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 January 15, 2015
“I hate losing more than I love winning”

It’s often assumed that players love to win (to get a reward), but often what motivates them is that they hate to lose (fear of pain). “I hate losing more than I love winning” was said by tennis player Jimmy Connors in April 1975. Connors said “I hate to lose more than I like to win” in July 1976.

“I hate losing more than I love winning” has been a philosophy of many athletes in many different sports.


Wikipedia: Jimmy Connors
James Scott “Jimmy” Connors (born September 2, 1952, in East St. Louis, Illinois)[1] is a former World No. 1 tennis player from the United States.

Connors won eight Grand Slam singles titles (five US Opens, two Wimbledons and one Australian Open) and two Grand Slam doubles titles (at the US Open and Wimbledon), and was a runner-up in seven Grand Slam singles finals, one Grand Slam doubles final and one Grand Slam mixed doubles final. He held the top ranking for a then-record 160 consecutive weeks from July 29, 1974 to August 22, 1977 and an additional eight times during his career for a total of 268 weeks. He was the first male player in the Open Era to rank No. 1 for more than five years in total and more than 200 weeks. He held a year-end top ten ranking for an Open Era record 16 years.

Sports Illustrated
Originally Posted: April 28, 1975
Cool warmup for Jimbo
Hyping the biggie with Newcombe, Connors wins in his WCT debut

BY CURRY KIRKPATRICK
(...)
Connors dispatched such talk with venom. “C’mon, dammit,” he said. “Whoever says I tank will get punched in his chops. I hate losing more than I love winning.”

Google Books
A Study of Task Goals, Performance, and Achievement Motivation
By Shirley LaVon Teeter
Thesis (Ph. D.)--UCLA
1975
Pg. 142:
23. I think that I hate losing more than I love winning.

27 July 1976, Washington (DC) Star, “No Weakness in Connors” by Morris Siegel, pg. D-6, col. 2:
He (Jimmy Connors—ed.) doesn’t complain over his role as the public betting choice. Far from it. It is a pressurized existence, but he thrives on it. “I not only like it, I love it. I hate to lose more than I like to win. My competitive instinct is to kill or be killed.”

Google News Archive
14 August 1976, Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, “Connors Scores Win in U.S. Clay Court,” pg. 11, col. 1:
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Playing tennis is a love-hate experience for Jimmy Connors, whose brashness and unquestioned ability draw crowds wherever he goes.

“Number one, I hate to lose, and number two, I love to win. Number one, if I win, play tomorrow; number two, if I lose, I go home,” said Connors after his victory Friday over West German Karl Meiler thrust him into today’s quarterfinals of the U.S. Clay Court tournament.

Google Books
The Lessons I’ve Learned:
Better Golf the Sam Snead Way

By Sam Snead and Don Wade
New York, NY: Collier Books/Macmillan Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 122:
But as much as I love to win, I hate to lose even more. Call it pride or whatever you want, but it gets my goat to lose to someone I know I should be able to beat — and when I stepped onto the first tee, I always thought I was the man to beat.

Google Books
The Norton Book of Sports
Edited by George Plimpton
New York, NY: W.W. Norton
1992
Pg. 467:
JIMMY CONNORS
tennis champion:
“I hate losing more than I love winning.”

Google Books
ESPN Sports Century
By Michael MacCambridge
New York, NY: Hyperion
1999
Pg. 227:
“I hate losing more than I love winning,” he (Jimmy Connors—ed.) said in 1976. He was proof that some champions aren’t born so much as made.

The Daily Beast
THE WEST SWING 09.28.11
Good Movie, Bad Baseball
By Allen Barra
(...)
I don’t know what Beane’s motivation for staying in Oakland was, but in the movie it couldn’t sound more Hollywoodized if Billy said he was only in it for love of the game.

Earlier he tells us, “I hate losing more than I love winning.” But all of a sudden, at the end we’re told the reason he’s done everything is so all other teams in baseball will adopt his methods.

Marshall (TX) News Messenger
Marshall Mavericks preparing for battle of district unbeatens
Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 4:00 am
Nathan Hague
There’s an old saying: “Champions hate losing more than they love winning.” The Marshall Mavericks basketball team certainly agrees with that.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, January 15, 2015 • Permalink