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 June 27, 2012
“The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it”

A person who accepts a loss without whining (such as complaining about the officials) is said to be “a good sport.” A good sport says nice and gracious comments about the winner.

“The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose in order to prove it” is a joke that appeared in The Reader’s Digest in January 1952 and is still told.


The Free Dictionary
(a) good sport
someone who can accept a loss in a competition or can accept being the butt of a joke.
Bob is usually a good sport, but this time he didn’t seem to appreciate your joke.

8 July 1924, Manitowoc (WI) Herald-News, pg. 3, col. 3:
The trouble with being a good sport is that it takes too much time and pays such small returns.

13 January 1952, Van Nuys (CA) News, “News-Graphs” by Walter Mendenhall, pg. 1, col. 1:
YEZZIR
“The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose in order to prove it.”
-- The Reader’s Digest

Google News Archive
7 February 1952, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Shop with Sue,” pg. 8, col. 8:
The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it.

27 September 1956, Springfield (MA) Union, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 15, col. 2:
Morey Amsterdam’s logic: “The only trouble with being a Good Sport is—You have to Lose to be One.”

Google News Archive
3 October 1961, Meriden (CT) Record, “Today’s Chuckle,” pg. 1, col. 3:
The only trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it.

Google Books
January 1977, The Rotarian, pg. 56, col. 1:
The only trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it.
The Iron Coast
WAIUKU, NEW ZEALAND

Google Books
Business Wit & Wisdom
By Richard S. Zera
Washington, DC: Beard Books
2005
Pg. 248:
The only problem with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, June 27, 2012 • Permalink