People — they say the darnedest things, and 2017 was no exception.
Whittling down the contenders for Chicago Inc.’s list of the best, worst and oddest Chicago quotes wasn’t easy, but we’ve found room for both perennial rent-a-quotes like former Bears coach Mike Ditka and newcomers like Chance the Rapper (who is, dare we say it, showing the first signs of hubris).
While he was much mentioned by our favorite talkers, there was no room for the year’s most-discussed man, President Donald Trump, who has barely stopped dissing our city all year.
Here, without further ado, they are: the most memorable lines of 2017:The Best
“This is unsolicited advice: You didn't get elected to debate the crowd size at your inaugural."
— Mayor Rahm Emanuel, questioning President Donald Trump's fixation on the size of the crowd at his inauguration ceremony in January.
“You know all those memes are basically true.”
— Former Vice President Joe Biden, in Chicago in December, discussing internet jokes that paint him as the wacky older partner in a buddy comedy with Barack Obama.
"Chicago does not f around."
— Tweeted by former “Saturday Night Live” star Rachel Dratch, who has not lived in Chicago for two decades, after she received a 1997 parking ticket from City Hall in August.
"Hey, I guess that was some good brisket. He wasn't about to let that go to waste. You can't get between a man and his brisket. I get it."
— Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman, on the man who finished eating a brisket sandwich after Freeman twice performed the Heimlich maneuver on him at a restaurant in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas in July.
"He said, 'But I'm a progressive.’ I thought it was hilarious!’"
— Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis in May, about gubernatorial contender J.B. Pritzker’s response when she questioned his credentials as a billionaire.
"Look, it's your food. We'll put your cellphone in the deep fryer if you want."
— Joe Neis, general manager at Rosebud in the Gold Coast neighborhood, responding to foodies’ outrage in February that President Donald Trump eats his steaks well-done and with ketchup.
"I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible."
— University of Chicago behavioral economist Richard Thaler, on how he will spend the $1.1 million Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences he won in October.
"I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.”
— Then-President Barack Obama, in his January farewell speech.
"The desensitized violence, the constant strain of looking over your shoulder all the time — it gets pretty dark in Chicago. I have this programming from growing up here — we can't turn the other cheek."
— Musician Vic Mensa, in a July interview with the Tribune.
"I probably broke a record for slowest pitches."
— Cubs outfielder Jon Jay, who was called by manager Joe Maddon to pitch the ninth inning of the Cubs' 11-2 loss to the Brewers in July. Some of his pitches were as slow as 47 mph.
"I'll be the first normal Indian governor."
— Gubernatorial candidate Ald. Ameya Pawar, 47th, comparing himself in a joke in April to former Govs. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. Pawar dropped out of the race in October.
"Now I get it. When there's a shooting, Obama's from Chicago. All the other times, he's from Kenya."
— Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show," in August, on President DonaldTrump's references about where Barack Obama is from.
"Oh, my word. Wow. This is amazing. What do you think of this, guys?"
— WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling, brought to tears on the air as a solar eclipse occurred over Illinois in August.
“I’m not Patsy the Slave!”
— Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile, explaining her decision to publish a warts-and-all book about the 2016 election, to University of Chicago students in November.
“Joe Ricketts is a coward. He wouldn't last a minute under the intrepid scrutiny of the reporters he employed.”
— New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, blasting the Chicago Cubs co-owner for shutting down local news website DNAinfo in November.The worst
“Disruptive and belligerent."
— United CEO Oscar Munoz, describing Dr. David Dao, a passenger violently removed from a United Express flight at O’Hare International Airport in a public relations fiasco in April. United later reached an undisclosed settlement with Dao.
"The 2017 season is my year."
— Famous last words from Mike Glennon, who lasted four games as the Bears starting quarterback.
"No, white Republicans don't get invited to go on those kind of trips."
— Former U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., responding to a question in January about whether he’s ever been on Air Force One. It later emerged he had, in fact, been invited onto the plane by President Barack Obama.
"I have a bigger voice than Donald Trump, you know what I'm saying? Than literally anybody that works in politics.”
— Chance the Rapper, severely overestimating his power in this August interview.
“There has been no oppression in the last 100 years that I know of. Now maybe I’m not watching it as carefully as other people.”
— Former Bears coach Mike Ditka, a critic of National Football League players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination, during a nationally televised radio program in October. He later apologized.
"I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there."
— White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, repeating a canard about Chicago’s gun laws in October.
"On my way to Chicago for speech. Expecting to have to run from plane dodging bullets like Hillary (Clinton) did in Bosnia when under sniper fire! Yikes!"
— Not to be outdone by his daughter, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee proved once again that he is bad at jokes with this tweet in May.
"You're boring, pathetic ... fat dumb people who vote for Donald Trump and have no interests except (for) McDonald's and malls."
— Bill Hillmann, 35, of Chicago, gored for the second time while running with more than 300 bulls in Spain, lambasting Americans who express little sympathy for his injuries in July. He later apologized.
“So the internet said Louis harassed women? ... I didn’t see the tweets. … You know who you’re talking to, right?”
— Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart made these comments to a University of Chicago student who challenged him about his pal Louis C.K. in May 2016, but they came to light this past November after C.K.’s public disgrace. Sorry, but you made the cut, Stewart.
"Cheap and crappy-looking.”
— How Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, described San Antonio’s famous riverwalk in May, prompting a minor outcry in Texas that may or may not have played a role in a Chicago company owned by J.B. Pritzker losing a $100 million contract to run riverboats in San Antonio.
"I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving, because I've made some poor choices in my past. … ‘Boogie Nights' is up there at the top of the list."
— Mark Wahlberg, star of “Ted 2” and former frontman for the the Funky Bunch band apologizing for entirely the wrong things when he visited Cardinal Blase Cupich in October.
"I was appalled, right after his inauguration, how things started out, (with him) being more divisive and really being more polarizing on religion and immigration."
— Downstate billionaire and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, revealing in September that he was shocked — shocked! — that President Donald Trump, whose campaign he supported, would be divisive on religion and race in the White House.
"I went to Brown, and I'm a teacher, sweetheart!"
— What gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy’s niece Caroline Kennedy told cops called to a disturbance at a Hyannis Port party at which her father allegedly incited a mob, according to a police report in August. She then stuck out her tongue and burst into tears, according to the report.
"What about men having to purchase prenatal care? … I'm just … is that not correct? And should they?"
— U.S. Rep John Shimkus, R-Ill., reinserting his foot into his mouth during an Obamacare debate in March.
“I wonder, with your addition to this team, is it a fair expectation to see a clear pathway toward a World Cup competition come out of Chicago?”
— Video journalist DerekHenkle, asking new Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger if the Fire might win the World Cup, which, er, is for national teams, not MLS franchises.
"This is a wow appointment. If you would have appointed Jesus Christ, you couldn't have done better."
— Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, went overboard in his praise of World Business Chicago CEO Andrea Zopp, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pick for the Chicago Police Board in November.The oddest
“Do I relish the prospect of seeing bare-chested women in public? As a private citizen, I surely do not. (I would give the same answer with respect to bare-chested men.) But I speak here strictly as a judge, with the responsibility to accord Tagami her constitutional rights.”
— Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ilana Rovner, dissenting from her colleagues who found that Chicago can legally ban the bearing of female breasts in public.
“A big squirrel with a lot of nuts in his trees.”
— Chicago starting pitcher Jake Arrieta’s agent Scott Boras describing the Cubs pitcher.
“It's perfectly fine. It's actually very romantic because our bedroom windows overlook the goat pens. … It's like, whoa boy."
— Gov. Bruce Rauner, describing his temporary living arrangements on the state fairgrounds in April.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion. That being said, my phone is in my back pocket right now. Whoever has anything to say to me, feel free: 773-899-6071.”
— Jimmy Butler, giving out his real cellphone number to the haters during a news conference.
"We were both born and bred in Brooklyn, N.Y."
— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting what she has in common with the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G., during a visit to Chicago in September.
"Friends joked that we should call our kids 'A,' 'B' and 'C.'"
— Gubernatorial contender J.B. Pritzker, in April on the gags he and his wife, M.K., have to endure.
"Now it's Netflix, sometimes chilling."
— Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx revealing more than her staff would have preferred about how she relaxes in her downtime in March.
"Suppose the class members all happened to own pedigreed cats …"
— Cat-loving federal appellate court Judge Richard Posner, who retired this year, beginning an extended metaphor in a case that has nothing to do with cats in March.
"It's OK being booed once in a while. It's good for the soul. We like loud."
— Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs manager, at a Cubs-Brewers game in September.
“It would be protected speech, as long as I do not actually vomit on Sean Spicer."
— What University of Chicago senior Jake Bittle said he was told by a university bigwig before a planned vomit protest of President Donald Trump’s spokesman in January.
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