Dexter Manley: Blog Icon
Having lived elsewhere during the Dexter Manley years, I was only marginally familiar with the guy's athletic prime. But then I read this sentence in George Solomon's Sunday column this week:
Over the past 10 years, Larry Sabato has been quoted 150 times in The Post, so many quotes that former Metropolitan editor Robert Barnes once instituted a brief ban on quoting Sabato, much like the Sports department avoiding Dexter Manley's outrageous midweek locker room comments in the 1980s.
Talk about the pre-blog era. I mean, really? The guy was so outlandishly quotable that The Post refused even to use his quotes? If Gilbert Arenas came up with yet another tale of shaving the hairs off certain unmentionable body parts, would the 2008 Post sports section avoid such quotes, under the "booooring" mantra, or would we instead immediately post the quotes and e-mail the link to every low-brow blog we could think of? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Anyhow, I went back to try to find a few examples of outrageous Manleyisms from the days when he was giving himself mohawks and referring to himself as either "Mr. D" or "Dr. D" and ensuring that he would have been an immense blog icon had blogs then existed:
On his fame, date unclear: "The three most famous people in this country are Michael Jackson, Prince and me."
On the Cowboys, after Mr. D had departed, winter of 1983: "I'm their biggest enemy, and I'll be 200 percent by Sunday," he said....Somebody mentioned that the Redskins had not won in Dallas since 1976. "Don't be bringin' up that kind of dirt," Manley said. "That's dead. Like Mr. D."
To new Redskins assistant head coach-running backs Stump Mitchell, when he was still an NFL RB, winter of 1983: Dexter Manley, the Redskins' all-pro defensive end, surprised Cardinals running back Stump Mitchell with his ever-active mouth today. Just before the Cardinals scored a first-half touchdown, Mitchell said Dexter the prankster offered him $5,000 to fumble the ball. Presumably, he was joking. But, even for Manley, that was a tad outrageous.
On his mouth, summer, 1985: "I wasn't able to hold back and I had a little diarrhea of the mouth like Muhammad Ali. I've always admired (Ali). The things he's done in the past I've tried to do myself."
On Walter Payton, September, 1985: "We're gonna have to knock Walter Payton out of the game. We're gonna have to do that."
On that quote, the same week: In the Redskin Park public relations office, Manley confronted Sun-Times writer Brian Hewitt about the quote that appeared in his story in yesterday's paper. Hewitt asked Manley to listen to his tape-recording of their conversation. When the tape reached the moment of truth, Manley, with a big smile on his face, yelled, "Whoops." "I really didn't mean it," Manley said. "There's no way I'm ever going to knock Walter Payton out of the game. I probably had diarrhea of the mouth."
On that quote, the same week: "No way we're going to get him out the game. He's probably the toughest guy I have ever met. Heck, he's only missed one game in his career. It was probably stupid of me to say it, but I'm not going to apologize. Look, if it happens it happens. Wouldn't it be something if he knocked me out?...This is a contact sport, it isn't racquetball. During the off-season, all I could think about was Chicago knocking us out of the playoffs. We've got to knock Payton out of the game."
Told that [Mark] Bortz had said Manley's comments showed no class, Manley said, "That's true. I guess I'm just the worst person in the NFL."
On his owner, summer, 1986: Last week, Redskins defensive lineman Dexter Manley, a contract holdout, came on WAVA and called Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke a "miser," among other things. Manley said: "I know that Jack Kent Cooke doesn't want to give up the ducats, but all I'm asking for is what I think is fair."
On San Fran tight end Russ Francis, November, 1986: "The next time I see Russ Francis I'm going to hit him in the mouth with a baseball bat. What he did was cheap and unethical. He crossed the line and he'll pay for it."
On facing an injured Joe Montana, November, 1986: "We're not going to play patty-cake. If I get there, I'd like to ring his clock. I wouldn't want to hurt the guy. But why do you want to protect Joe Montana? If he's hurt, don't play him. If Bill Walsh doesn't want us to ring his clock, don't play him. Am I going to pass up a good lick because he's had surgery? No, I'm going to ring his clock."
On Dallas Week, December, 1987: "'It just doesn't feel the same. It seems like the town's in an uproar, I guess, because Mikhail Gorbachev is here. It's kind of slowing things down. I wish he'd get the hell out of town. The Redskins-Cowboys game is bigger than what's happening with the summit.''
On accusations he spit on Saints tackle Jim Dombrowski, November, 1988: "I'm allergic to holding, so I sneezed . . . If he thought I spit, I really want to apologize. I was sneezing; perhaps I sneezed in his face. We were talking. He'd been grabbling me all day, and it was just one of those things. Why should I get fined? This guy hit me. If I sneezed, I sneezed. It's his word against mine . . . Besides, I don't know if there's a spitting rule. If there was, I'd have known about it. I don't think there's a no-sneeze rule. Anyway, I wouldn't flagrantly spit on someone. I'm a mortgage banker, and do bankers spit? No."
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