50 From Gridiron to Greatness: Celebrating Memorable Football Quotes

Explore the powerful and inspiring world of football quotes capturing the essence of the game and why we love it so much.

Football isn’t just about touchdowns and goals; it’s where strategy meets wisdom, where great players shine, and where we pick up some valuable life lessons while enjoying the game.

These are just a few of the reasons why people love the sport—playing and watching it—so much.

Is football and fútbol the same?

If you’re looking for American football quotes online, you may run into the issue of finding quotes that are about fútbol.

These are not one and the same.

Fútbol is actually what we know in America as soccer.

American football actually began as a combination of both rugby and soccer, eventually turning into the game we know and love today.

Princeton and Rutgers played the first college football game on November 6, 1869.

Why people love football and these famous football quotes

There are many reasons why people love football and football season.

Of course, players and coaches love their roles in playing the game, but then there are millions of people, like me, who enjoy watching the sport and rooting for our favorite teams.

As a native Michigander, I grew up watching the Detroit Lions lose repeatedly. 

While that may seem like a bad memory, I connect it with smelling chili cooking on the stove and sitting with my dad while the game was on.

When I got married, I learned to enjoy the sport in a new way when I joined a fantasy football league with my husband. 

People all over spend time researching NFL players, creating their own teams, and then competing with friends, family, and strangers throughout the football season to win their own championship.

Who is your favorite football player, and did one of their quotes make the list of inspirational football quotes?

However you enjoy football the most, if you’re a fan of the game, you’ll enjoy reading through the football quotes below.

The Best Football Quotes to Fuel Your Passion

Let these football quotes help you gain confidence, increase your mental toughness, and inspire you.

1. “It’s not the will to win that matters. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” — Paul “Bear” Bryant

2. “I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved.” — Urban Meyer

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3. “Success isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is due every day.” — J.J. Watt

4. “Football doesn’t build character, it reveals character.” — Marv Levy

5. “No one ever drowned in sweat.” — Lou Holtz

6. “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” — Vince Lombardi

7. “You can learn a line from a win and a book from defeat.” — Paul Brown

8. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” — Vince Lombardi

9. “The most valuable player is the one who makes the most players valuable.” — Peyton Manning

10. “I have no magic formula. The only way I know to win is through hard work.” — Don Shula

Fantasy football quotes to make you laugh

If you can’t play or coach in real life, why not have a fantasy football team?

11. “Fantasy football is not only a good thing but a great thing.” — Jay Mohr

12. “Thank you… fantasy football draft, for letting me know that even in my fantasies, I am bad at sports.” — Jimmy Fallon

13. “My favorite water cooler topic is fantasy football. I sued to make fun of friends for doing it, and now I’m obsessed.” — John Krasinski

14. “God bless fantasy football. There are many things a man can do with his time… this is better than those things.” — Pete, The League

15. “I do get invitations all the time to play actual fantasy football, by the way, but I get the feeling that I’d like it too much.” — George R. R. Martin

16. “Wait a minute, is this my team? I’ve got four kickers and no quarterback. It looks worse than Aaron Hernandez’s alibi.” — Ruxin, The League

17. “Fantasy football is actually an amazing American pastime because it takes the ultimate team sport, NFL and football, and turns it into the quest for individual achievement.” — Jeff Schaffer

Winning Strategies: Football Quotes from Coaching Icons

18. “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” — Vince Lombardi 

19. “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” — Lou Holtz

20. “Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible it’s unbelievable.” — Tom Landry

21. “Football isn’t necessarily won by the best players. It’s won by the team with the best attitude.” — George Allen

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22. “Each game is different. History means nothing in pro football.” — Bill Parcells

23. “Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.” — John Madden

24.“Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” — Mike Ditka

25. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” — Lou Holtz

26. “At least 80 percent of the success of the football team is determined by the fight and spirit that they put into their play.” — George S. Halas

27. “Football is like life. It requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and respect for authority.” — Vince Lombardi

Champions Speak: Quotes from Football Icons

Here is some inspiration from some legendary coaches and exceptional players.

28. “Football is unconditional love.” — Tom Brady

29. “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” — Bo Jackson

30. “I may win and I may lose, but I will never be defeated.” — Emmitt Smith

31. “There is no defense against a perfect pass. I can throw a perfect pass.” — Dan Marino

32. “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.” — Terry Bradshaw

33. “Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.” — John Heisman

34. “Every time I step on the field, I’m going to give my whole heart regardless of the score.” — Tim Tebow

35. “Football is football, and talent is talent. But the mindset of your team makes all the difference.” — Robert Griffin III

36. “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” — Peyton Manning

37. “Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” — Bear Bryant

Off the Field Wisdom: Inspirational Football Quotes for Everyday Life

These wise words can apply to life on and off the field. 

38. “Winners, I’m convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live.” — Joe Montana

39. “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.” — Terry Bradshaw

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40. “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.” — Terry Bradshaw

41. “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” — Steve Young

42.“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

43. “Remind your critics when they say you don’t have the expertise or experience to do something that an amateur built the ark and the experts built the Titanic.” — Peyton Manning

A few more quotes about football or from the greats of the game

Dive into the fun and unexpected world of random football quotes, where the game’s charm and unpredictability shine through in every line.

44. “If you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.” — John Madden

45. “There’s two times of year for me: football season and waiting for football season.” — Darius Rucker

46. “Football is a game of controlled anger. It is a game of retribution. It’s about will.” — Brian Dawkins

47. “If you see a defense team with dirt and mud on their backs, they’ve had a bad day.” — John Madden 

48. “To me, it was never about what I accomplished on the football field; it was about the way I played the game.” — Jerry Rice

49. “College football, for me, was sacred. Right away, first time I watched it on TV, there was just something about the passion, the energy that was just different.” — Kirk Herbstreit

50. “When your team is winning, be ready to be tough because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.” — Bo Schembechler

For the love of football

Football players and coaches provide us with some of the most inspirational quotes and pieces of wisdom that can be applied to all areas of life.

Do you play football or just enjoy watching your favorite true professional excel?

What is your favorite part of game day?

Share these quotes with your football fan friends, and let us know your favorite football quote in the comments. 

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