If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Sunday 29 April 2012
Winners never quit and quitters never win.
Vince Lombardi (11 Jun 1913 – 3 Sep 1970)
Given my utter, total and defiant lack of interest in football – pro or pro (oops, college, I mean!) – I am hardly the person you’d expect to be citing that icon of the game. But, hey, good ideas are good ideas and their provenience is of as much concern to me as … well, either pro or pro football.
The first half of the statement has some likely claim to accuracy; the veracity of the second is — beyond question – unassailable. If you get out of the game you can’t possibly win it: that’s just Logic One-O-One!
Now, I’m sure the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers was thinking football when he uttered those words, and that is of course all good and fine. But the larger point is that what he says is very much subject to what I think of as ‘lateral transferability’ – that is, the underlying principle is applicable to many sport situations and, even better, to many situations and circumstances in general. It is a good thought: people who fall down are not losers, but people who have fallen but do not get up again are.
Finally, here is the rhetorical-stylistic frosting on this gnomic cake: what we have here is a beautiful example of polyptoton, and a stem-based chiastic one at that, with an embedded parallelism of nouns and verbs – just like the ones we find in so much Latin and ancient Greek literature! I just … really … delight in its economically beautiful simplicity!