"Win or go home” was trademarked by Turner Network Television (TNT) with a first use on May 31 1998. TNT has used “win or go home” as a slogan for its coverage of the NBA basketball playoffs. The TNT show Inside the NBA also uses “win or go home” for the NBA playoffs.
“Win or go home,” however, has been used in sports much before 1998. “It’s a win-or-go-home game for the Als” (Montreal Alouettes—ed.) was cited in print in November 1953.
Wikipedia: Inside the NBA
Inside the NBA is the five-time Emmy Award-winning postgame show for NBA on TNT broadcasts. The program features host Ernie Johnson with analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.
Catchphrases and quotes
“Win or go home” – The main tagline TNT uses for its playoff coverage. While the phrase may not resonate in the early games of a playoff series, it becomes especially useful towards the end of series. For all of TNT’s Game 7s (Dallas-Sacramento in 2003, Miami-New Orleans and Sacramento-Minnesota in 2004, Indiana-Boston, Dallas-Houston and Detroit-Miami in 2005 and Lakers-Phoenix Suns, San Antonio-Dallas and Clippers-Phoenix in 2006), the phrase has been used in the pregame montage and in the graphics during the game.
21 November 1953, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Free Press, “Al’s Peahead Walker Resorts To Psychology Against T-Cats” by W. R. Wheatley, pg. 22, cols. 4-5”
It’s a win-or-go-home game for the Als. (Montreal Alouettes—ed.)
17 June 1959, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Fresno and Cowboys To Baytle,” pg. B12, col. 6:
OMAHA, June 17 (UP)—Fresno State and Oklahoma State will meet in a win-or-go-home NCAA college baseball World Series game tonight with the winner to battle Arizona for the championship.
5 March 1963, Boston (MA) Globe, “Tricky S Turn Sabotages East Olympic Aspirants “ by Mike Beatrice, pg. 23:
“But at this stage of the game you either win or go home,” said Buchika, who had the best time of the day for one run in Friday’s slalom.
16 October 1972, New York (NY) Times, “3 Runs, 13 Hits, 2 Losses and 25 Red Faces” by Murray Chass, pg. 50:
In the playoffs, you either win or go home.
Google News Archive
6 May 1976, Schenectady (NY) Gazette, “Canadiens Home Hoping To Finish Off Islanders" (AP), pg. 43, col. 3:
To the Islanders, the task Is clear cut: win or go home for the summer
Chris Paul says Game 5 against Grizzlies is ‘win or go home’
Brett Pollakoff Apr 30, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT
“We got to win this game,” Paul said. “It’s win or go home.”
Word Mark WIN OR GO HOME
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES, NAMELY, TELEVISION PROGRAMMING IN THE FIELD OF SPORTS. FIRST USE: 19980531. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19980531
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