As George Washington once said, 75 percent of the inspirational quotes you find on the Internet are misattributed or made up. It turns out that the same is true for the inspirational quotes found on the walls of the Cleveland Browns’ team facilities.
Deadspin has posted several images of quotes prominently displayed at the Browns’ headquarters, and some research indicates that the majority of those quotes were not actually spoken by the speaker they’re attributed to.
Among the famous figures who have quotes misattributed to them on the walls of the Browns’ facilities are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Jefferson, Mother Teresa, Gary Player, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, Red Auerbach, Nelson Mandela and even Willy Wonka, whose words in the novel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator are misquoted on the wall of the Browns’ facilities.
The quote attributed to Auerbach is particularly interesting: Deadspin finds that the quote has been published before, in interviews with Browns G.M. Mike Lombardi, who had a favorite Auerbach quote that he liked to repeat — but which there’s no record of Auerbach actually saying. It seems that Lombardi once heard someone else attribute the quote to Auerbach and liked it so much that he figured it just sounded like something a great winner like Auerbach would say.
In the immortal words of Knute Rockne, some quotes are too good to check.