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 August 26, 2007
“I don’t jog. If I die, I want to be sick” (Abe Lemons, UT basketball coach)

"I don’t jog,” University of Texas basketball coach Abe Lemons has been quoted as saying. “If I die, I want to be sick.”

Lemons had already coached Oklahoma City University for 25 years, and then Pan American University (where he was 1974-1975 Texas Coach of the Year), when Lemons took on the head basketball coach position at the University of Texas in 1976. Lemons gave a press conference in August 1976, and his famous anti-jogging quote was given there.


Wikipedia: Abe Lemons
Abe Lemons (November 21, 1922 - September 2, 2002) was one of the most successful head basketball coaches in Oklahoma history.

Lemons grew up in the town of Walters, Oklahoma. He served in World War II in the Pacific and often referred to the pressures of his war experience to put sports pressures into perspective. He joined Oklahoma City University as a student in 1947.

At Oklahoma City University, Lemons excelled as a player and coach in basketball for more than 40 years. In 34 seasons of coaching, he accomplished 599 victories and 343 losses, ranking fifth among the winningest men’s active collegiate coaches.

Lemons spent 25 years as head coach at OCU. His first 18 years at OCU from 1955-1973, during which he led OCU to a 309-181 record, two NIT berths and seven NCAA tournament appearances in 1956, 1957, 1963-1966 and 1973. OCU also won the All-College Tournament in 1965.

From 1973-1976 Lemons was head coach at Pan American University, where he was named 1974-1975 Texas Coach of the Year. He took the head coaching position at the University of Texas in 1976. He served as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1977 and was named National Coach of the Year in 1978. Lemons’ last season at Texas was 1982.
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Lemons died on September 2, 2002 of complications from Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 79.
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Notable Quotes
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“I don’t jog. If I die I want to be sick.”

26 August 1976, Dallas Morning News, “Lemons Adds Light Touch” by Richard Morehead, section D, pg. 3:
AUSTIN—Whether or not University of Texas basketball teams win any championship under new coach Abe Lemons, everybody seems certain to have an enjoyable time.
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LEMONS CONTENDS exercise can be overdone. While watching a man jogging around the track, Lemons asked a companion why the fellow was running.

“That guy’s in perfect shape,” was the reply. “He’ll be in perfect shape when he dies...”

“I’d rather be sick when I die,” observed Lemons. “Fade away kinda...have time to make peace with the Lord.”

Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Daryl Van Horne {Played by Jack Nicholson—ed.]: I see men, sixty, seventy years old breaking their balls to stay fit! What for? When I die, I want to be sick, not healthy.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, August 26, 2007 • Permalink