Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Rub It In

Posted by Elyse Bruce on June 24, 2011

No one likes to look foolish but every once in a while, it happens.  What you don’t want to have happen once you look foolish is to have someone rub it in and make you look even more foolish.

On March 2, 2000 Bill Plaschke’s Thursday Perspective column appeared in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune with a headline that read, “Lakers Show Mettle In Win Over Blazers.”  The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in front of over 20,000 basketball fans with a final score of 90 to 87 in what was called the NBA’s most compelling midseason game in then-recent history.  Their sportsmanship was reported thusly:

The Lakers didn’t strut when they led, didn’t rub it in when they got hot, didn’t show much more emotion than Bryant’s two raised fists at the end of the game.  “We’re not like that,” Fischer said.  “Phil is not like that.”

The Los Angeles Times reported on the events of the Fall of 1962 as it pertained to the Cold War in an article published on November 1, 1962 entitled, “It’s No Time To Blow Trumpets.”  The article pointed out that there were good reasons why the U.S. government shouldn’t trumpet or gloat over forcing the Soviet Union to back away from Cuba.

American officials should not rub it in. Jubilation would be premature and lacking in caution. It would be pre-mature until the Soviet launching bases have been dismantled, the missiles removed to Russia. and U N. inspection made so secure that they cannot be secretly replaced.

The New York Times ran a baseball story on October 13, 1920 about the Cleveland Indians being crowned the World Champions after defeating the Brooklyn Robins 3 to 0 in the seventh game of the final series.  According to the reporter, the Indians “humiliated Brooklyn” at Ebbets Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

When Coveleskie was going at top speed and pitching his best, Buster Mails went out to left field and started to warm up.  Manager Speaker never dreamed for a moment that he would be forced to call on his left hander but he wanted to rub it in and show the Robins what they might expect if they got gay with Covey.

In 1904, the Democratic Party in Missouri announced it had picked its champion against corruption and was committed to an “anti-graft” campaign with its “anti-boodle” plank referred to as “The Missouri Idea.”  The New York Times reported on the convention in great detail on July 20, 1904 in its news story, “Folk Forces Dominate Missouri Convention.”  It read in part:

Another roll call was started on a proposition, to instruct the Credentials Committee to throw out any delegates who might have secured their seats by fraud or intimidation.  It was introduced by J.C. Jones of St. Louis, a Folk delegate.  Since that is the purpose of the Credentials Committee, the motion was useless, but, just to rub it in on the machine, the convention passed it, the opposition giving up before the roll call was complete.

On August 25, 1860 the Detroit Free Press published an article entitled, “Political Intelligence” that dealt with the elections in North Carolina and who was advocating the cause of Breckinridge, Yancey and disunion.

We did not know, when we made it, that the black republican leaders, wire-pullers and managers were going to expose the corruption and rascality of each other to the public, and not only call each other thieves, but prove it and rub it in, as they are now doing.

On May 5, 1849 the Detroit Free Press ran a brief news article comprised of only 248 words that reported the following commentary on the politics of the day:

Undoubtedly it will not. The Administration will learn that the people will not submit to such gross deception and hypocrisy as has characterized General Taylor’s course before and after the late election. They will not, after having been deceived, sit quietly down and allow him to rub it in.

The phrase rub it in, however, dates back to King George II of England and the Earl of Bath.  Before the war of 1748 was ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle, King George II requested that the Earl of Bath expose the ministers who had resigned their offices unexpectedly and prematurely when they heard of King George II‘s plans.  When they were recalled, the King urged Earl of Bath to expose what had happened in a pamphlet.  The Earl of Bath wrote that King George II directed him to “rub it in their noses, and if it be possible, make them ashamed.”

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