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 October 17, 2015
“In New York, it’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you lay the blame”

Grantland Rice (1880-1954) wrote, “For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name; He marks—not that you won or lost—but how you played the Game.” American author Fran Lebowitz wrote in the essay “Modern Sports” for Mademoiselle magazine in 1976, later compiled in her book (1978):

“Whichever runner-up is the more arrogant and convincing is presented with the gold medal. Because in New York it’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you lay the blame.”

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but who gets the blame” is a similar saying that was cited in a football forecaster column in 1967.


Wikipedia: Fran Lebowitz
Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz (born October 27, 1950) is an American author and public speaker. Lebowitz is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities. Some reviewers have called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker.

Wikipedia: Grantland Rice
Henry Grantland Rice (November 1, 1880 – July 13, 1954) was an early 20th-century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose. His writing was published in newspapers around the country and broadcast on the radio.
(...)
Quotations
“For when the One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost –
But how you played the Game.”
(from the poem “Alumnus Football")

Google Books
Mademoiselle
Volume 82
1976
Pg. 47 ("The Lebowitz Report—Modern Sports” by Fran Lebowitz):
Because in New York it’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you lay the blame.

OCLC WorldCat record
Metropolitan life
Author: Fran Lebowitz
Publisher: New York : Dutton, ©1978.
Edition/Format: Print book : English : 1st ed
Contents:
Manners --
Vocational guidance for the truly ambitious --
Modern sports --

Google Books
The Fran Lebowitz Reader
By Fran Lebowitz
New York, NY: Vintage Books
1994
Pg. 26:
Whichever runner-up is the more arrogant and convincing is presented with the gold medal. Because in New York it’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you lay the blame.

Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 635:
Grantland Rice
U.S. sportswriter, 1880-1954
“For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name
He marks—not that you won or lost—but how you played the Game.”

“Alumnus Football” l. 63 (1908)

Google Books
The Little Red Book of New York Wisdom
With Gregg Stebben and Jason Katzman
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2011
Pg. 133:
In New York it’s not whether you win or lose—it’s how you lay the blame.
FRAN LEBOWITZ

Twitter
Chrysanthe Tenentes
‏@eqx1979
Modern Sports by Fran Lebowitz, possibly the most timeless, New York-y essay I’ve read
8:31 PM - 16 Jan 2014

Twitter
Jewish Comedians
‏@JewishComedians
Fran Lebowitz: In New York it’s not whether you win or lose--it’s how you lay the blame. | #Quotes
7:23 PM - 16 Oct 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Saturday, October 17, 2015 • Permalink