[Ads-l] leave it all on the field

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 31 12:50:18 EDT 2017


With respect to Bill Mullins' 1918 example of "giving one's all" on the battlefield, "giving one's all" and "leaving it all" seem different to me, even if they are similar or perhaps ultimately related.


Here are some other early examples of leaving everything on the football field (or basketball court):


Basketball - 1944
The Tomahawks must have left everything they had out at Stockwell on Friday eve, for they certainly didn’t bring much into Jeff gym on Saturday night when they played West Side – That game was rather humiliating to our supposed-to-be rural prestige.
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), January 18, 1944, page 11.

Football - 1948
Tate Shines in Bitter Defeat. Golden Warriors Get 13 First Downs to Six for Reds. (Matoon’s Green Wave versus Decatur Reds). About 15 minutes after the game Tate was still dazed in the Mattoon locker room and looked something like Tony Zale after his last fight.  He left everything he had on the field – including plenty of fighting heart.
Journal Gazette (Mattoon, Illinois), September 25, 1948.

Football - 1957.  A more nuanced explication of the "winning is everything" coaching-mantra.
Coach Evashevski: Winning – Winning is important because it’s the only criterion we have for measuring anything. . . .  You’ve got to play to win.  There’s a very tricky shading of meaning here.  When the game is over, it’s not important whether you won.  But during the game, it’s vitally important that you win.  Not to look good, but to win!  And then if you’ve left your guts on the football field and you can say to yourself, ‘I left everything I had out there, and if I had it to do tomorrow I couldn’t do it any better’ then there’s no disgrace in losing.
Des Moines Register (Iowa), September 19, 1957, page 11.

Same quote two years later, with “guts” replaced by “your all”.
Coach Evashevski of Iowa University sums it up this way: “You have got to play to win.  There’s a very tricky shade of meaning here.  When the game is over, it’s not important whether you won.  But during the game it’s vitally important that you win.  Not to look good, but to win!  And then if you’ve left your all on the football field and you can say to yourself, ‘I left everything I had out there, and if I had to do tomorrow I couldn’t do it any better,’ then there’s no disgrace in losing.” The Humboldt Independent (Humboldt, Iowa), January 31, 1959, page 2.



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US) <william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2017 9:25:12 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: leave it all on the field

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY RDECOM AMRDEC (US)"
              <william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL>
Subject:      Re: leave it all on the field
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