The shared language of sport and politics

By Nick Bryant – BBC News

Sporting metaphors always overrun the language of politics in the English-speaking world at election time – and perhaps most of all in the US.

We have now reached the point in the race for the White House when it helps to keep a glossary of American sporting terms ever close at hand.

True, we have not quite reached the bottom of the ninth (the final, often dramatic, inning of a baseball game).

It is probably too early for the front-runner Barack Obama to start running down the clock (cautious tactics used by the team ahead in the final minutes of a basketball match designed to protect its lead).

Three presidential debates still lie ahead, where Mitt Romney will doubtless be looking for a knock-out punch (one of the few analogies that requires no translation outside the US).

Even after the debates, there may still be time to hurl a Hail Mary pass (a desperate long pass thrown by the quarterback in the dying minutes of an American football game in the hope of getting a touchdown).

Certainly, he needs a game-changer (some dramatic “play” that will upend the contest). In the all-important battleground state of Ohio, the Romney camp has accused the Obama campaign of already spiking the football (a touchdown celebration when the player spears the ball into the ground).

Across the political Anglo-sphere, the language of sport often doubles as the language of politics….

via BBC News



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