[Ads-l] Modern Proverb: A good loser is no good (Robert Zuppke Nov 6, 1924)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 13 15:40:01 UTC 2015

> The man who hasn't an alibi is hopeless.

Shouldn't that be just the opposite?  If you *have* an "alibi" you should
be "hopeless."


On Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Modern Proverb: A good loser is no good (Robert Zuppke Nov 6,
>               1924)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs includes an adage that deprecates
> good losers with a first citation dated 1948.
> [Begin excerpt]
> A good loser is (still) a loser (Show me a good loser, and I'll show
> you a loser).
> 1948 Howard Roberts, The Big Nine (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons) 83:
> "These Illini teams went down to defeat but they went down fighting,
> true always to Zup's [coach Bob Zuppke's] contention that 'a good
> loser is no good.'"
> [End excerpt]
> Barry Popik has an entry in this topic area:
> "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser"
> http://bit.ly/1KPtTJH
> [Begin excerpt]
> A 1931 article just after Rockne's death quoted him as having said,
> "Be a good loser, don't beef. But don't lose." "'Show me a good loser
> and I will show you a failure" was credited to Rockne in 1943.
> University of Illinois football coach Robert Zuppke spoke in December
> 1929 about how he disliked the "good loser," saying "Show me a team of
> singers about a defeat and I'll show you a team of punks." "Show me a
> good loser and I'll show you an idiot" was said by the actor Paul
> Gilbert (1918-1975) in 1956. "Show me somebody who likes to lose and
> I'll show you an idiot" was said by the baseball manager Leo Durocher
> (1905-1991) by at least 1967.
> [End excerpt]
> Here is a 1924 citation for "A good loser is no good" from Bob Zuppke,.
> [ref] 1924 November 6, Santa Ana Register, Section 3: Sporting News,
> West Winds: Here and There in Local Sports by Eddie West, Quote Page
> 17, Column 3, Santa Ana, California. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]
> [Begin excerpt; check for typos]
> Bob Zuppke, the dynamic little coach who has made the University of
> Illinois one of the country's most respected football contenders, says
> that a good loser is no good. Zuppke declares that the good-loser
> philosophy is spurious, that it is a sham and a fake and that if he
> can help it he won't have a good loser on his team.
> In the Nov. 8 issue of Liberty, Zuppke speaks his mind in part as follows:
> "When I say that a good loser is no good I am merely making a
> statement that every American, whether in sport or in business, knows
> is true if he will stop and think. It is not commendable or desirable
> to be a good loser. We Americans are not good losers, and neither are
> the English. More than that, we really do not like good losers--we
> merely pretend that we do.
> "After a game has been lost I can always spot the good losers, because
> they have appetites left for food and pleasure. At a time like this,
> when a player asks, 'When do we eat?' or 'Are we going to a movie
> tonight? I know that there is one fellow who is losing without much
> mental pain and I start right out to replace him with a hard loser.
> "It is my experience that all quitters are good losers. The right kind
> of player must have a fear and horror of losing. If he hasn't he will
> not tap his reserve energy in a game. The hard loser can do this
> because he has a far deeper, more sensitive nature than the good
> loser. He will play himself out.
> "Just remember one thing: that to be a good loser is a sign of a dying
> spirit. The man who hasn't an alibi is hopeless."
> [End excerpt]
> (bcced to Charlie, Fred, and Barry)
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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