24 July 2005

football slugger

In today's Ottawa Sun was this story, with an extended sport-to-sport crossover metaphor. It begins: For all those fans who fancied receiver Pat Woodcock being a home run hitter, Renegades coach/GM Joe Paopao has some news for you [emphasis added]. If you haven't heard of the Renegades, the word receiver should tip you off that they're a football team. But here is a clear baseball usage in a football text. It goes on:

Woodcock, a much-heralded free-agent signing before last season, is a singles and doubles guy. "You have six receivers and it's like a batting order," Paopao said yesterday. "Your top three guys are your core guys and you expect them to have 1-to-4 catches a game." So where does Woodcock fit into the picture? "He's in the middle of the batting order," said Paopao. After being pretty much ignored in the previous two games, Woodcock came close to hitting for what amounted to the cycle Thursday against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Paopao really rings up the baseball metaphor in this one. Now, a while a back I tried to draw a line between core lexical items of a sport and peripheral ones, and have written more about it. Core items are intrinsic to the discourse surrounding a sport, referring to instruments, positions, infractions, and so on. Peripheral ones are not, but still mark the discourse as sport-oriented. "Get untracked" was one. Peripheral vocabulary blurs into the interview cliche of giving it your all and playing with desperation.

I think some of the baseball terms above are probably core for the sport - singles and doubles - and others might be more peripheral. What matters is the wholesale importation of a baseball lexicon into a discussion about football.

I'm assuming a "home run" in football is a long pass that the receiver can take into the end zone. You can have home runs in hockey, too. I saw Brendan Shanahan quoted this week that removing the center red line from the rink would enable a "home run pass". I haven't been able to dig it up, but I've found the usage elsewhere:
We'd see more players "cherry pick" and hang out down the ice in anticipation of the home run pass instead of consistently backchecking.

So to sum up, observationally, some baseball terminology can be used metaphorically in discussions of other sports. The same goes for some football terminology. Is it possible to have a theory of what sporting lexical items are allowed to do this? My hunch is yes - my hypothesis is that a sport can take a lexical item from another sport only if that lexical item can apply, metaphorically, in a non-sport context. I'll keep my eyes open for more data.


At Thu Aug 04, 01:26:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

"Scott Niedermayer is a playmaker, and should be helped further by the elimination of the center red line. Now he can make home-run passes from the defensive zone into the opponent's zone."
Ira Podell, AP Sports Writer, via Yahoo

At Mon Aug 22, 10:39:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

From golf to football:

Such was the case again on a sunny summer Sunday at the midway point of the Renegades' schedule, which Paopao compared to being in the clubhouse at the turn, having a sandwich.

"The first nine we were par," he surmised. "We've got to come back out and get a couple of birdies to start us rolling again.

"We made a couple on the front. Now we've just got to go and play. We've got to concentrate on each hole, each game, set up our shot then try and make it. Right now, we're on the leaderboard, we're right up there. I'm excited about that, but I know we can play a lot better."

Don Brennan, Ottawa Sun, 8/22/05

At Tue Aug 23, 05:04:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

"Once I heard hossa had basically hit a home run with this deal, it was just a matetr of time waiting for the other skate to fall."

Chris Stevenson on TSN, Aug 23 2005.

At Fri Aug 26, 12:14:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

Can't believe I left this one out:

The front page of the Boston Globe online, the day after Superbowl 39 (or whatever), had the headline TRIPLE CROWN, for a third Patriots championship in four years.

At Sun Aug 28, 12:01:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson, on Alexander Korolyuk's decision to play in Russia:

"We took money out of the equation," Wilson said. "If he hit a home run" in arbitration, "we would have paid it. It came down to a family decision."

(Victor Chi, SJ Mercury News)

At Sat Sep 10, 09:32:00 AM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

"I've had a chance to lay around and think about it. It's almost like a batter being in a slump. I'll do what I have to do to get out of it. I'll keep fighting, keep swinging and just keep throwing the football." Kerry Joseph, quoted in Ottawa Sun, 9/10/05.

At Tue Nov 08, 02:33:00 PM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

John Madden, on Monday Night Football (Colts @ Patriots), pointing out that the score at halftime (in favour of the Colts) is a function of weak Patriots defense more than anything else:

"Right now Tom Brady is pitching a perfect game."

At Thu Dec 29, 09:42:00 AM 2005, Blogger Bob Kennedy said...

Phillips also thought the fact that he had just hit the post before Commodore's coverup was "a sign." So he resorted to a little begging and pleading.

"I told (Murray), 'I want the ball," Phillips said later. "He passed me over the first time."

Ottawa Sun, 12-29-05, describing a discussionbetween players and coach prior to the choice of penalty shooter in a hockey game.


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