Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wide World of Sports

Today's cool new lexical item comes from Lawro of the Beeb:

Man Utd v Man City (1330 BST)
If you're a United supporter then you always think this fixture as a banana skin.

Well, new to me, at least. "Banana skin" seems to be pretty well established in the British Isles:

Tomorrow, England start their tour to the West Indies with a three-day match in St Kitts, a place that should be able to provide more than the usual number of banana skins. (Times, Jan. 24)

The fourth-round tie remains a banana skin for the SPL team and McGhee is approaching the match the same way he would a game at nearby Aberdeen. (Sunday Star, Jan. 18)

There is a potential banana skin lying in wait for Dungannon Swifts who take on Downpatrick from the Amateur League. (Belfast Telegraph, Jan. 15)

"People might not have expected a hiccup but a lot of people looking for potential banana skins would have looked to McDiarmid Park, " he said. (The Herald, Glasgow, Jan. 14)

The stand-in skipper scored twice to help Arsene Wenger's Gunners avoid the potential banana skin laid down by Plymouth at the Emirates to earn a fourth-round clash at Cardiff. (The Mirror, Jan. 5)

First up is the banana skin of Italy at Twickenham, followed by games in Cardiff and Dublin. (The Sun, Jan. 1)

I don't know if the missing preposition (at least, "missing" from my perspective) in "think this fixture as a banana skin" is a typo or if it's standard. There's another in the following graf: Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will get his side fired up using the fact that City have set their sights matching them by proposing to sign big-name players.

Insights from readers across the pond are welcome.

"Banana peel" probably wouldn't work for baseball; there's just too much baseball for any particular game to be singled out that way. But it could come in handy for the winter sports. Especially if you staple one to a brick and buzz it at Dick Vitale.


Anonymous Ed said...

Words missing, I think - "think *of* this fixture" and "*on* matching them".

A banana skin isn't just any game your team is in danger of losing; strictly, it's one in which your side is pre-game favourite to win but in which it could conceivably come unstuck. It specifically envisages the phenomenon of slipping up (as it were) against a dangerous underdog.

9:41 PM, May 09, 2009  
Blogger fev said...

Thanks. I look forward to finding a way to slip* that one into conversation come fall.

(* I'll be here all week; don't forget to tip.)

8:46 AM, May 10, 2009  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

So, a banana skin is any game you play where Gene Hackman is coaching the other side?

1:54 PM, May 10, 2009  

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