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Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Who came up with the adage "it's never over 'til the fat lady sings"?

It's the bottom of the ninth. The home team is down by five. Things look bad, but then again, "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."
The phrase, a form of self-reassurance (or denial) in the face of long odds, is usually muttered when things look grim. The adage sounds like it sprung from the mouth of a weary opera patron, but it was actually coined by a sportswriter and broadcaster named Dan Cook.

Cook covered the NBA's San Antonio Spurs in the 1970s. In 1978, the Spurs were playing the Washington Bullets in the playoffs and down three games to one. Cook, who had used the witticism once before in a column, repeated it on the air as a way to cheer up Spurs fans. Alas, despite making it close, the Spurs lost the series.

Bullets coach Dick Motta apparently liked the saying and used it to motivate his own team. The Bullets went on to win the championship, proving that while "it's not over 'til the fat lady sings," sometimes inspirational clich├ęs are "too little, too late

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