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 April 04, 2016
“Prayers work best when you have big players”

University of Notre Dame head football coach Frank Leahy (1908-1973) wrote 10 thoughts in 1946, one of which was:

“7—Prayers work better when your players are big.”

The line is often given as “Prayers work best when you have big players,” and it’s usually incorrectly credited to earlier Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931).

Wikipedia: Frank Leahy
Francis William Leahy (August 27, 1908 – June 21, 1973) was an American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and professional sports executive. He served as the head football coach at Boston College from 1939 to 1940 and at the University of Notre Dame from 1941 to 1943 and again from 1946 to 1953, compiling a career college football record of 107–13–9. His winning percentage of .864 is the second best in NCAA Division I football history, trailing only that of fellow Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach, Knute Rockne, for whom Leahy played from 1928 to 1930. Leahy played on two Notre Dame teams that won national championships, in 1929 and 1930, and coached four more, in 1943, 1946, 1947, and 1949. Leahy was also the athletic director at Notre Dame from 1947 until 1949 when he passed the role to the Fighting Irish basketball coach, Moose Krause, so that he could focus on football coaching. Leahy served as the general manager for the Los Angeles Chargers of the American Football League (AFL) during their inaugural season in 1960. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1970.

5 November 1946, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “Pessimistic Leahy Not Strategist Like Rockne But More Fundamentalist” by Joe Williams, pg. 13, cols. 3-4:
That it scarcely exudes optimism may be grasped on the first perusal of Frank’s 10 thoughts for today, which follows:
7—Prayers work better when your players are big.

Google Books
Best Hope of Earth:
A Grammar of Democracy

By Leland Dewitt Baldwin
Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press
Pg. 6:
Coach Leahy of Notre Dame said it another way: prayers work best when the players are big.

Google Books
The Psychology of Religious Experiences
By Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough
New York, NY: Basic Books
Pg. 11:
As Knute Rockne, the famous football coach of Notre Dame, used to say: “The prayers work better when the players are big.”

Google News Archive
25 August 1965, Lawrence (KS) Daily Journal-World, “Time Out with Bud” by Bud Wilkinson, pg. 19, col. 2:
As Frank Leahy once said. prayers work better when the players are big and fast.

Google Books
Winning Is Everything and Other American Myths
By Thomas A. Tutko and Bill Bruns
New York, NY: Macmillan
Pg. 22:
Knute Rockne once said, “Prayers work best when players are big.”

Google Books
Winning Words:
Classic Quotes from the World of Sports

By Michael Benson
Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing
Pg. 58:
“I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.” —Knute Rockne, football

Doug Dumpert
Do u pray ur team wins & does God answer those prayers? Knute Rockne opined, “I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players”.
8:36 PM - 14 Jan 2015

“I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.”
― Knute Rockne (died this day, March 31, 1931)
9:12 AM - 31 Mar 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, April 04, 2016 • Permalink