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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0721  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:45:38 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[2]     From:   Janet OKeefe <
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        Date:   8 Mar 2002 14:35:47 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[3]     From:   John Ramsay <
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        Date:   Saturday, 09 Mar 2002 11:16:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:45:38 -0600
Subject: 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

I have, to this point, avoided involving myself in this matter, but now
I feel constrained to clarify a few points -- not so much in defense of
football, but in the interests of accurate scholarship and correct
interpretation.

Really. I mean it.

According to Sam the phrase -- "A game of football is not over till the
final whistle blows" -- is not great poetry. Very likely.

Larry Weiss then suggests that this may be such:  "It ain't over till
its over,"   L.P. (Yogi) Berra.

I think a little textual clarification is in order. Apparently, the
ineffable and magnificent Yogi did say something to that effect. (I
think he actually said, "The ball game ain't over till it's over.") One
learned sports writer, in the employ of Sports Illustrated, I believe,
interpreted this to indicate Yogi's separation of baseball (played in
innings) from football (American) and basketball and other sports that
are played in clock time. That is, you can be down ten runs with two out
and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth with the other team's ace
reliever painting the corners of the plate with hundred-mile-an-hour
fastballs, and yet you can still win.  Unlikely, but possible. There are
no stall-strategies in baseball.

So much for Yogi. Let me turn now to a basketball coach named Dick
Motta, less pithy than the Great Berra, perhaps, but a bit more lyrical.
While coach of the NBA title-bound Washington Capitals, some years back,
he coined the phrase: "The opera isn't over till the fat lady sings."
His meaning was somewhat the same, although it referred to the more
general uncertainty of all sports contests and not just of those
liberated from the tyranny of the clock.

There seems to me to be some tainting of the original Yogi-ism with this
operatic concept in the phrase quoted by Sam -- though Sam's quote lacks
both the pithiness of the one and the lyrical majesty of the other. But
that is not the most interesting part. How does either of these end up
in England, in the mouth of a footballer who probably knew nothing about
either baseball or basketball? Did the football coach hear either of
these Americanisms at some time and translate them into the more
familiar terms of his own sport? Did Sam? Or is it an example of people
having the same inspiration -- like Leibniz and Newton discovering
calculus independently of one another?

In the interests of clarity,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet OKeefe <
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Date:           8 Mar 2002 14:35:47 -0800
Subject: 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

I have always thought that the three Henry VI plays would work very well
in a football setting.  The factions would be rival teams and team
supporters with red or white roses on their scarves flanking the names
of either side.  I think it would make it much easier to for modern
British, and really any nationality except American and Canadian, people
to relate to and follow.

Janet T. O'Keefe
City 'til I die
Yorkist 'til I die

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <
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Date:           Saturday, 09 Mar 2002 11:16:51 -0500
Subject: 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

> John Ramsay recalls this anecdote:
>
> Naive reporter, after a Manchester United game: "Why does soccer have to
> be such a life and death matter?" Manager of United: "But you don't
> understand. It's much more serious than that."
>
> That was Bill Shankley (1913-1981 manager of Liverpool FC), surely? As
> quoted in The Sunday Times obits October 4th 1981 (and elsewhere).
>
> m
>

I only heard it 3 or 4 years ago so it's obviously made the rounds and
been attributed to others rather than the originator. Certainly, with
documentation from the Times, Bill Shankley deserves the credit.

He was also dead right -:)

John Ramsay

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