HERNDON, Va. — And now, a few words--yeah, right--from Dexter Manley, the man, the myth, the mouth, the defensive end, the Oklahoma State Cowboy, the Washington Redskin, the man who will turn 30 years old two days after the Super Bowl, even though he keeps insisting he's 28.
From past and present, The Best of Dexter:
Regarding the esteem in which he is held: "I know because of my actions on the field, and some of the things I say, most of the opposing players think I'm a jerk. When R.C. Thielemann came over from Atlanta, he told me the word was out on me around the league. I'm a hotdog."
Before facing Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers: "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 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."
After being accused of talking too much: "I don't know why everybody picks me out. A lot of players talk on the field. Lawrence Taylor talks a lot, doesn't he? Look at Lyle Alzado, when he was in the league. He was a big fat mouth."
About Mike Ditka saying he had the IQ of a grapefruit: "I'm like water. I'm irresistible. And Ditka's word doesn't hold water. Mike Ditka, he's a good man, he really is, but he made a statement that I couldn't outrun Jim McMahon. I'll outrun McMahon backward, and him, too. And then he's playing that guy who's not even healthy, Jimbo Covert, against me, and Jimbo Covert should have kicked his . . . He should have kicked Mike Ditka's . . . If anybody got the grapefruit, Ditka got the grapefruit."
On the advice given him at an alcohol rehabilitation center: "They said as long as you're sober, you're successful. And I said, 'Bull.' I said, 'That doesn't make sense.' But, you know, it does. See, I've always had to be a people pleaser, but I don't need that no more, just like I don't need drinking no more. Because I can be happy with myself. People will destroy you. I can be happy with myself. As long as I know what I'm doing, I can sleep at night."
Concerning his new, clean image: "I told you, I'm a Boy Scout. You must have heard a lot of stuff about me. What did you expect me to be, a Brian Boswell (sic) or something? Maybe I'll dye a blond streak down here."
After claiming a certain player used illegal crackback blocks against him: "The next time I see Russ Francis, I'm going to hit him in the mouth with a baseball bat."
In a sworn affidavit to the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., in 1979, while receiving benefits at Oklahoma State: "I am married, and my wife and I have three children. . . . (My scholarship) does not provide me with any money to use to purchase clothing, pay medical bills, pay for transportation to and from Houston (or) cover the cost of purchasing such necessities as deodorant, toothpaste, soap, the cost of washing my and my family's clothes, or the costs of transportation in Stillwater. Further, since I am married and have three children, it is necessary to provide the above necessities for all five of us." (At the time, Manley was married and had one child.)
On college fun: "My freshman year, I left a party, and my car was blocked. I went home, changed into my fighting clothes, and went back to the frat party to find the guys who blocked my car. I picked one up and threw him through a pair of saloon doors. Then somebody cut me on the cheek with a box-cutting knife."
On college studies: "I wanted to major in criminology. When I went to the school on a recruiting trip, they told me they had it. But, when I got there, they said they didn't. They put me in arts and crafts instead. So, I majored in business."
Before a big game with the Dallas Cowboys: "Randy White is a good ballplayer, but he can't make the plays I can, and he can't excite people like I can."
While holding out for more National Football League money, with the United States Football League going under: "Maybe I'll still sign with the Memphis Showboats. It's true that their league folded. Well, maybe I'll still go into it. It'll be just me and Donald Trump. We can go one on one. Or, better yet, I can go to work at Trump Tower. Maybe he'll let me run the elevator. I think he'd pay me $400,000 to run the elevator, don't you?"
On talking: "I don't want people to think I'm running off at the mouth. I don't think I'm saying anything out of line. If I am, I apologize. I just have great ambition. I want to be the Man of the '80s."