Several Intriguing Phrases Originated From Sports

Realizing you need to give up and cut your losses. Despite the heart of a fighter, a trainer may throw in the towel to signify surrender when their man is clearly outmatched.

Something that is expected in a typical circumstance. The number of strokes needed for a golfer to finish a course.

If something is said to be “in the ballpark” then it is in close proximity of something. This stems from baseball, of course.

When someone comes out swinging, they are diving right into something and giving it their all. This happens in boxing either when a fighter is looking to start the fight with a flurry of fists, or if they’re behind on the scorecards and need a KO to win.

When someone, or life, throws you a curveball, you’re dealing with something that is unexpected and difficult to handle. This type of throw in baseball is harder for someone to track in real-time.

When something is “no holds barred” the rules are virtually non-existent. This originated in wrestling when wrestlers would not abide by the rules during a match.

Something that is a sure thing to succeed. There is no denying that the ball went through the hoop in dramatic fashion.

Coming from the length of wire that is placed across the track at the finish line, when something is coming down to the wire, it’s near the end- or left to the final minutes.

Someone who is down and out has given up on something entirely. They’re defeated and don’t feel like giving it another go. This refers to a fighter who has been knocked down and is either knocked out completely, or will not be able to get up in time for the fight to be called off.

When you’ve dropped the ball, you’ve made a mistake or missed a good opportunity. Dropping the ball in baseball, rugby, or American football results in failure to have successfully made a play without any hiccups.

Unlike boxing, you don’t lace up for a fist fight in hockey. The phrase “drop the gloves” comes from the unwritten code of fighting in the sport.

Having a glass jaw means you aren’t good at taking criticism or going through rough times. Amir Khan notoriously has a glass jaw, and despite his talent, he gets caught with a punch and shatters.

When something is “hands down” it is something that wins with great ease. In horse racing, if a jockey were to have a huge lead in the race, he may drop his reigns before crossing the finish line.

A Hail Mary is a last ditch effort at something. In football, it is a long forward pass that has a very low success rate.

To light the lamp is to score plenty of goals, or to have a high success rate in something you’re doing. In hockey, once a goal is scored, the lamp behind the goalie lights up to signal that the puck has crossed the line.

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