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 forthcoming—B.P. (6/26)
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Entry from October 01, 2007
“It’s a good book, but everyone gets killed in the end” (Pete Gent on Dallas Cowboys playbook)

Pete Gent was a Dallas Cowboys football player (1964-1968) under coach Tom Landry. Landry’s playbook was known to be top secret and enormously complicated. Gent would write a 1973 novel about the team called North Dallas Forty.

Gent—the story goes—once saw a rookie reading the Dallas Cowboys playbook. “Don’t bother reading it, kid,” Gent said. “Everybody gets killed in the end.”


Wikipedia: Peter Gent
George Davis “Peter” Gent (born August 23, 1942 in Bangor, Michigan) is a former Michigan State University basketball player and National Football League wide receiver turned novelist.

Gent played football for the Dallas Cowboys from 1964 to 1968. After leaving the team, he wrote a semi-autobiographical novel titled North Dallas Forty, published in 1973, which exposed the seamier side of American football. Some focus is given to hypocrisy regarding drug use, as heavy use of painkillers is recklessly encouraged to keep players on the field but personal use of marijuana and narcotics is frowned on. The book was made into a movie of the same name in 1979 starring Nick Nolte and Mac Davis. 

Wikipedia: Tom Landry
Thomas Wade Landry (September 11, 1924 – February 12, 2000) was an American football player and coach. He is best known for his successes as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He is often ranked as one of the best and most innovative coaches in NFL history.

Dallas Morning News (2000 Landry Special)
The Man
The essence of an era
By Blackie Sherrod
The Dallas Morning News
Editor’s note: This article originally ran in Sports Day on March 12, 1989, in a special section honoring Tom Landry.

The man was Tom Landry of, oh, an eon past, and the object in his lap was a thick, looseleaf binder. It was a Dallas Cowboys’ playbook.

This was an early edition of a perpetual volume about which Pete Gent, the renowned social commentator, once warned a rookie: “Don’t read Landry’s playbook. Everybody gets killed in the end.”

1 November 1973, Big Spring (TX) Herald, pg. 11A, col. 1:
Quote—Pete Gent, speaking of the Cowboys’ playbook: “It’s a good book, but everyone gets killed in the end.”

13 October 1977, Corpus Christi (TX) Times, pg. 8B, cols. 2-3:
Pete Gent, another Cowboy of early vintage, saw a training camp rookie studying Landry’s playbook. “Don’t bother reading it, kid,” said Gent. “Everybody gets killed in the end.”

14 January 1979, Elyria (OH) Chronicle-Telegram, pg. C5, col. 3:
Peter Aschkenazy’s favorite is on the far wall. it shows a Dallas football player being carried off on a stretcher, and below the words of Pete Grant (sic) spoken to a Cowboy rookie: “Don’t bother reading Landry’s playbook, kid. Everybody gets killed in the end.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, October 01, 2007 • Permalink