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 November 30, 2013
Instant Classic

An “instant classic” in sports is an event (often a championship event) that features such spectacular play that’s immediately recognized as a “classic” event for the ages. Classic Sports Network was launched in 1995; in 2000, it was purchased by ESPN and became ESPN Classic, featuring some recent sporting events that it called “instant classics.” The term “instant classic” quickly became popular on ESPN and throughout sports. ESPN has trademarked “instant classic” with a claimed first use on November 14, 1997.

“Instant classic” was used in entertainment before its sports use. The television program Amahl and the Night Visitors was called an “instant classic” in 1965, and Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood and E. B. White’s book Charlotte’s Web were both called “instant classics” in 1966. A Boston Celtics basketball playoff game was called an “instant classic” in 1976.


Wikipedia: ESPN Classic
ESPN Classic is an American digital cable and satellite television network owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns a controlling 80% stake) and Hearst Corporation (which owns 20%). The channel features reruns of famous sporting events, sports documentaries, and sports-themed movies. Such programs include biographies of famous sports figures or a rerun of a marquee World Series or Super Bowl game, often with added commentary on the event.

As of August 2013, approximately 30,715,000 American households (26.9% of households with television) receive ESPN Classic.

History
The channel was launched in 1995 as Classic Sports Network, founded by Brian Bedol and Steve Greenberg (who both went on to launch CSTV (now CBS Sports Network)), with partial funding from Allen & Company. In 2000, ESPN, Inc. purchased Classic Sports Network for $175 million and rebranded as ESPN Classic.

22 May 1923, Altoona (PA) Mirror, pg. 28, col. 5—ed.)
AN INSTANT HIT—IT’S A CLASSIC
(Grumpy—ed.)

24 December 1965, Redlands (CA) Daily Facts, “With a Grain of Salt” by Frank and Bill Moore, pg. 20, col. 2:
Television added to Christmas when Menotti was commissioned to compose “Amahl and the Night Visitor”, an “instant classic”.

14 February 1966, Hutchinson (KS) News, “Gone, Nut Not Forgotten, as Clutter Killer Wished” by John McCormally, pg. 12, col. 7:
Instant Classic
We have here “In Cold Blood,” a manufactured masterpiece, an instant classic.

8 May 1966, Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “and the books go floating by” by Noel Osment, pg. F1, col. 2:
The pig illustrates E. B. White’s instant classic, “Charlotte’s Web.”

2 July 1967, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 6F, col. 1 ad:
How does Zuckerman create a suit classic?
With discipline. Control. He gives dandyism its day with a haberdashery off-white silk satin shirt, a new and spirit-lifting flourish. But, when it comes to the suit itself, of black and wool crepe, the line is of such pure elegance that the suit is an instant classic.
(Neiman-Marcus—ed.)

11 November 1968, Record American (Boston, MA), “Assignment America: Beatle Producer’s View” by Phyllis Battelle, pg. 23, col. 3:
Opening this week in New York and Los Angeles, “The Yellow Submarine” previewed at the San Francisco film festival a couple of weeks ago and was hailed by reviewers as “phenomenal, witty, a masterpiece, the best animated movie anyone has ever produced, seen or heard” and “quite simply, an instant classic.”

7 December 1968, San Diego (CA) Union, pg. B-9, col. 4 ad:
FUNNY, FASCINATING…
AN INSTANT CLASSIC!
...an inventive tour de force...a work of art!—L.A. TIMES
(The Beatles “Yellow Submarine”—ed.)

20 December 1968, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, pg. C8, col. 1 ad:
“...AN INSTANT CLASSIC. There has never been anything like it.”
San Francisco Chroiicle
(The Beatles “Yellow Submarine”—ed.)

10 March 1970, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), pg. 11, col. 7 ad:
‘An instant classic. It has a hammer-lock on history, pathos and rooting interest!”
-- Archer Winston, N.Y. Post
(Anne of the Thousand Days movie starring Richard Burton—ed.)

Google News Archive
1 March 1974, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “On the Right: Writing Could Save Russians” by William F. Buckley Jr., pg. 4, col. 6:
Five months later, Solzenhitsyn was plucked out of Russia and dumped in Germany. But his great epistle to the Russian leaders—an instant classic—will survive them all; and may yet be critical in insuring the survival of the country he loves so deeply.

27 May 1976, Christian Science Monitor, “The tourney that Jack built: Nicklaus hopes to make ‘Memorial’ a classic” by Joe Clerico, pg. 10:
He has spared no effort or dollar in trying to produce an instant classic.

8 June 1976, Christian Science Monitor, “Celtics win game #6, clinch title: But game #5 will be what basketball fans remember” by Ross Atkin, pg. 20:
The #6 decision was as much of an instant classic as the sixth game of last year’s World Series, played at nearby Fenway Park.

11 June 1982, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 1C, col. 3:
‘E.T.’: Instant classic lives up to its billing
Spielberg’s fable is a benign, magical experience for all

By Philip Wuntch

New York (NY) Times
Milken Case: An Instant Classic
By STEPHEN LABATON
Published: March 31, 1989
The 110-page indictment of Michael R. Milken announced Wednesday outlines a script for what lawyers expect will be one of the most important trials in securities history.

Barring a settlement of the 98 counts of fraud and racketeering, the trial will involve the nation’s premier legal talent and testimony by many of the leading figures on Wall Street describing the frenetic days of corporate takeovers.

OCLC WorldCat record
The politics of the judiciary ["an instant classic” guardian]
Author: John A G Griffith
Publisher: London Fontana Press 1997.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 5. ed

Los Angeles (CA) Times
SPORTS WEEKEND | TV-RADIO / LARRY STEWART
USC Game Doesn’t Fit Under Fox’s Net
November 14, 1997|LARRY STEWART
(...)
SHORT WAVES
A great idea: Classic Sports Network will show last Saturday’s Missouri-Nebraska game tonight at 6 and again at 9. The network is calling this the premiere of a new feature it calls “Instant Classic.” Getting the rights to the game was easy because Classic Sports is owned by ESPN and is under the same Disney umbrella as ABC, which televised the game live.

8 November 2000, Detroit (MI) News, “Purdue in command for Rose spot”:
Northwestern’s 54-51 victory over Michigan has become an ESPN instant classic and will be shown Nov. 15 at 9 pm on the ESPN Classic channel.

Actuarial Outpost
Shrek
03-08-2004, 11:28 AM
http://nhl.com/onthefly/news/2004/03/205328.html
I can only hope ESPN picks this up as an “Instant Classic”.
Cry me a river, Bobby Clarke.

Twitter
Holger Eilhard
‏@holgr
That FAQ (http://tinyurl.com/lhx9r) is ridiculous… So funny, instant classic smile
3:52 PM - 16 Feb 07

Urban Dictionary
Instant Classic
1.) Referring to something being “extravagantly awesome”.
2.) The nickname of the greatest, most charismatic professional wrestler in recent memory, TNA Wrestling’s Christian Cage.
1.) Dude, Terminator 2 was an Instant Classic!
2.) “The Instant Classic” Christian Cage is a two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion!

by Neil S. April 05, 2008

Twitter
Stuart Scott
‏@StuartScott
2 HIGE rilvary games.. Mich/Ohio St & Bama/Auburn BOTH ridiculous “instant Classic” games.
6:21 PM - 30 Nov 13

Twitter
Barry House
‏@BarryHouse
Memo to #ESPN: There is no such thing as an “instant classic.”
10:07 PM - 30 Nov 13

Twitter
Prince Tyce N.
‏@21stCenturyCeo
The phrase “instant classic” gets thrown around a lot these days.... However, #Auburn’s last two football games....
10:08 PM - 30 Nov 13

(Trademark)
Word Mark INSTANT CLASSIC
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES, IN THE NATURE OF A TELEVISION PROGRAM FEATURING THE REBROADCAST OF SPORTING EVENTS. FIRST USE: 19971114. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19971114
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76103538
Filing Date August 4, 2000
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition April 24, 2001
Registration Number 2469802
Registration Date July 17, 2001
Owner (REGISTRANT) ESPN, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE ESPN Plaza Bristol CONNECTICUT 06010
Attorney of Record Ann K. Ford
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20110619.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20110619
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, November 30, 2013 • Permalink