Many expressions from American football have made their way into our everyday speech and we use football expressions without even realizing that we are echoing the language of the football stadium.
3. Synonyms for these expressions.
The word “blindside” can be used as both a noun (the “blindside” or “blind side”) or as a verb (“to be blindsided.”)
In American football, the noun “blindside” describes the quarterback's inability to see the rush from that side when in passing mode.
In its everyday meaning, the noun “blindside” refers to the back or side part of a person’s field of vision where approaching objects are not seen. In other words, it is the side of the body or awareness that is opposite from where a person is looking.
As a verb, the word “to be blindsided” means to be attacked in an unexpected way or to surprised someone else with negative results.
For example: “We were blindsided by his decision to sell his house and leave the country.”
2. To Run Interference
In American football, the expression “to run interference” first came into use in the 1890s. It describes a strategy where a player protects his teammate who is in possession of the football by blocking or tackling the opposing player.
For example: “The player ran interference and tackled all approaching players.”
In everyday English, the expression “to run interference” has been used outside of football since the mid-20th century. It means to act on someone’s behalf to avoid or prevent problematic situations.
For example: “We will need to run interference at the party to prevent a big family blowup.”
A synonym includes intervening on someone’s behalf.
3. Game plan
In American football, the “game plan” is used as a noun and can be both a written plan and a verbalized tactic that is communicated to the team. It is a strategy for achieving a win.
Outside of the football stadium, “a game plan” refers to a well-thought-out course of action that involves achieving an aim or goal. A “game plan” can be created in the social, political, business, or personal realms.
For example: “Her game plan included a picnic, followed by a romantic walk in the woods and perhaps, a swim.”
Synonyms include road map, tactic, and scheme.
In American football, the “sideline” is a noun. It is the name for the centralized location where all team employees gather, except those actively playing in the game: the coaches, the trainers, the inactive players, and the injured players, to name a few.
For example: “The quarterback has been sidelined for the next week due to a sprained ankle.”
In everyday English, the word “sideline” as a noun refers to a position where a person is not directly involved in an activity; they are merely observing what is happening.
Synonyms include edges, outskirts.
“Sideline” is also an adjective and modifies an activity which is performed in addition to a main job, usually to gain an extra salary.
Synonyms include secondary job, extra, additional.
As a verb, the word “sidelining” or “sidelined” means placing someone or something in a position of less influence or importance or removing them from the center of activity.
Synonyms include to putting aside, suspending, deferring.
5.Moving the Goalposts
In American football, “to move the goalposts” refers to changing the rules of a game after it is already in progress, thus giving an unfair advantage to one side or another.
In everyday English, “moving the goalposts” is an expression that refers to an attempt to change the requirements or rules in a way that gives an advantage to one side or makes success harder for one side.
For example: “She wanted to change the game, itself; not only breaking the record for speed and distance but moving the goalposts to require higher prerequisite scores.”
6. Monday-morning quarterback
In American football, a “Monday-morning quarterback” refers to someone who will criticize a team’s performance and strategy on Monday morning; that is, in hindsight, after the weekend game has been played.
For example: “It’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback and pick apart the game plan.”
In everyday English, a “Monday-morning quarterback” will criticize in hindsight the decisions of another person or even of themselves.
For example: “I hadn’t studied properly for my exam; my sister was a Monday-morning quarterback, pointing out all of the ways that I should have prepared.”
The world of American football is imbedded in the American culture. Words from the football arena have unconsciously become commonplace in our speech, emphasizing the influence that the game has had, not only on die-hard football fans, but on our entire American culture.
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