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.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from September 03, 2013
“NASCAR, if it’s not a sport for idiots, should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines”

"Gentlemen, stgart your engines!” is a traditional starting command at the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and other races. A popular tweet parodied this on December 1, 2011:

“If NASCAR wants me to believe it’s not a sport for idiots, they should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines.”


Wikipedia: Indianapolis 500 traditions
Starting command
The call for the engines to start is made by stating “Gentlemen, start your engines!” When female drivers are competing, the call has been amended to “Lady and Gentlemen...” or “Ladies and Gentlemen...”

The exact origin of the phrase is unclear, and there have been several conflicting accounts of who was the first to recite it, and what the exact wording of it was. Prior to WWII, it was commonplace for an aerial bomb to signal the start of the engines. Seth Kline was the official starter of the “500” from 1925-1926 & 1934-1953. Kline is thought to have made an informal “Gentlemen, start your motors!” command as early as 1948 to accompany the bomb. The first documented case was in 1950, and that was recited by prolific public address announcer John Francis “Irish” Horan. Kline was again reported as saying it in 1951, (though some report it was Horan) Either Kline or Horan said it again in 1952. It was around that time the command was changed from “...motors!” to “...engines!” The participants and officials alike, preferred the more technical term “engines” to describe their machines. Sid Collins stated that chief steward Harlan Fengler explained to him “there are no motors in the race, just engines.”

Wilbur Shaw, president of the Speedway from 1946–1954, was once believed to be the person who coined the phrase, and it was erroneously claimed in his autobiography that he recited it in all the post-WWII years until his death. Speedway historian Donald Davidson, however, believes Shaw only recited it twice, in 1953 and 1954.

Twitter
Guy Endore-Kaiser‏
@GuyEndoreKaiser
If NASCAR wants me to believe it’s not a sport for idiots, they should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines.
9:57 AM - 1 Dec 11

Facebook
Mordechai Schmutter · 256 like this
December 1, 2011 at 5:28pm · ..
If NASCAR wants me to believe it’s not a sport for idiots, they should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines.

writingwrong7
200 Amazing Tweets
(...)
posted on February 10, 2012
85. If NASCAR wants me to believe it’s not a sport for idiots, they should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines.
- @GuyEndoreKaiser

Twitter
Daniel Ada‏
@DanielAda1960
If NASCAR wants me to believe it’s not a sport for idiots, they should stop reminding the drivers to start their engines.
1:38 PM - 1 Sep 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, September 03, 2013 • Permalink