He’s really ahead of the eight ball

This was found in Baltimore’s newspaper, the Baltimore Sun.  A player at the Univ. of Maryland said of his teammate, “For someone so young, he’s really ahead of the eight ball.”  This is a nice mashup of “ahead of the curve” (at the forefront of leading something) and “behind the eight ball” (in trouble or in a weak or losing position).  “Behind” and “ahead” are certainly part of the problem here, but also the speaker may have been thinking of a curve ball in baseball.   And of course, in eight ball, you certainly want to be ahead of it when making your shots.  A big thanks to Larry Mason who spotted this beauty.

He got the raw end of the stick

This gem comes from an interview with former Duke turned Maryland basketball player Rasheed Sulaimon’s mother.  She was discussing his dismissal from the team:

“He’s not the type of kid who’s like, ‘I’m not in their program, so forget about them,'” Angela Sulaimon also told the Sun. “Friendship means a lot. He was very positive toward the guys he played with. They were like brothers. It had nothing to do with the guys. A lot of them felt like Rasheed got the raw end of the stick. I felt like Rasheed was sacrificed.”

This is a mash up of “getting a raw deal” (unfair or bad treatment) and “getting the short end of the stick” (less desirable part).  Both phrases involve someone getting “the shaft”, so to speak.  I can see getting a raw deal or the short end of the stick but the raw end must really be bad.  This malaphor is similar to my 2/15/15 entry, “I’m getting the shaft end of the stick”, which might even be more painful.  https://malaphors.com/2015/02/15/im-getting-the-shaft-end-of-the-stick/   A big shout out to Justin Taylor who ran across this malaphor in the Baltimore Sun.