Sports

ALL YOUR EGGS LINED UP

Fantasy sports columns are gold mines for malaphors. Here’s one:

“Every game is important during the season because they all count the same but for most, this week’s game might be the most crucial. And we all know the reason for this – many leagues end their season in Week 13. So that means several teams are fighting for their playoff lives this week. Win and you’re in or lose and you’re out. It is pretty simple. So do your research and get all your eggs lined up for this week.”http://www.rtsports.com/football-news/rtfs-940

HE’S AS CLEAN AS APPLE PIE

In response to accusations of taking steroids, Gio Gonzalez’ father said:

“My son works very, very hard, and he’s as clean as apple pie,” Max Gonzalez told the alternative weekly. “I went to Tony because I needed to lose weight. A friend recommended him, and he did great work for me. But that’s it. He never met my son. Never. And if I knew he was doing these things with steroids, do you think I’d be dumb enough to go there?” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/01/29/report-gio-gonzalez-linked-to-miami-clinic-that-supplied-performance-enhancing-drugs/

WE TOOK EVERYTHING OFF THE BACK BURNER

Mike Rizzo, the Washington Nationals General Manager, was discussing the signing of Dan Haren:

“He’s one of the most accomplished pitchers in the past couple years,” Rizzo said. “His credentials are impeccable. We feel really good that he’s with the Washington Nationals. Once we expressed interest in him, he certainly focused in on us. He chose us, so we kind of took everything else off the back burner.”  This is a nice mash up of “on the back burner” and “off the table”.  Thanks to Mike Browning for finding this one!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2012/12/07/nationals-make-dan-haren-signing-official/

I CAN’T PUT MY FOOT ON IT
In response to his slump, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher James MacDonald said:

“I haven’t put my foot on it yet”.

ANOTHER BITE AT THE CHERRY
The play by play announcer for the Washington Wizards, Dave Johnson said this:

“… Crawford grabs the rebound, and the Wizards get another bite at the cherry.”  Given the context, this is a mash up of “another bite at the apple” and “cherry-picking”, the latter a term used in basketball.   “A bite of the cherry” is apparently an Australian and British expression meaning “being a part of something good”, but I don’t think Dave Johnson is Australian or British.  A shout out to Mike Browning for contributing this one.

HE GOT KIND OF THROWN INTO THE GAUNTLET

Another great one from the sports world: Matt Barkley of USC had this to say about former USC QB Marc Sanchez:

“He got kind of thrown into the gauntlet in New York.”

This is a mash-up of “thrown into the fire” and “run the gauntlet”. Thanks to Gerry for this beauty, approaching “the master” level.

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/20940/barkley-will-learn-from-sanchez-experiences

THEY REALLY KICKED THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT

This is a mash up of “shot myself in the foot” (said or did something stupid that causes problems for the person)  and “kicked myself” (feel angry with yourself because you have done something stupid).  After the University of Oklahoma suffered a painful loss, making mistake after mistake and giving away the win, a local sportscaster said, “Boy, they really kicked themselves in the foot!”

RIGHT FROM THE BAT

This congruent conflation mixes up “right from the start” and “right off the bat”, both meaning to do something immediately.  A big thanks to Jake Holdcroft who heard this one spoken by a sportscaster during a Pittsburgh Penguins game intermission.   See a similar malaphor – “right out of the bat” , posted October 27, 2012.

I THINK THAT’S THE PINK ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

This masterpiece is a mash up of “elephant in the room” (obvious problem no one wants to discuss) and “seeing pink elephants” (recovering from an alcoholic bout).  It is particularly interesting as it was uttered by Alex Rodriguez, baseball player for the New York Yankees:

Rodriguez, who admitted to taking steroids from 2001-2003 with the Texas Rangers, said he supported baseball’s efforts to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs. But he seemed to question the Yankees’ alleged attempts to keep him from returning to the team.

“I think that’s the pink elephant in the room,” Rodriguez said. “I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs. That’s a must. I think all the players feel that way. But when all the stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract, I think that’s concerning for me. It’s concerning for present [players] and it should be concerning for future players as well. There is a process. I’m excited about the way I feel tonight and I’m going to keep fighting.”

Read A-Rod hopes for return to Yankees on Monday on ESPN.com

This beauty was caught by John Costello.  Kudos to John for a timely (and Freudian slip?) malaphor.  See also entries “the white elephant in the room” (Sept 6, 2012), “the 800 pound gorilla in the room” (Nov 15, 2012), and “memory like a hawk” (Nov 17, 2012).  Elephant malaphors apparently come in all shapes and colors.

INGROWN PLAYERS

This beauty was heard on a local sports radio talk show (Pittsburgh).  A guy was talking about the Pirates and criticized the organization for focusing exclusively on “ingrown players” rather than seeking free agents.  This is a congruent conflation of “home-grown” and “in-house”, both meaning something local or conducted within the organization.   Just wondering, but was Tom Herr, the second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, an in-grown ballplayer?  A big thanks to Justin Taylor for hearing this one and passing it along!

TommyHerr1983.jpg

HE HAS HIS ACT IN ORDER

I heard this one on this week’s Monday Night Football game, uttered by the play by play announcer, Mike Tirico.  It is a mash up of “put one’s house in order” (put one’s personal or business affairs into good order) and “get one’s act together” (get organized or start to behave more appropriately).  I almost missed it as it is subtle and sounds almost correct, both signs of a great malaphor.

I WAS SLAPPED DOWN WITH A LITTLE HUMBLE PIE (REX RYAN)

This crazy malaphor mixes “slap (someone) down” (to rebuke or rebuff someone) and “eat humble pie” (meek admission or mea culpa).  The Toronto Sun quoted Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan responding to the question of whether he feels rejuvenated coaching a different team:

“I’m back, there’s no question about it. I was slapped down with a little humble pie there (with the New York Jets). It was tough … embarrassing.” Bills coach Rex Ryan

Interesting origin to the phrase “humble pie” – The “humble pie” that we eat when we make amisjudgment or outright error was originally “umble” pie made from the intestines of other lessappetizing animal parts. Servants and other lower-class people ate them, as opposed to bettercuts.“Umble” became “humble” over the years until eating that pie came to mean expressing a very meekmea culpa. A similar phrase is “eat crow,” the bird being as unpalatable a dish as one’s own words.  From the Free Dictionary.   

A big thank you to John Costello for sending this one in!

Rex Ryan

DON’T GET YOUR PANTIES IN A RINGER

 

This descriptive malaphor was written by Todd Christie, the brother of NJ Governor Chris Christie, in a Facebook post, reacting to people commenting on the Governor celebrating the Dallas Cowboys playoff win with Jerry Jones in his box suite.  It is a mash up of the expressions “don’t get your tit in a wringer” (don’t get in trouble) and “don’t get your panties (knickers) in a twist (bunch)” (don’t get upset over a trivial matter):

Christie’s brother, Todd, took to Facebook to defend the governor, blasting the “non Cowboy fans who have their panties in a ringer” and urging people to “get a life.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.27.32 AM

http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/7/71/261860/chris-christies-brother-non-cowboy-fans-panties-ringer/

YOU HAVE TO BE ON YOUR P’S AND Q’S

Ike Taylor, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was overheard saying:

“With a future Hall of Fame quarterback like Drew Brees, man, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. He’s the captain of that team and it showed today. If he sees something, he’s going to hit it. He doesn’t miss a lot. Regardless of how much you feel like you’ve got him rattled, he stays in the pocket. He did what he needed to do today.”

This is an excellent malaphor, mixing “on your toes” (stay alert) and “mind your P’s and Q’s” (pay careful attention to one’s behavior).   A big thank you to me for reading this in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2014/12/01/Gerry-Dulac-s-two-minute-drill-Steelers-vs-Saints/stories/201411010179
YOU NAILED THAT ONE RIGHT ON THE HEAD
This one comes to us courtesy of CBS Sports.   Mike Carey, the “CBS Officiating Expert” on the NFL, said this beauty during the Denver-Kansas City game.  This is a congruent conflation of  “hit the nail on the head”  and “nailed it”, both meaning to do exactly the right thing.  This is a particular good one, as it is subtle and combines phrases with the same meaning.  Some of the confusion lies in the visual of hammering a nail on its head.   It is similar to “You hit it right on the nail”, reported on 8/29/12 in this website.  A big thank you to Mike Kovacs for reporting this one!
THIS TEAM NEVER PUT THEIR HEAD BETWEEN THEIR KNEES (TOM SEAVER)
This phrase stands on its own, describing what one might do if one feels faint, but in context, it is a nice malaphor.  The speaker is Tom Seaver, discussing the 69 Mets team and how they came back from adversity and never quit.  Pretty sure he was mixing “not putting your tail between your legs” and “not hanging your head”, both expressions meaning not feeling ashamed or embarrassed.  “keep your head up” (feeling calm in the face of adversity) also seems in play here. Thanks to Steve Hubbard who heard this on the MLB Network regarding Cinderella teams.  
THE BUSINESS SIDE ALWAYS THROWS YOU A LOOP (ANDRE MILLER)
Sometimes it’s those nasty little prepositions that cause the mix up.  In this case, backup point guard Andre Miller, talking about his desire to return to the Washington Wizards, said this nice congruent conflation.  See http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2080250-andre-miller-38-says-he-has-a-lot-more-years-left-before-retiring-from-nba  It is a mash up of  “throws you for a loop”  and “throws you a curve,” both meaning something unexpected that upsets or confuses someone.  I also think the imagery of someone tossing a life preserver into the water is in play here.   A big thanks to Mike Browning for spotting this subtle but excellent malaphor!
I’M SHOOTING FROM THE CUFF (PHIL JACKSON)

This is a wonderful malaphor involving the phrases “off- the- cuff” (speak spontaneously without rehearsal) and “shooting from the hip”  (speaking frankly).   Phil Jackson, in deciding to take over the New York Knicks, uttered this malaphor at the beginning of his acceptance speech.  Click on the link below and then click on the video in the link.. He says, in the opening sentence, that “I’m shooting from the cuff.”    Thanks to Martin Pietrucha for hearing this one and passing it on!

Phil Jackson shook hands with New York Knicks owner James Dolan, walked gingerly to the podium and comfortably lifted the microphones to fit his 6-foot-8 frame.

“I don’t have prepared remarks, as you can see,” Jackson said, practically bragging. “I’m shooting from the cuff.”

http://nyti.ms/1j3p3dw

Phil Jackson, the new president of the New York Knicks, answers questions during a news conference, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in New York. Jackson, who won...

WE AREN’T GOING TO THROW IN THE WHITE FLAG (DWIGHT HOWARD)

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Commenting on the Lakers’ ability to play in the series when so many
players were injured, Los Angeles LakerDwight Howard remarked that the players were
not about “to throw in the white flag.”  Thanks to “My ol’ pal” who heard this gem on the 5:00 pm local L.A. news.  It is a mash up of “throw in the towel” and “wave the white flag”, both meaning to surrender.  Perhaps a white towel (a common sight with athletes) was also in the confusion.

I JUST WANTED TO GET IT OUT OF MY CHEST (DAVID ORTIZ)

English: David Ortiz Boston Red Sox player.

English: David Ortiz Boston Red Sox player. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This congruent conflation mixes  “get it out of my system” and “get it off my chest”, both meaning to unburden oneself.   This was spoken by Boston Red Sox playerDavid Ortiz‘ in response to his emotional pregame speech:

“This past week man, I
don’t think there was one human being who wasn’t affected by what we got
going on down here,” Ortiz said. “This past week, I was very emotional,
very angry about the whole situation. I had to get that out of my chest
and just make sure that our fans and everybody in the nation knows that
this is a great nation, and part of it was how everybody supported each
other when this thing went down. I’m happy to be a part of this
nation.”Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/04/david-ortiz-says-f-word-during-speech-just-came-out-feels-like-boston-should-be-pumped/

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