Everybody Has Plans Until They Get Hit for the First Time

Mike Tyson? Joe Louis? Helmuth von Moltke the Elder? Fair Play? Walter Payton? Mike Lupica? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The opponent of a well-known boxing champion stated that he had a plan to win an upcoming match. The champion replied with a caustic dismissive remark. Here are four versions:

(1) Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time.
(2) Everyone has a game plan until they get hit.
(3) Everybody has a plan until they’re punched in the mouth.
(4) Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Would you please help me to locate a citation and identify the two boxers involved?

Quote Investigator: In August 1987 the Associated Press news service published a piece about a boxing match planned for October in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

Tyrell Biggs says he has a plan to beat heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. But the man they call “Iron Mike” is not impressed.

“Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time,” Tyson said.

QI believes that professional boxer Mike Tyson should receive credit for this remark. The phrasing has evolved over time. Thanks to researcher Barry Popik who found the above citation.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Everybody Has Plans Until They Get Hit for the First Time

Notes:

  1. 1987 August 19, Oroville Mercury-Register, Biggs has plans for Tyson (Associated Press), Quote Page 1B, Column 2, Oroville, California. (Newspapers_com)

When They Say It’s Not About Money, It’s About Money

Abe Martin? Kin Hubbard? H. L. Mencken? Jim Courier? George Young? Gary Shelton? Mike Lupica? Dale Bumpers? Shannon Sharpe?

Dear Quote Investigator: Contract negotiations are tough, and disputes usually involve money. Yet, participants sometimes highlight other issues as paramount. Jaded observers have crafted the following dictum:

When they say it’s not about the money. Just remember, it is about the money.

Would you please explore the provenance of this saying?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match known to QI appeared in the widely-syndicated newspaper feature “Abe Martin” in 1916. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

When a feller says: “It hain’t th’ money, but th’ principle o’ th’ thing,” it’s th’ money.

The “Abe Martin” illustration and accompanying words were crafted by Frank McKinney Hubbard who was best known as Kin Hubbard.
Thanks to quotation researcher Barry Popik who located the Hubbard citation.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading When They Say It’s Not About Money, It’s About Money

Notes:

  1. 1916 November 24, Franklin Evening News, Abe Martin, Syndicate: National Newspaper Service, Quote Page 4, Column 4, Franklin, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)