A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 13, 2015
“A champion team will always beat a team of champions”

"A champion team will always beat a team of champions” is a sports adage that has been popular in Australia, but also has been used in the United States. The saying means that a team of good players who have played together will defeat a team of newly assembled all-star players who haven’t played together.

“A champion team is better than a team of champions” was cited in a 1911 Australian newspaper. “And it has been shown repeatedly in football that it is better to have a champion team than a team of champions” was cited in a 1929 Australian newspaper. “A champion team will always defeat a team of champions” was cited in a 1935 Australian newspaper.


Trove (Australia newspapers)
22 April 1911, The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia), “Football,” pg. 23, col. 1:
Norwood have some good men among their newcomers, but they intend to rely largely upon the fact that a champion team is better than a team of champions, and they will devote themselves to the construction of a perfect system.

Trove (Australia newspapers)
3 October 1929, News (Adelaide, Australia), “Norwood and Port Ready for Grand Final on Saturday,” pg. 14, col. 3:
These changes indicate that Port have not a team of star performers, but a sound side all through. And it has been shown repeatedly in football that it is better to have a champion team than a team of champions.

Trove (Australia newspapers)
24 May 1935, The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia), pg. 9:
It is true of an interstate side that a champion team will always defeat a team of champions.

Google News Archive
21 September 1969, The Sun-Herald (Sydney, Australia), “Souths Tackled Out of the Grand Final” by Alan Clarkson, pg. 68, col. 4:
There was an old saying that popped up occasionally in the League program that a champion team would always beat a team of champions.

Google News Archive
31 October 1972, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), “Right Royal Day for London’s Aussies” by John Stevens, pg. 28, col. 7:
“Proving,” said the loud speaker, “that a champion team will beat a team of champions.”

Google Books
Reflections on Success:
Famous Achievers Talk Frankly to Martyn Lewis about Their Route to the Top

By Martyn Lewis
Harpenden, Herts: Lennard Pub.
1997
Pg. 209:
A champion team would beat a team of champions every day. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to be part of such teams - the television network in Australia I worked for was an amazing team.

Google Books
Five Months in a Leaky Boat:
Rowing through Mongolia and Siberia to the Arctic Ocean

By Ben Kozel
Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia
2004, ©2003
Pg. 9:
With the benefit of hindsight, I had grown acutely conscious of an oft-spoken truth: a champion team is far better than a team of champions.

Google Books
The Red Fox:
The Biography of Norm Smith: Legendary Melbourne Coach

By Ben Collins
Docklands, Vic.: Slattery Media Group
2008
Pg. 69:
In every way, Smith typified that very true football philosophy - a champion team will always beat a team of champions.

Google Books
Mongrel Punts and Hard Ball Gets
By Paula Hunt and Glenn Manton
Fitzroy Vic: Red Dog
2006
Pg. 40:
champion team One of footy’s great truisms is that a champion team will always beat a team of champions.
“A champion team will always beat a team of champions, unless the team of champions is very, very good.”
Greg Champion

Google Books
Brave Hearts Bold Minds:
Leadership for Young Australians

By Dr. Philip SA Cummins and Dr. Ian PM Lambert
Crows Nest, New South Wales
2012
Pg. ?:
A team will always achieve more together than it might as a group of talented individuals — as the saying goes, “a champion team will always beat a team of champions.”

ShowbieBlog
Co-teaching in the classroom – Who’s on your team?
Posted by Justin Mann
July 30th, 2014
(...)
As my Dad says “a champion team will always beat a team of champions” – Anyone who watched the NBA finals this year will tell you that. (Sorry Heat fans!)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, January 13, 2015 • Permalink