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Brian Billick Channels Grey's Anatomy?

When I interviewed Ravens CB Evan Oglseby about the recent paintball tournament, I was especially inspired by the following quote:

It's like the chicken and the pig. The chicken lays an egg, that's all he sacrifices, but the pig lays out his whole life for the bacon. We was all pigs out there. We was giving our all, trying to win that tournament.

A WaPo copy editor was also impressed; he sent the quote around to the entire sports desk. Oglesby told me the quote came from his former college coach at North Alabama. I didn't think anything else of it.

I've never watched the show. I think this is the right character. (By Scott Garfield - AP/ABC)

Then I saw Official Georgetown Beat Writer and Sometimes Ravens Beat Writer Camille Powell, who had disturbing news.

1) From the Baltimore Sun, discussing Brian Billick's commencement address at Hopkins:

The football coach repeatedly invoked a homespun bacon-and-egg metaphor to win over a student body that had questioned the appropriateness of having a sports figure honored at an elite college known mostly for its academic rigor and ultra-nerd personality.

"In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed," Billick said from the lectern at Hopkins' lacrosse field. "Be that pig."

This even led to an entire chicken-and-pig-in-the-sports-world story in the Star-Tribune, by blogger Randball. So, even if Oglesby first heard the analogy at North Alabama, it has somehow entered into the football coach lexicon, including that of the coach of his own NFL team. Now my quote seemed a lot less cool. But even worse

2) This quote is completely, completely stale. To the point that it's been featured on Grey's Anatomy, and uttered by Howard Schnellenberger, he of the gloops and glops. Here's the Grey's Anatomy version:

You and me, we're like ham and eggs. I was the chicken. I just want you to know that I know I was the chicken. You put yourself out there and you were committed and I just put my eggs on the plate. Not the ham because you were the pig. I was involved but you were committed.

Sigh. Brian Billick's homespun breakfast foot metaphor was on network TV months before he homespun it. There are no original quotes any more. Except from Robert Fick. More on that in a bit.

UPDATED: Important e-mail from Washington Times columnist Thom Loverro:

In case you didn't know, I wrote a book called "The Quotable Coach," and the following quote, as far as I could determine, was credited to former Philadelphia Flyers hockey coach Fred Shero.

"The difference between contribution and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken makes a contribution. The pig makes a committment."

I used this quote once at a roast for Cal Ripken when I called him a pig.

Sorry, Thom. And Fred Shero. Everyone has stolen from you.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 7, 2007; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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I've been saying that quote to my breakfast for decades. They're all liars.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | June 7, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Fred Shero! A Broad Street Bullies shout-out!

Posted by: jhorstma | June 7, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

This is an old saying. Junior Johnson said it to Bill France Sr. in the 50's when France was trying to convince Junior to race Nascar full time, a considerable pay cut from the bootlegging which paid Johnson's bills. The meeting was over a bacon and eggs breakfast, and reportedly went something like this.

France: C'mon, Junior, you can't stop racing, you're a part of this thing now.

Johnson: You see that breakfast you're eating, Bill? The chicken is involved in it, the pig is a part of it. I'm involved in Nascar.

I'll leave it to the reader to supply the Southern accents.

Posted by: grotus | June 8, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

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