"We didn’t lose—we just ran out of time” is an excuse sometimes used in football, where the team that scores last often wins the game. Football Hall of Famer Doak Walker (1927-1998) said in 1959 of quarterback Bobby Layne (1926-1986), his teammate in high school and in the NFL:
“Bobby Layne never lost a game in his life. Time just ran out on him.”
Layne became associated with the “we just ran out of time” line, but it’s not clear if Layne originated it or if it was first said by others (such as Doak Walker) talking about Layne. In 1971, Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrery, talking about a game where the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers with the Packers left on the one-yard line, quoted Packers coach Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) as having said, “We didn’t lose. We just ran out of time.” Lombardi is often given credit for the line, but Layne’s association most probably pre-dates this.
Wikipedia: Bobby Layne
Robert Lawrence “Bobby” Layne (December 19, 1926 – December 1, 1986) was an American football quarterback who played for 15 seasons in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears in 1948, the New York Bulldogs in 1949, the Detroit Lions from 1950–1958, and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1958–1962. He was drafted by the Bears in the first round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Texas.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968. His number, 22, has been retired by the University of Texas Longhorns and Detroit Lions.
Layne was known more for his leadership and determination than for pure athletic ability. According to Doak Walker, “Layne never lost a game...time just ran out on him.”
18 December 1959, Amarillo (TX) Globe-Times, “PUTTing Around,” pg. 19, col. 2:
Doak Walker says, “Bobby Layne never lost a game in his life. Time just ran out on him.”
1 January 1961, Galveston (TX) News, “Four Inducted Into Texas Hall Of Fame” by Harold V. Ratliff, pg. 7A, cols. 4-5:
Layne, the great quarterback of the University of Texas and professional football, was described by D. X. Bible, his old coach, as “never being licked—time just ran out on him.”
Google News Archive
2 August 1964, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Reflections” by Buddy Martin, pg. 17, col. 1:
Never Lost A Game
“Bobby Layne (former pro quarterback) never lost a game in his life,” Royal said. “He just ran out of time. He was always confident that if he’d had more time, he would have won the game.”
Google News Archive
31 July 1966, Tuscaloosa (AL) News, “Joe Takes Heat Off, Says Jets’ Ace Catcher” by Mike Rathet, pg. 14, col. 3:
“I know how I’m supposed to act as a pro. Bobby Layne used to say he never was beat—he just ran out of time. That’s the way I always felt. I never quit in a game, or on a pass.”
(Don Maynard, New York Jets wide receiver—ed.)
3 November 1967, Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), pg. 10, col. 1:
“Of Agony And Ecstasy” by Bob Lapham,
Coach John Linville’s Pack put together the last gritty drive, and it might not be trite to borrow an old Bobby Layne quote and say that the Cardinals didn’t lose...they just ran out of time.
18 December 1968, Iowa City (IA) Press-Citizen, “Al Grady’s Column,” pg. 1B, col. 1:
“We didn’t lose; we just ran out of time.”
That was one fan’s explanation ...
26 January 1969, San Antonio (TX) Express/News, “Burbank’s Hunt Is Fiery Competitor” by John Thames, pg. 4K, col. 2:
He projects the same kind of winning attitude quarterback Bobby Layne felt when he once said, “We never lost a game. We just ran out of time.”
12 October 1969, High Point (NC) Enterprise, “Dukes Cripples Best” by Benny Phillips, pg. 2C, col. 7:
“We didn’t lose the game,” declared Stoll, “we just ran out of time.”
19 December 1971, Sunday Times Advertiser (Trenton, NJ), “Politics At Large: Some Still Recall ‘Dump The Hump’” by John McLaughlin, pt. 3,, pg. 5, col. 6:
“I remember a game the Green Bay Packers lost to the Minnesota Vikings when the gun went off as they had the ball on the one yard line. Vince Lombardi, the Packer coach, said, ‘We didn’t lose. We just ran out of time,’” Humphrey said.
New York City • Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Tuesday, June 26, 2012 • Permalink