Monday, November 26, 2012


    In 1978 for his Thanksgiving gift to the world, Jim Murray sat and penned one of his more memorable lists of one-liners — a plethora of Murray-isms to keep the chat around the turkey table going for hours.
    He called these the ‘Laws of Murray.’
    We hope you enjoy them as you venture back into the real world after the holiday weekend. 

NOVEMBER 23, 1978, SPORTS
Copyright 1978/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Laws of Murray

    Murphy's Law, that all-time axiom on the inevitability of error in human endeavor, was first postulated by a systems engineer at a testing lab at Edwards Air Force Base some years ago and is the takeoff point for a book, "Murphy's Law and Other Reasons Why Things Go Wrong!" by Arthur Bloch and published in its fifth printing by Price/Stern/Sloan, the chuckle merchants of the paper chase.
    The law has been refined down to "Whatever can go wrong, will," and Bloch has followed up with a collection of "laws" from various other Pythagoreans or modern theorem-makers. His basic theme is the acceptance of despair or, as the say on Mad Avenue, "The bottom line is, it won't work."
    O'Brien's Law is "Murphy was an optimist." Jerry Brown's Law of Lowered Expectations has many parts, "Everything tastes more or less like chicken, and sounds more or less like Beethoven," and, "If Aspirin won't cure it, you're beyond modern medical science."
    There are others, "To make a bus come, light a cigarette," "To make the phone ring, go to the bathroom." Also, "Nothing is hard for the man who doesn't have to do it himself."
    Murray's Variants on the Murphy-Bloch laws are not quite as universal and are more applicable in the arena.
    Nothing is ever so bad, it can't be made worse by firing the coach.
    A free agent is anything but.
    If you can smile when everything about you is going wrong, join the San Francisco 49ers.
    Things always get worse just before they get impossible.
    Nothing is ever accomplished by reason — look at Woody Hayes.
    You can fool all of the people all of the time — if you own the network.
    The "Peter Principle" that everything keeps rising until it reaches it's level of incompetence is best illustrated by the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl.
    Anger is always a proper substitute for logic.
    If everything else fails, throw it away.
    The old Army game, "If it moves, salute it, if it doesn't move, paint it!" is changed to "If it moves, salute it. If it doesn't move, it must be the Rams and Atlanta."
    Whatever can go to New York will. Whatever can't will go to Philadelphia.
    The wrong Rams quarterback is the one that's in the game.
    Any two TV programs you like will go on opposite each other.
    Hockey is a game played by six good skaters and the home team.
    Hockey is the only game played equally well with the lights out. There's more to hockey than meets the eye — at least I hope so.
    I'm consistent, you're stubborn.
    Rhetoric is the art of being wrong out loud.
    You're taking yourself too seriously in the company when you forget it's not your money.
    Money isn't everything, look at the California Angels.
    When you think everything is hopeless, just remember Yogi Berra.
    Cars with the lucky pieces hanging off the rearview mirror will always seem to star in bad accidents.
    The guy with the coat slung over his shoulder without his arms in the sleeves in movies is up to no good.
    Just remember Nixon not only admitted he was wrong, he set out to prove it. Never tape anything but your mouth. Or your assistant's. Never record your mistakes no matter how proud of them you may be at the time.
    The way to make a line move faster is to join the other one.
    All things considered, it's better to have Earl Campbell.
    The race is not always to the swift, look at Jack Nicklaus.
    Never envy the big star of the show, that turkey you're eating thought he had a no-cut contract.
    And a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and if you can't remember which side your bread is buttered on, don't worry — it's the side that hits the floor.
    If you have any complaints, send them to Murphy. Or Arthur Bloch.

Reprinted with permission by the Los Angeles Times.

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