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 September 22, 2012
“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost”

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.” Many sports figures have argued that it really matters whether you win or lose. “If winning isn’t important, why keep score?” is one popular saying that shows the importance of winning.

“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost” has been credited to the tennis player Martina NavratilovaSeveral sources (Newsweek, Forbes, Business Week, Scientific American) do not have digital full text available, but appear to indicate that Navratilova said her much-cited quote in 1987.

A similar saying is “No one ever says ‘It’s only a game’ when their team is winning.”


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
Newsweek
Volume 109
1987
Pg. 47:
“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts’, probably lost.” Martina Navratilova. Tennis World champion.

Google Books
Forbes
Volume 139, Issues 10-14
1987
Pg. 113:
“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win, or lose that counts’, probably lost.”
Martina Navratilova.

Google Books
The Little Book of Great Women
Edited by New Internationalist
Oxford: New Internationalist Publications Ltd.
2000
Pg. 51:
Whoever said ‘It’s not whether you winor lose that counts’ probably lost.
Martina Navratilova (1956- ) Czech/US tennis player.

Google Books
The Best Things Anybody Ever Said About Sports, Management, & Marketing
By Louis E. Boone and David L. Kurtz
Australia; United States: Thomson South-Western
2006
Pg. 23:
“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,’ probably lost.”
Martina Navratilova (b. 1956)
American professional tennis player

Google Books
Women Know Everything!
By Karen Weekes
Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books
2007
Pg. ?:
Whoever said, “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts,” probably lost. —MARTINA NAVRATILOVA (1956–) •CZECH-AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 22, 2012 • Permalink