"Winning isn't everything, but losing is nothing" (1971)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Dec 28 08:54:21 UTC 2004

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 03:43:07 -0500, I wrote:

>On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 01:36:57 EST, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>>"For the Jets, winning isn't everything, but losing stinks," said a NY
>>television sports anchor today.
>>This ending is a little different than "winning isn't everything, it's the
>>only thing." Muskie is reported as saying this in 1972 or 1973 on
>The version with "it's the only thing" is often attributed to Vince
>Lombardi, but there's a 1954 Washington Post article where the saying is
>given by Redskins coach Joe Kuharich.  (There are also variations where
>*money* isn't everything, etc.)

Ah, once again neglected to check the archive before posting.  Barry
turned up the Kuharich quote two years ago:


>>4 May 1971, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, pg. 19, col. 7:
>>Campbell quoted his Jaycee motto: "Winning isn't everything, but losing
>>isn't anything."
>The "losing isn't anything" version was popularized in the Peanuts comic
>strip.  This page quotes _The Peanuts Treasury_:
>  http://people.cs.uchicago.edu/~dinoj/peanuts.html
>  Linus: Winning isn't everything, Charlie Brown!
>  CB: Yes, but losing isn't anything!
>No date given but it must have been before 1970, when a Peanuts collection
>was published with the title _Winning May Not Be Everything, but Losing
>Isn't Anything_ (<http://www.lib.msu.edu/comics/rri/brri/base.htm>).
>--Ben Zimmer

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