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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 25, 2009
“And nobody got hurt!”

“And nobody got hurt!” was the catchphrase of New York City television sports new anchor Len Berman. Berman had a segment on WNBC called “Spanning the World,” featuring interesting sports highlights. If a baseball player was shown running into an outfield wall, or a bicyclist was shown falling off a bike, or an auto race pileup was shown, Berman added the line “And nobody got hurt!” to reassure worried viewers.  The catchphrase was the title of two of Berman’s books, published in 2005 and 2007.
The opening to ABC’s Wide World of Sports was: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!” Since the late 1970s, an opening video montage for “the agony of defeat” showed a terrible fall by ski jumper Vinko Bogataj (who wasn’t seriously injured). Len Berman’s “Spanning the World” was a take-off on “spanning the globe,” and his catchphrase “And nobody got hurt!” was a friendly reminder that “the agony of defeat” wasn’t a final defeat.
Wikipedia: Len Berman
Len Berman (Born June 14, 1947 in New York City) is the former weekday evening sports anchor on WNBC-TV. Berman was with WNBC/NBC from 1982-2009. He was previously with WCBS-TV from 1979–1982, and before that at WBZ-TV in Boston from 1973–1978.
On March 31, 2009, according to the New York Daily News, Berman will be leaving WNBC due to budgetary concerns. At the end of WNBC’s 11 p.m. newscast on Wednesday April 22, 2009, following taped messages of goodbye and good luck from Matt Lauer, Al Roker, and Brian Williams, Berman announced that it was his last sportscast.
Spanning the World
One popular monthly feature Berman is responsible for is Spanning the World, which airs on WNBC and The Today Show. Spanning is a reel of odd and interesting sports highlights from the past month, with a recorded introduction and closing by Don Pardo. When the Segment Begins, The World is torn in two and the sound of a Rooster Crowing is played. When the segment ends, the world goes back to its “Pre-Torn” State, with the same Rooster Sound, and Announcer Don Pardo says “Tune in Next Time for “Spanning the World”, If there Is a Next Time. I’m Don Pardo.”
Len has written three books: Spanning the World and two kids books, And Nobody Got Hurt! (Volume I and II).
And Nobody Got Hurt!: The World’s Weirdest, Wackiest True Sports Stories (Paperback)
by Len Berman (Author), Kent Gamble (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers; illustrated edition edition (September 7, 2005)
Product Description
A baseball player who ran the bases backwards, an indoor hockey game cut short due to fog, a basketball player who scored for both teams in the same game, a football quarterback who passed the ball to himself, a golf tournament with only one hole - truth is stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to sports! Len Berman showcases the funniest and most amazing stories in the history of sports in this collection taken from his popular ‘spanning the world’ TV segments. Sports fans will love reading and sharing these bizarre tales.
And Nobody Got Hurt 2!: The World’s Weirdest, Wackiest Most Amazing True Sports Stories (Paperback)
by Len Berman (Author)
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (October 1, 2007)
Product Description
An Olympian who sacrificed a medal to save a competitor, a professional soccer player who was bribed out of retirement with pizza, a runaway pig who disrupted the start of a baseball game—truth is stranger than fiction, especially in sports! In this sequel to his first compilation of sports bloopers and unbelievable stories, And Nobody Got Hurt, Today Show regular and Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Len Berman shares more of the funniest and most amazing stories in the history of sports, including favorite moments from his popular Spanning the World segments on NBC-TV.
[E-mail from Len Berman, April 25, 2009]
Thanks Barry…. it evolved in the early years of Spanning the World. Around 1988. I didn’t think it was funny if someone was injured, so when it looked like somebody could be, I would add the caveat “And nobody got hurt.”
Wikipedia: Wide World of Sports (U.S. TV series)
ABC’s Wide World of Sports is a sports anthology series on American television that ran from 1961 to 1998 and was originally hosted by Jim McKay. The title continued to be used for general sports programs regularly until 2006, and still is occasionally used today. As the title suggests, it aired on the American Broadcasting Company.
The show was introduced by a stirring, brassy musical fanfare (composed by Charles Fox) over a montage of sports clips and dramatic accompanying narration by McKay:
“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!
It was written by Stanley Ralph Ross.
The Thrill of Victory…
The melodramatic introduction became a national catch phrase that is often heard to this day. While “the thrill of victory” had several symbols over the decades, ski jumper Vinko Bogataj, whose dreadful misjump and crash of March 21, 1970 was featured from the late 1970s onward under the words “...and the agony of defeat”, became a hard-luck hero of sorts, and an affectionate icon for stunning failure. Previously, the footage played with that phrase was of another ski jumper who made a long, almost successful jump, but whose skis lost vertical alignment shortly before landing, leading to a crash. Later in the 1990s, an additional clip was added to the “agony of defeat” sequence after Bogataj’s accident. Footage of a crash by Alessandro Zampedri, Roberto Guerrero and Eliseo Salazar during the 1996 Indianapolis 500 shows a car flipping up into the catchfence. The “oh no!” commentary that accompanies it, however, is dubbed from commentary by Benny Parsons of a different crash in a different race (1997 NASCAR Purolator 500). Bogataj’s mishap is also commemorated in Rich Hall’s book Sniglets as “agonosis,” which is defined as “The syndrome of tuning in on Wide World of Sports every weekend just to watch the skier rack himself.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, April 25, 2009 • Permalink

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