Murray on Sports Figures

PETE [ROSE] was as uncomplicated as a summer day, as instinctive as a hound dog. He was born to hunt, or, in his case, play baseball. He never wanted to do anything else. He never could do anything else.

When Jack [Nicklaus] first came out on the tour, he was - well, fat is the word you would want. Jack was one of the world's great trenchermen. He looked, in silhouette, like something that should be floating over a Macy's parade. This, of course, did not escape my attention.

Bill Russell was as agile as a pickpocket. He was six-eleven but he had the moves of a startled zebra. He was imperious - I always thought of him as The Emperor - but he wasn't spectacular. What he did, he did in the dark like a spy. You didn't appreciate him till it was too late.

[Alabama football coach Bear Bryant] spoke in a deep rumble in the twang of his native Arkansas in a pitch that sounded like an underground explosion in a coal mine.

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