A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 31, 2015
“If you need two yards, he’ll get you two yards…” (running back joke)

It’s sometimes said of a powerful, short-yardage runner in football that, “If you need two yards, he’ll get you two yards. If you need seven yards, he’ll get you two yards.” In other words, he will reliably get you a short yardage gain, but probably not much more than that.

The line was frequently said about Dallas Cowboys fullback Walt Garrison. “If you need four yards, he’ll get you four. If you need 10 yards, he’ll get four,” a newspaper story in 1972 printed. Garrison and others have credited the line to Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith (1938-2010).

According to a 2004 book, Texas high school football coach Milburn “Catfish” Smith (1912-1994) said, possibly in 1947, “If you need four yards, Kenneth will always get it for you. If you need six yards, he’ll still get four yards for you.” Leroy Hoard, a running back for the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s, is also associated with the line.


Wikipedia: Walt Garrison
Walter Benton “Walt” Garrison (born July 23, 1944) is a former professional football player, a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1966 NFL Draft (79th overall) out of Oklahoma State.
(...)
One of the more humorous sports quotes was attributed to Cowboy quarterback Don Meredith speaking about Garrison’s dependability, “If it was third down, and you needed four yards, if you’d get the ball to Walt Garrison, he’d get ya five. And if it was third down and ya needed twenty yards, if you’d get the ball to Walt Garrison, by God, he’d get you five.”

Wikipedia: Leroy Hoard
Leroy J. Hoard (born May 15, 1968) is a former American football player.

Hoard played professional football as a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for 10 seasons for the Cleveland Browns from 1990 to 1995 and the Minnesota Vikings from 1996 to 1999.
(...)
Hoard was known as a “goal-line” running back who excelled at breaking through an opposing defense’s goal-line defenses. Regarding his skills, Hoard reportedly once said to his coach, “Coach, if you need one yard, I’ll get you three yards. If you need five yards, I’ll get you three yards.”

14 November 1972, Big Spring (TX) Herald, “Craig Morton: The Man They Hate In Dallas” (Copley News Service), pg. 7, col. 5:
(Walt—ed.) Garrison, who demanded a horse trailer as part of his bonus when he signed, is a working cowboy on his father-in-law’s ranch when he isn’t riding the rodeo circuit as a calf roper and bulldogger.

“TOUGHEST MAN”
Dallas trainer Larry Gardner calls him “the toughest man I ever saw.” Meredith calls him “Little Puddin’.” And everyone calls him “Ol’ Reliable.” If you need four yards, he’ll get you four. If you need 10 yards, he’ll get four.

26 November 1972, Sunday Herald Traveler (Boston, MA), “Boos Don’t Bother Cowboys’ Morton” by Bob Ortman, pg. 72, col. 6:
(Walt—ed.) Garrison, who demanded a horse trailer as part of his bonus when he signed, is a working cowboy on his father-in-law’s ranch when he isn’t riding the rodeo circuit as a calf roper and bulldogger.

Dallas trainer Larry Gardner calls him “the toughest man I ever saw.” Meredith calls him “Little Puddin’.” And everyone calls him “Ol’ Reliable.” If you need four yards, he’ll get you four. If you need 10 yards, he’ll get four.

9 November 1985, Marietta (GA) Daily Journal, The Quote Machine” by Joe Falls (The Detroit News), pg. 8C, col. 2:
Don Meredith, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, on fullback Walt Garrison: “If you needed four yards, you could give the ball to Walt and he’d get you four yards. If you needed 20 yards, you could give the ball to Walt and he’d get you four yards.”

Los Angeles (CA) Times
MORNING BRIEFING
May 24, 1992 | DANNY ROBBINS
(...)
Sweet smell of retirement: Walt Garrison, the former Dallas Cowboy fullback and rodeo cowboy, says he realized that his decision to quit football was the right one when he returned to the Cowboy dressing room one day to visit some of his former teammates.

“I never noticed before,” he told Frank Luksa of the Dallas Morning News, “but sweat stinks.”

Add sweet: According to Luksa, Garrison’s life is best summed up by an inscription penned by former Dallas quarterback Don Meredith on a photo that hangs in Garrison’s office: “You’ve come a long way--most of it in a circle.”

Reminiscing about Meredith, Garrison told Luksa: “Don used to say, ‘If you need three yards, give the ball to Walt and he’ll get you three yards. If you need 12 yards, give the ball to Walt and he’ll get you three yards.’ “

Google Books
Coach “Catfish” Smith and His Boys
By Glen Onley
Santa Fe, NM: Sunstone Press
2004
Pg. 127:
Catfish called him the “Rambler” and once jovially said of Meek, “If you need four yards, Kenneth will always get it for you. If you need six yards, he’ll still get four yards for you.”
(Milburn “Catfish” Smith, 1912-1994.—ed.)

Twitter
pfox
‏@solidpewter
rip leroy hoard, “Coach, if you need one yard, I’ll get you three yards. If you need five yards, I’ll get you three yards.”
12:09 AM - 15 Oct 2008

NBC Sports
Bengals release BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Posted by Josh Alper on August 29, 2014, 3:26 PM EST
(...)
COMMENTS
pem34 says:
Aug 29, 2014 3:44 PM
To (mis-)quote someone, “If you need 2 yards, he’ll get 3; if you need 10 yards,he’ll get you 3”.

Twitter
Jaime Mejia
‏@Jme1228
@Eddieonfox
Leroy Hoard. Best football qoute ever. “If you need 3 yards. I’ll get you 3 yards. If you need 5 yards, I’ll get you 3 yards.”
1:58 AM - 12 Aug 2015

Twitter
Jay Sorgi
‏@jsorgi
If you need 2 yards. John Kuhn can get you two yards. If you need five yards, John Kuhn can get you two yards. #Packers
4:10 PM - 13 Dec 2015

Green Bay (WI) Press Gazette
Durkin: Deer ‘management’ not effective
Patrick Durkin, For Gannett Wisconsin Media 11:40 a.m. CST January 1, 2016
(...)
That reminds me of an old joke about former Green Bay Packers running-back Paul Ott Carruth: If you need 2 yards, he’ll get you 2 yards. If you need 4 yards, he’ll get you 2 yards.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, December 31, 2015 • Permalink