It’s Super Bowl Sunday in America, and today we are going to talk about football idioms. Football idioms play a huge part of any language but are often misunderstood but most non-native speakers. If you want to really improve English speaking and go from intermediate to advanced, you should develop the ability to use idioms when speaking. There are many idioms that have originated from American Football (not to be confused with football played in the rest of the world) and this Sunday’s Superbowl is the perfect time for you the learn some of the most popular!
You will hear your American clients or partners say “We feel like he has dropped the ball on this halfway through the project”.
It does not mean that he actually dropped the ball!
When a project or an effort does not getting completed and is abandoned midway, you say “they dropped the ball” on it
Whether it is business, sports or real life, it is easy to offer advice after the event has occurred. Doing so is referred to as “playing Monday morning quarterback”.
Here’s an example:
Don’s whining about the stocks going down sounded more like a Monday Morning Quarterback to the listeners.
If you listening the commentary of the Superbowl game on Sunday, you might hear something like “that’s a Hail Mary pass by Brady…trying to get some points in these last few seconds of the first half”
A Hail Mary throw in American football refers to any very long and ambitious forward pass, typically during the last few minutes of the game.
In the business world, you might hear someone say“with sale declining rapidly, Coca Cola’s new advertising campaign was a Hail Mary to get them back on track before the end of the quarter”
Have you heard people say “That was a cheap shot, and you know it”
The origins of this expression come from football, when an deliberate foul is taken against a unsuspecting player.
Another real world of example on how to use this idiom when speaking in English – “the remark about Sandra’s children was a real cheap shot”
This is probably the most communally used football related idiom you will hear in the business world. The quarterback in a football team is the player who receives the ball at the start of every play and tries to move it along the field.
In the business world, and example of using the expression “playing quarterback” is “ Paul is playing quarterback on this project. Talk to him about timelines”. In other words, Paul is the person who is running the project.
Looking for more football idioms? Here’s another helpful post on sports related American idioms
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