This one was uttered by a witness in a trial. It is a conflation of “keep your eyes on the ball” (stay focused) and I think “put your shoulder to the wheel” (work hard, put an effort into something). Certainly one has to keep their eyes open when driving, but don’t stare at the wheel or you will be in big trouble. Perhaps the speaker was thinking “eyes on the prize”, and the big Wheel of Fortune bubbled up in his brain. Not sure. A big thanks to Tom Justice who heard this one and passed it on.
This beauty was heard on a conference call by Gary Kelly, a faithful malaphor follower. It is a congruent conflation of “finger on the pulse” and “eyes on the ball”, both involving attention and monitoring something. The mash up also conjures up the image of Lucy keeping her finger on the football and letting go just as Charlie Brown goes to kick it. This is another malaphor mixing body parts, something that seems to happen frequently. A big thanks to Gary Kelly!