtke, whose wife had just had twins  

"The only fun about being here is winning the game."--on the 1974 Rose Bowl

"Parlyze their resistence with your persistence."--on recruiting

"We have more than 85,000 seats in our stadium and every one of them is filled every game.  People from all over the state, no matter what their politics or religion or color, they love and rally round the Buckeyes."

"Unbiased, hell. We're Ohio State guys and don't you ever forget it."--to a broadcast partner who praised a Michigan play

"There are three things that can happen when you pass, and two of them aren't good."

"I used to say that three things can happen on a forward pass, two of them bad.  I don't say that anymore, because I found out four things can happen on a forward pass.  The fourth thing is, you can get fired.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

jthiel09's picture

There's nothing better than Woody showing his disdain for the school up North than the going for 2 quote ... besides that any quote from Woody was a classic, great coach and great man.


hodge's picture

You know, as good as his famous "Because I couldn't go for three" line is (and it's a damn good quote for a football coach to be remembered by), "You can never pay back, but you can always pay foreward" truly crystallizes Woody's philosophy.
Here was a man who frequently turned down raises (so much so that he was given raises in secret, so as to not turn them down), so that his salary--at the end of his career, no less--was something comical even for the time, like $60,000. Here was a man who visited hospitals, and long before the twenty-four hour news cycle necessitated such kinds self-promotion. Here was a man whom after his death was found to merely stockpile his bonuses and other checks in his desk drawer--rarely taking money.  Here was a man of great personal integrity who inspired the best from his men, both on and off the field. Here was a man who's been so unfairly defined by his greatest flaw, hiding a fantastic legacy behind his over-the-top antics. For some reason, I don't think the old man much would've cared; long as the people of his bloved state understood him. 
Woody was so much more than a football coach, and that first quote speaks to it so much more than anything else. 

+1 HS
Denny's picture

This, absolutely. I think about the paying forward quote at least once a week, and I really should do it more often.
Wanting to beat the shit out of Michigan doesn't really make me a better person -- but having the mindfulness to want to pay forward does, in some small way.


causeicouldntgo43's picture

That was gold Hodge.
By the way, your dad is brilliant - the 48 hour soak, for ribs, in cider vinegar is genius. Tender and tangy all at once.

hodge's picture

That's really good to hear! You using an indirect smoker? 
Also, methinks I might have been a little wrong on the prep; I can't remember if it was 24 or 48 hours in the vinegar.  Really good to hear that it worked, though. I'm living in an apartment at the moment, but I really can't wait to rent/buy a house.  690 square feet is far too little for home brewing, meat curing, and outdoor cooking. 

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I use a Big Green Egg (medium sized one) to do my smoking and even cook steaks on it as well, but it really shines as a smoker. A little pricey, but it is made with the same kind of clay tile as the space shuttle was, so it holds in the heat and moisture exceedingly well. You can even use it in the Winter as I just did, the clay won't crack. I cooked the ribs on indirect heat between 225 and 250 for about 3.5 hours over oak hardwood charcoal. Sometimes I put applewood or other wood chips on the fire for additional flavor, but this time I didn't.
As far as the 48 hour soak in apple cider vinegar, it was good for me, but my two sons thought it was a bit much on the tang, so next time I will try 36 hours and see how that works. To cut the tang, I used some peach marmalade diluted with some water, then thickened slightly with a small amount of instant tapioca beads to give it a bit more heft, then I painted that on the ribs for the last 10 minutes on direct heat. I think something with a little fruit in it, and thus a little sweetness, really complements the vinegar tang. You really don't need any additional sauce. I also put a Memphis rub on the rubs just prior to putting them on the smoker.
These ribs were the most tender I have ever cooked, and still had a nice chew on them. Much better than when you get those fall off the bone ribs that have been boiled first.
This method should work pretty well even if you just do them in the oven. Thanks again!

NW Buckeye's picture

Somehow I knew that we would both vote for that quote.  Thanks for your explanation, I could not have written anything better. 

cjkanski's picture

100% spot on Hodge. I couldn't comment on this yesterday, but this post is so good I had to come back today and say "Well Done Sir." + 1 to you.

“But, I don’t know. I’m not too broken up that they’ve been not that great since I’ve been here.”

-Michael Bennett. 

LouGroza's picture

You are very right, Hodge. That was the essence of Woody outside of football. There wasn't a more caring individual, a bigger humanitarian. He gave and gave and gave.
But in regards to football, "Because we couldn't go for three" said it all.
A lot of younger people on this blog didn't get to actually experience Woody Hayes first hand and that is too bad. He instilled an absolute passion for OSU football into me. In my mind Urban is Woody reincarnated into todays world. That tough as all hell, get out of my way, my football team will outwork your football team mentality is very equal. The aspects of Urban that pisses people off because of that steel will is Woody. The guy that is a tireless, relentless recruiter is Woody. The successful, hard nosed, no apologies Urban is a 100% Woody Hayes clone. And I, for one, am amazed that OSU could even come close to replacing that great man. But they pulled it off.

AndyVance's picture

I'm struck by how many of the Woody quotes I've read over the past week or so sound like they could have come directly from Urban... Hayes' edicts about hard work, recruiting, preparation, winning with people... I know Urban is in part a product of Hayes through Earle Bruce, but it still amazes me that he embodies so much of that "Woody" philosophy while clearly having his own style and personality.

LouGroza's picture

Absolutely. Would love to know if Urban has efforted in being like Woody or is it just a God given gift of fire and passion passed down through the OSU bloodline.

Torpedo Vegas's picture

Voted other for  "A guy from Ohio can make it in life if he works hard enough."

HighBallAce's picture

My dad went to school and graduated with Rick Middleton. They were friends so dad went to one of Rick's practices. Dad said he got to meet Woody Hayes and he said that Woody was a very good man and he talked to dad like he was one of his playeres. I never got to meet Woody and thats one of the things I regret most. I've had alot of experiences with Ohio State by getting to play there a couple summers. Randy Ayers is a friend and I even got to meet John Cooper. He's a much bigger man than he looks on tv! Anyway, my all time favorite was, "We couldn't go for three!"
When I play NCAA Football, I always go for 2 instead of the extra point. Most times I make it but everytime I play it, I think of that quote!

BoFuquel's picture

The worst thing about being lied to is knowing that you're not worth the truth. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I think my screen name says it all...............................

Alex's picture

I like to keep perspective in life/movtivation with the classic:

Anything easy ain't worth a damn

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I tell that one to my kids all the time....

Poison nuts's picture

Well, since it asked my favorite quote, I gotta say "because I couldn't go for three". That would be my favorite Woody line. Now if it asked about Woody's philosophies, then I most definitely would have gone with paying forward - a thing I try to do in my life, mainly for the selfish reason that I feel good helping others.
But as for a quote, yeah, piling on to that teams pain & then proclaiming he wished he could have made it worse epitomizes his competitive spirit & the rivalry itself, so I'll always love that quote the most.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

painterlad's picture

To pick a quote, you almost have to divide The Old Man. Is it the education first Woody, the one who gave so much of his time to those in need? Is it the hell on wheels football coach Woody whose passion for the game and for The Ohio State University was displayed with every single play?
Since I never got to meet the man personally, I can only go with what I saw, and what I saw on television was a man driven with the burning desire to win on Saturdays. Since I can only read about how he visited hospitals and how he pushed his players to excel in the classroom as much as on the field, I voted for "because I couldn't go for three." That is the only Woody I witnessed.
But in all fairness, I would guess his greatest pride ever associated with OSU is either dotting the I or giving the commencement speech in 1986.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

WC Buckeye's picture

"You might outsmart me, but you'll never outwork me". My dad told me about that before I even knew who Woody Was (~1966 or so), and I have neither forgotten it nor not checked my own work ethic against others'. It's worked pretty well for me in my life, and in turn, in my kids' lives. Happy birthday, Woody.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Johnny Ginter's picture

"there's nothing that cleanses the soul like getting the hell kicked out of you"

buckeye76BHop's picture

Thanks Johnny;-)

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

fansince1968's picture

Woody had so many quotes that he was famous for, but one that I liked was:
"You know, I don't know a damn thing about music, but when the band plays that 'Sloopy song', it really fires the guys up, and I don't even know what the hell it's about"

Doc's picture

I voted for "going for three", but he was such a quote machine.  He reminds me of David Lee Roth, but in a good way :)

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

William's picture

"Show me a gracious loser and I'll show you a bus boy." 

larzdapunk's picture

I thought I was a bit of a jerkface for choosing the "go for 3" quote over the "pay it forward", but as of 7:06pm on 2/14/13, 70% of the people agree with me. 

larzdapunk's picture

....and then I read Hodge's comment and now I definitely think I'm a jerkface.

faux_maestro's picture

I love all of the quotes, and the "others" listed. They really show what the man was all about. Competitive as anyone, as compasionate and caring as they come, and well educated beyond football. I went with

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium."


Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.