Rice, Grantland

Please post your comments and suggestions for this article.

Comment by Robert Kelley on March 8th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I would like to question the source of the oft-quoted “…but how you play the game.”
always given to Grantland Rice. I am 77 years old and have a framed poem by J.B.Downie that goes back prior to 1941 when it was penned by Rice. Downie’s version is:
We can’t all play a winning game
Someone is sure to lose.
But we can play so that our name
No one may dare accuse
That when the Master Referee
Scores against our name
It won’t be whether we won or lost
But how we played the game.

I hope that someone can throw some light on this as I would hate to accuse the Americans of plagiarism on such a well-known quote.

Comment by David Doose on April 9th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

I added a footnote in the section “Move to New York” in the last paragraph. While I was not able to find actual publication with Downie poem I did find evidence of its existence and used that to add a note that could be seditious on my part, but alas it is not whether we win or lose, but how we spin the truth. Thanks for your comment.

Comment by Loren P Meissner on December 20th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I think it’s OK now. Adding footnote 3 to the quoted lines from the poem, has created a link to the Vanderbilt University publication, and thus gives more context as well as a date for the famous quote.

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