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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“To make me happy: Make me coffee, bring me coffee, be coffee….coffee” (3/24)
“Coffee, coffee! It’s our drink! If we don’t get it, we can’t think!” (3/24)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/24)
“Want to hear a really dark joke?…Decaf” (3/24)
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Entry from October 05, 2014
“Players win games and coaches lose them”

"Players win games and coaches lose them” is a popular sports adage, especially in football and basketball. The players play the game; fans come out to see the players play. A coach stands out when a mistake is made, or when the players play poorly.

“Players win games, coaches lose them. That’s the way it is in athletics” was cited in print in 1975. “Players win football games. Coaches only lose them” was cited in 1977. “In the end, players win games and coaches lose them, and that’s another part of the game Dick Motta has accepted” was written in 1978 about NBA coach Dick Motta. It’s not known who first came up with the sports adage.


Google News Archive
6 October 1975, Fort Scott (KS) Tribune, “Fort Scotters Lose First Game, 20-7,” pg. 8, col. 1:
“Players win games, coaches lose them. That’s the way it is in athletics.”
(Fort Scott Greyhounds head football coach Joe Hauptman.—ed.)

21 October 1977, The Argus (Fremont, CA), “Way to go” by Rich Gohlke, pg. 21, col. 1:
But the bottom line of Cowan’s approach is, “Players win football games. Coaches only lose them.”
(Ohlone College football coach Mike Cowan.—ed.)

Google News Archive
18 May 1978, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune,"Mellowed Dick Motta Is At Peace With Bullets” (UPI), pg. 1-D, col. 6:
In the end, players win games and coaches lose them, and that’s another part of the game Dick Motta has accepted.

18 March 1983, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Coaches make do with what they have” by Dick Motta (coach of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks), pg. 11B, col. 2:
I have often said players win games, coaches lose them. I may not believe it, but I accept that that is the standard by which coaches are judged. If you win, people say, “Well, he should win with all that talent.” If you lose, people ask, “What’s wrong with the coach?” It also is true that fans do not come to watch coaches coach, they come to watch players play.

5 March 1988, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Seton Hall NCAA-bound: Carlesimo winning in last year of pact” by Jerry Sullivan (Newsday), pg. 6-D, col. 5:
As Carlesimo (Seton Hall basketball coach P. J. Carlesimo—ed.) says, it comes with the territory. Players win games. Coaches lose them. It’s an essential truth of the profession, andone from which he has never tried to hide.

Google News Archive
25 December 1988, Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal, “They said it,” pg. C6, col. 2:
“I won my first game on this floor in 1970. Now, my 600th. I’m just delighted they happened here. The 600 means a lot of great players have worked very hard for me. Players win games and coaches lose them.”—Phoenix Suns Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons.

Twitter
Jude Turcuato
‏@jturcuato
RT @vincefau: @jturcuato VDN to be fired tomorrow? http://bit.ly/b2mzDH Players win games, coaches lose them I guess. smile
12:11 PM - 3 May 2010

The Huffington Post
Jordan Schultz
Final Four Coaches: Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim Bring Strategy, Pedigree To NCAA Tournament
Posted: 04/06/2013 12:27 pm EDT Updated: 04/06/2013 12:27 pm EDT
One of the classic adages in sports is that players win games and coaches lose them.

BusinessWorld
Posted on October 05, 2014 08:16:00 PM
Coaching from the sidelines
(...)
It’s not always clear to fans what coaches really do. But when a team loses important games and increasingly characterized as “gutsy and full of heart” with near-wins and last-minute losses, it is the man on the bench that gets the blame machine humming. An old adage puts it best—“players win games, coaches lose them.” Fans remember buzzer beaters for the winning lead and which players made them. The coach hardly gets mentioned for those squeakers.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, October 05, 2014 • Permalink