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 24, 2023
Backdoor Sweep

A seven-game series “sweep” is when a sports team wins four straight games, losing none. A five-game series “sweep” is when a team wins three straight games, losing none. “Sweep” terms have been used in sports such as baseball, basketball and hockey, especially for the playoffs.
 
A “gentleman’s sweep” (in a seven-game series) is when a team wins three straight games, then loses game four on the road (a gentlemanly concession, after perhaps resting a star player or two, so as not to humiliate the other team with a 4-0 sweep in front of their fans), and then wins game five at home. Many people, however, believe that any 4-1 series win is a “gentleman’s sweep.” The term is often used in the plural, as “gentlemen’s sweep.”
 
A “backdoor sweep” or “back door sweep” (in a seven-game series) is when a team loses the first game or the first two games or even the first three games, but then wins four straight games. A “backdoor sweep” (in a three-game series) is when a team loses the first game or the first two games, but then wins three straight games. Some people consider when a team loses the first game and then wins four straight games (winning the series 4-1) to be both a “backdoor sweep” and a “gentleman’s sweep.”
 
“Optimism, excitement, and thoughts of a four-game back-door sweep of the Reds had filled the stands” was printed in the San Francisco (CA) Examiner on October 21, 1990. “The Nuggets pulled off what no one thought they ever could.. three games straight.. da backdoor sweep BAB-EEEE” was posted on the newsgroup alt.sports.basketball.nba.phx-suns on May 9, 1994. “The Suns got past the lakers in a three game back door sweep” was posted on the newsgroup alt.sports.basketball.nba.phx-suns on March 5, 1996. “Back Door sweep…the best kind” was posted on the newsgroup alt.sports.basketball.nba.la-lakers on May 16, 2004. “Yes, the Red Sox are finally headed back to a World Series after pulling off a backdoor sweep of the Yankees” was printed in the Tallahassee (FL) Democrat on October 23, 2004.
 
“yo Bulls ain’t bout to do shit lol we call what’s about to happen to them a gentleman’s sweep lol” was posted on Twitter by Anthony X on April 24, 2010. “Neither would a one-and-done Gentleman’s Sweep” was posted on Twitter by Hardwood Paroxysm on January 16, 2011. “Props to @HPbasketball for the term, ‘gentlemen’s sweep’ in the playoffs. Defined by winning 4 games and gifting the loser 1 game” was posted on Twitter by Eddy Rivera on April 14, 2011. “HT @graydongordian” was the response posted on Twitter by Hardwood Paroxysm on April 14, 2011. “@erivera7 @hpbasketball ‘Gentlemen’s sweep’ is my finest creation. Use it liberally. My hope is that it will one day be a standard term” was posted on Twitter by Graydon Gordian on April 14, 2011.
     
Graydon Gordian, 48 Minutes of Hell: A ‘gentleman’s sweep’ is a term Hardwood Paroxysm’s Matt Moore and I have for a series in which a team wins comfortably but still graciously allows its opponent to win one game” was posted on ESPN.com on April 27, 2011. “NBA Playoffs preview: Tuesday Night is Gentleman’s Sweep Tuesday. Gentleman’s Sweep (n.): An NBA playoff series that ends in five games. Defined as ‘sweeping the opponent, but giving them one, you know, to be polite.’ Preferably, but not necessarily, a series in which the series-winner wins the first three games, loses the fourth, then closes at home” was posted by Matt Moore on CBS Sports on May 8, 2012.
     
backdoor sweep In best-of-seven elimination sports, a backdoor sweep occurs when a team wins four consecutive games after losing one, two or three games” was entered in the Urban Dictionary on April 26, 2009. “Gentleman’s Sweep When a team wins a playoff series, but loses one game in the series. A team is said to have ‘let’ the other team win one game before sweeping them” was entered in the Urban Dictionary on May 5, 2014.
         
   
Newspapers.com
21 October 1990, San Francisco (CA) Examiner, “Oakland takes loss more in sorrow than in anger” by Andy Furillo, Pg. A-4, col. 5:
Optimism, excitement, and thoughts of a four-game back-door sweep of the Reds had filled the stands until the Reds took the lead in the eighth. 
 
Google Groups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.phx-suns
SEATTLE AIN’T SHIT (neither is Houston, or NY, etc…) 
robert_souza
May 9, 1994, 3:00:36鈥疉M
(...)
Oh yes! I did enjoy watching the sunken faces of Kemp and his boyz when the final buzzer sounded! Bahaha! The Nuggets pulled off what no one thought they ever could.. three games straight.. da backdoor sweep BAB-EEEE.
     
Google Groups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.phx-suns
Cute Suns Stories
Tim BosLey
Mar 5, 1996, 3:00:00鈥疉M
Remember when the Suns were down 2-0 against the lakers. (...) The Suns got past the lakers in a three game back door sweep.
   
Google Groups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.la-lakers
Where’s Da Broom?
VicXnews
May 16, 2004, 1:50:25鈥疉M
“Tim Brown”

wrote in
news:10advlm…@corp.supernews.com:
> Da Broom Waz Robbed!
>
>
 
Back Door sweep…the best kind
 
Google Groups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.la-lakers
Michael Fletcher: “The Lakers proved they were real champions…”
Chris Smith
Jun 20, 2004, 12:53:31鈥疨M
(...)
All Fletch has to do is throw the backdoor sweep (2nd time in history that a defending champ lost after holding a 2-0 lead) back in da Dust’s pimply puss.
   
Newspapers.com
23 October 2004, Tallahassee (FL) Democrat, “Bowden made right decision picking Sexton” by Randy Beard, pg. 1C, col. 1:
Yes, the Red Sox are finally headed back to a World Series after pulling off a backdoor sweep of the Yankees.
   
Newspapers.com
27 October 2007, Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “Series to Remember” by Dan Bickley, pg. C2, col. 3:
1996 Yankees over Braves 4-2: After the Braves won the first two games by a combined score of 16-1, the Joe Torre Yankees give birth to a mini-dynasty with a backdoor sweep.
       
Newspapers.com
28 April 2008, Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), pg. C5, col. 1:
Four in a row
Let’s get the “backdoor sweep.”
azfanaz
Comment on live game blog
 
Urban Dictionary
backdoor sweep
In best-of-seven elimination sports, a backdoor sweep occurs when a team wins four consecutive games after losing one, two or three games.
Bill: Damn it the Spurs lost Game 1
Ted: Don’t worry, the Lakers suck. Here comes the backdoor sweep!

by obiwan23s April 26, 2009
 
Twitter
Thurz 馃嚙馃嚳 x 馃嚚馃嚠
@Thurzday
@Living_Legend Laker vs Cavs in the final. Lakers win in 5…Backdoor sweep….quote me, lol
11:06 PM 路 Apr 28, 2009
     
Twitter
SUPERBOSS3232
@superboss3232
LETS GO LAKERS, BACK DOOR SWEEP, GOIN TO HOUSTON TO TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS, LETS GO
1:31 AM 路 May 7, 2009
 
Twitter
Jose Ramos
@jamosramos4
im calling it.  Mavs backdoor sweep.  Mavs in 7
7:18 PM 路 May 11, 2009
       
Twitter
Gabrielle
@VAMPARS
Phase I of the Mavericks’ back-door sweep: Complete.
1:02 AM 路 May 12, 2009
   
Twitter
Anthony X
@Antwonomous
@ScootMM yo Bulls ain’t bout to do shit lol we call what’s about to happen to them a gentleman’s sweep lol
10:40 PM 路 Apr 24, 2010
     
Twitter
Hardwood Paroxysm
@HPbasketball
A WCF appearance from SA wouldn’t surprise me. Neither would a one-and-done Gentleman’s Sweep.
9:56 PM 路 Jan 16, 2011
   
Twitter
Hardwood Paroxysm
@HPbasketball
@MattBRC BC I desperately want the sad pathetic excuse for a team I root for to make the playoffs and win a game for a gentleman’s sweep.
12:37 AM 路 Jan 23, 2011
 
Twitter
Hardwood Paroxysm
@HPbasketball
@varner48MoH NO. Spurs-OKC is a five game gentleman’s sweep for the Spurs.
10:26 PM 路 Feb 27, 2011
   
Twitter
Hardwood Paroxysm
@HPbasketball
@talkhoops Well, yeah. I’m looking for a single game win. Just one. A gentleman’s sweep is fine.
2:51 PM 路 Mar 7, 2011
   
Twitter
Eddy Rivera
@erivera7
Props to @HPbasketball for the term, “gentlemen’s sweep” in the playoffs. Defined by winning 4 games and gifting the loser 1 game.
12:37 PM 路 Apr 14, 2011
   
Twitter
Hardwood Paroxysm
@HPbasketball
HT @graydongordian RT @erivera7: Props to @HPbasketball for the term, “gentlemen’s sweep”. Defined winning 4 games and gifting the loser 1
12:38 PM 路 Apr 14, 2011
   
Twitter
Graydon Gordian
@MrGordian
@erivera7 @hpbasketball “Gentlemen’s sweep” is my finest creation. Use it liberally. My hope is that it will one day be a standard term.
5:43 PM 路 Apr 14, 2011
 
Twitter
Vibra
@Living_Legend
If Rose is seriously hurt… LMFAO!! The Pacers will be the first 8th seed in history to come back down 3-0 and backdoor sweep a team.
3:16 PM 路 Apr 24, 2011
         
ESPN.com    
What’s next for Spurs, 76ers, Nuggets?
Apr 27, 2011
(...) 
Graydon Gordian, 48 Minutes of Hell: A “gentleman’s sweep” is a term Hardwood Paroxysm’s Matt Moore and I have for a series in which a team wins comfortably but still graciously allows its opponent to win one game. It was gentlemanly of the Grizzlies, Heat and Thunder to leave their opponents with a bit of pride, but all three will close out their series Wednesday.
 
Twitter
RC Fajardo
@rcboy08
“Gentleman’s Sweep” -  a term used by Hardwood Paroxysm’s Matt Moore for a series in which a team wins comfort鈥 (cont) http://deck.ly/~t2hXr
12:27 AM 路 Apr 28, 2011
 
Newspapers.com
28 April 2012, Ventura County Star (Ventura, CA), “The picks are in for 1st-round winners” by Tony Biasotti, pg. 9C, col. 2:
We’ll put them down for what CBS Sports blogger Matt Moore calls a “gentleman’s sweep.”
       
CBS Sports
NBA Playoffs preview: Tuesday Night is Gentleman’s Sweep Tuesday
Gentleman’s Sweep (n.): An NBA playoff series that ends in five games. Defined as “sweeping the opponent, but giving them one, you know, to be polite.” Preferably, but not necessarily, a series in which the series-winner wins the first three games, loses the fourth, then closes at home.

By Matt Moore
May 8, 2012 at 2:29 am ET
 
Silver Screen & Roll
Series Returns To Los Angeles, Lakers Look To Close Out Nuggets Tonight
By bluexfalcon May 8, 2012, 9:15am PDT
The Lakers and Nuggets return to Los Angeles tonight, with the Lakers firmly in control with a 3-1 lead. Appropriately dubbed “Gentlemen’s Sweep Tuesday” by Matt Moore, the Lakers will be part of a four-game slate of 3-1 series playing their respective Game 5.
 
Twitter
Ryan
@RyanJParody
Gentleman’s Sweep (n.): An NBA playoff that ends in 5 games. Defined as “sweeping the opponent, but giving them 1, you know, to be polite.”
1:22 PM 路 May 8, 2012
   
Twitter
Rich Gray
@IamRichGray
4 = Sweep and 5 = Gentlemen’s Sweep? Help needed. RT @bluecollarsmith: Spurs in five…gentlemens sweep!!!
11:21 PM 路 May 17, 2012
 
Twitter
Sienna Girgenti
@Sienner921
Gentleman’s Sweep (n.): A 4-1 series win in a seven-game series. You give ‘em one, you know, to be polite. #NJDLAK
11:11 PM 路 Jun 6, 2012
 
Twitter
JRFIII
@JRFIIIEsq
@AuthorBogle you did call the gentleman’s sweep (4-1) when the series started!
11:59 PM 路 Jun 19, 2012
   
Twitter
Graydon Gordian
@MrGordian
Gentleman’s Sweep (noun): A term referring to a 5-game series in which the winning team graciously allows their opponent to win one game.
11:53 AM 路 Apr 15, 2013
 
Twitter
Abu Ronin
@StephMcNasty
If you’re a smart basketball fan you understand what the term “Gentleman’s Sweep” means
5:35 PM 路 Apr 28, 2013
   
Twitter
Deion Watson
@BlazinDei
Why are people panicking? It’s called a Gentleman’s Sweep: Sweeping the opponent but giving them one game to be polite.
#KNICKSFOLLOWTRAIN
4:45 PM 路 Apr 29, 2013
 
1 May 2013, New York (NY) Times, “For Playoffs, Seven Isn鈥檛 Necessarily the Best Number” (online):
The longer series has also given rise to the phenomenon of the 鈥済entleman鈥檚 sweep.鈥 A term coined by CBS blogger Matt Moore, it refers to series where a clearly dominant squad goes up 3-0, but loses Game 4, 鈥渏ust to be polite,鈥 before finishing off the series at home in Game 5. That exact scenario has played out five times in the last three postseasons. With the Thunder and Knicks coughing up their Game 4 sweep opportunities, we鈥檙e primed for more postseason chivalry.
       
Urban Dictionary
Gentleman’s Sweep
When a team wins a playoff series, but loses one game in the series. A team is said to have “let” the other team win one game before sweeping them.
“5 Games. Book it. Gentleman’s Sweep” -/u/Indianmirage
by CurryMustard May 5, 2014
 
4 June 2014, Wall Street Journal (New York, NY), “Around New York, There’s No Such Thing as an Underdog” by Michael Salfino, pg. A20, col. 1:
Later that year, the Miracle Mets beat a Baltimore Orioles team that was viewed as a dynasty in the making in a gentleman’s sweep after dropping Game 1.
 
5 June 2014, Washington (DC) Post, “Spurs will need to force LeBron James to work harder to get his points” by Seth Partnow (online):
Portland was unable to reverse this trend, as LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard were rendered somewhat ineffective, leading to an almost desultory five game “gentleman’s sweep” by San Antonio.
 
Google Groups: alt.sports.basketball.nba.gs-warrior
Kurtenbach: What we learned in the Warriors鈥 series win over the Spurs
Allen
Apr 25, 2018, 4:23:52鈥疨M
(...)
In the years to come, no one will look twice at this series 鈥 the box scores show a gentleman鈥檚 sweep that would appear to be like so many five-game NBA playoff series.
     
Urban Dictionary
gentleman鈥檚 sweep
When a sports team wins a playoff series in 5 games instead of a sweep. They let the other team win one game. Often the one loss is an away loss.
It was a gentleman鈥檚 sweep in the 2015 NBA Finals when the warriors beat the cavs 4-1.
by nsteff May 31, 2018
 
Reddit—NBA
Posted by Clippers u/iamamar September 11, 2020
Difference Between a Gentleman’s Sweep and a Backdoor Sweep
I’m having a discussion with some friends and we’re disagreeing on the specifics of the two terms in the title. I’ve always known a backdoor sweep to be when a team loses game 1, then goes on to win the next 4 (or they can even lose games 1 and 2, but then go on to win the next 4).
 
I’ve also always understood a gentleman’s sweep to be when a team goes up 3-0 and drops one, only to win game 5 (the logic being that the series is in the bag at 3-0, as no NBA team has ever come back from 3-0 down, so dropping game 4 doesn’t affect the outcome of the series, hence it being “gentlemanly”).
 
Am I crazy here???
COMMENTS
Callme_MrClean
Gentleman’s sweep is when you go up 3-0lose game 4 and then win game 5
Backdoor is when you lose game one and win 4 in a row after
     
Twitter
NBA, NFL, CBB, CFB
@realtakez
Gentleman鈥檚 Sweep means they won the series 4-1馃拃
10:08 PM 路 Apr 27, 2022
 
Twitter
Daniel
@fukcing_idiot
“gentleman sweep” means one team wins game 1 and the other team wins games 2, 3, 4, and 5, so it’s effectively a sweep but the winning team is gentlemanly enough to give their opponents a game yknow
12:04 PM 路 Apr 23, 2023

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, April 24, 2023 • Permalink


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