Headbloom Blog

Putting on Your Game Face
One sign that sports permeate American life so profoundly is the incorporation of sports expressions into everyday speech. Test your knowledge of these ten football expressions. Explanations follow below.

1. A Monday morning quarterback is ____.
a) the refund you receive from the 75c pop machine
b) a football player who is too busy to play on the weekend
c) a person with all the strategies and answers after the fact
d) a cheater or fraud

2. Doing an end-around means ____.
a) having all participants respond around the conference table
b) quitting, giving up on the team
c) concluding, bringing the topic to a close
d) avoiding direct conflict with someone

3. An all-out blitz is ____.
a) using all resources to achieve the goal
b) rushing out during a fire-safety drill
c) using bright lights for a photo shoot
d) a highly negative ad campaign

4. If he fumbled the ball, it means he ____.
a) will be penalized
b) made a mistake in a key role
c) did not speak clearly
d) lost the client’s trust

5. If she dropped the ball, it means she ____.
a) didn’t follow up on her responsibility
b) broke or damaged an important device
c) is untrustworthy or suspicious
d) is trying to leave the company

6. A person who is quarterbacking the project is ____.
a) getting ready to leave (possibly ahead of schedule)
b) leading the project
c) sharing the coordination with someone else
d) ready to support it if needed

7. When the boss asks you to pick it up and run with it, this means ____.
a) remove yourself from the situation with all the evidence
b) charge forward towards the goal
c) avoid the other team members
d) either a) or c) above

8. She was unhappy to be working with the second string because ____.
a) she wanted only the final strings
b) string technology is becoming outdated
c) she feels she is a high potential employee
d) all of the above

9. Giving the team a pep talk means ____.
a) scolding the team
b) inspiring the team
c) updating the team
d) testing the team’s knowledge

10. Entering the negotiations, the boss told us to put on our game faces because ____.
a) it was time to get serious
b) everyone looks better if they are wearing make-up
c) the other negotiators hate playing games
d) all of the above

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ANSWERS

1. A Monday morning quarterback is ( c ) a person with all the strategies and answers after the fact.
2. Doing an end-around means (d) avoiding direct conflict with someone.
3. An all-out blitz is (a) using all resources to achieve the goal.
4. If he fumbled the ball, it means he (b) made a mistake in a key role
5. If she dropped the ball, it means she (a) didn’t follow up on her responsibility.
6. A person who is quarterbacking the project is (b) leading the project.
7. When the boss asks you to pick it up and run with it, this means (b) charge forward towards the goal
8. She was unhappy to be working with the second string because ( c ) she feels she is a high potential employee.
9. Giving the team a pep talk means (b) inspiring the team.
10. Entering the negotiations, the boss told us to put on our game faces because (a) it was time to get serious.

EXPLANATIONS
1. The quarterback is the offensive leader on the field. After the weekend game is played, it’s easy to say what the correct strategy should have been. Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback, but only true leaders can make the tough decisions while the game is in progress.
2. One way of avoiding being tackled by the defensive players is to avoid running straight up the middle of the field where the majority of the players are positioned. Running the football to the side of the field—around the end of the line—is one way to escape confrontation.
3. In German, the word “blitz” means lightning. In football, a blitz is when extra defensive players quickly and unexpectedly charge the middle of the offense in hopes of confusing and overwhelming the offensive players. In an all-out blitz, no defensive players stay back to protect against a pass. By committing all resources to the effort, the defensive leader is hoping to create an impressive change in the game.
4. When the offensive ball carrier drops the ball on the ground, it disrupts the forward progress of the offense and gives the defense a chance to gain possession. Ball carriers (primarily running backs and receivers) are taught to protect the ball in their hands at all costs. Losing possession of the ball in critical situations can turn a victory into a loss.
5. When a receiver does not firmly catch the thrown ball, it can drop to the ground, stopping the play. An incomplete pass can destroy the momentum of the offense.
6. The quarterback has the responsibility of communicating the strategy to his teammates, initiating each offensive play, making quick decisions, and executing the strategy.
7. The offensive player who carries the ball has the responsibility of making positive gains towards the goal.
8. The first string of players is the top performance group. These are the best players, the ones who are playing at the start off the game. The second string only plays if a first-sting player is injured or ejected. Second-stingers spend a lot of the game sitting on the (wooden) bench, also known as “riding the pine,” instead of being involved in the action.
9. The word “pep” means energy. A pep talk is a speech made by the coach at the beginning of the game to get the players focused and passionate.
10. Before the competition starts, players need to forget about their outside lives and focus on the task at hand: winning the game. They need to get ready for a tough battle and have a serious look on their faces.



Alan Headbloom