When the going gets tough, the tough get going (1961)

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Dec 2 19:27:33 UTC 2002

On Mon, Dec 02, 2002 at 12:47:29PM -0500, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>    23 February 1961, WASHINGTON POST, pg. A18:
>    Persons in sports have a simple yardstick for measuring a
> first-rate performer.  When the going gets tough, the tough
> get going.

>    6 August 1963, WASHINGTON POST, "This Morning..." with
>    Shirley Povich, pg. D5: But the Senators would do well to
>    take their creed from Eddie Erdelatz, the old Navy
>    football coach, and one of his aphorisms that said: "When
>    the going gets tough, the tough get going."
> (Eddie Erdelatz!  The "a tie is like kissing your sister"
> guy!  Who would know that he's being some of the century's
> greatest quotations?--ed.)

Hell, if you want to give Erdelatz some credit, you might as
well give him an earlier example of the phrase:

1956 Washington Post 30 Nov. A19 The Thing Erdelatz likes to
talk about most is the 'eagerness' of this team. Two big
signs in the Navy locker room read: "When the Going Gets
Tough, the Tough Get Going" and "A Little Extra Effort is
the Difference between Good and Great."

However, the WP of 23 August 1956 attributes the phrase
to Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy.

Jesse Sheidlower

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