"Beating the Globetrotters is like shooting Santa Claus."
July 20, 2014 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Red Klotz, who led basketball’s biggest losers, the Washington Generals, dies at 93. In his time with the Generals, Mr. Klotz lost at least 14,000 games, or 15,000, or, according to some estimates, more than 20,000. “That sounds about right,” Mr. Klotz would shrug whenever someone tried to calculate the number. “I don’t count the losses,” he told the Washington City Paper in 2007. “It’s easier to keep track of the wins.” Mr. Klotz won six games, his biographer concluded. Or maybe it was four. Possibly just two. But definitely, beyond the shadow of any doubt, his team won one game for sure.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (24 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
This was a fascinating life, here. Well-lived, Red Klotz. Well-lived.

posted by CrystalDave at 1:23 PM on July 20, 2014

posted by drezdn at 1:30 PM on July 20, 2014

“I always tell my players that every time you lose, you should learn something. . . . We should have learned quite a lot by now.”

posted by honestcoyote at 1:32 PM on July 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

A loveable loser. A loser you could admire.

posted by oneswellfoop at 1:33 PM on July 20, 2014

Previously, about Klotz and the Generals' undeniable win.

posted by Navelgazer at 1:34 PM on July 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Looks like you can still wear a Washington Generals jersey for only forty bucks! (As long as you're a size small or youth medium)
posted by ardgedee at 1:41 PM on July 20, 2014

posted by Joey Michaels at 1:50 PM on July 20, 2014

posted by The Michael The at 1:53 PM on July 20, 2014

If it's not the winning but the taking part that counts, he was truly the greatest.
posted by Segundus at 2:22 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Mister Bijou at 3:37 PM on July 20, 2014

It's not about whether you win or lose.

It's about whether you can get paid very well for losing. Pretty sure the Generals didn't cut guys for poor play.

In the 'sixties when I was in HS, I saw the Globetrotters a couple of times. My date and I were in the front row when Meadowlark Lemon ran over with the "water" bucket and threw the contents, confetti as it turned out, in our laps.

Same night, Lemon nailed the drop kick from half court. I don't know what his percentage was on that impossible act, but it was 100% that night and it brought the house down.
posted by Repack Rider at 3:46 PM on July 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd like to know more about the time they won, was it planned?
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:13 PM on July 20, 2014

posted by Renoroc at 4:44 PM on July 20, 2014

I'd like to know more about the time they won, was it planned?

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon reading about the Generals and the Globetrotters, and it's really tough to find any real information about the arrangement. It seems that everyone who writes about it decides not to break kayfabe about exactly how it works.

There are apparently different kinds of Globetrotter games (recently they've gone back to their barnstorming roots taking on college teams in straightforward matches) but if we assume that the game they lost to the Generals was what we think of as a Harlem Globetrotters game...well, it had to be planned, right? I have no proof, but how do you lose a game if, for example, the refs let you bring a stepladder on the court?

Actually, what I'm really curious about is the claim that the Generals are a separate organization from the Globetrotters. How does that work?

The best part of my Generals internet spiral: noticing that the Generals' own logo features a player getting clowned by a Globetrotter...
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:38 PM on July 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by pt68 at 5:38 PM on July 20, 2014

posted by wotsac at 5:39 PM on July 20, 2014

This was a nice interview with his son-in-law, the Generals' current GM.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:03 PM on July 20, 2014

Here's a fairly detailed articles about the 1971 Generals' victory.

From a blog dedicated to the Generals.

And a bonus video profile / interview from 1995.
posted by honestcoyote at 6:15 PM on July 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

"I thought the Generals were due!" -- Krusty the Klown, sports wagerer
posted by chrchr at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2014 [9 favorites]

TIL that Wilt Chamberlain was a Globetrotter before his more mainstream sports career.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:54 PM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by mikelieman at 2:20 AM on July 21, 2014

We seriously contemplated naming our first daughter "Meadow Lark"...
posted by mikelieman at 2:21 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

The main link in the previously is busted, but looks like the same article is here, with the quote that's been my affirmation mantra thingy since I read it: "We excel on ice." Red Klotz has a place in my heart forever for that one.

posted by asperity at 7:39 AM on July 21, 2014

posted by Gelatin at 2:38 AM on July 22, 2014

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