carry the ball

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carry the ball

1. In American football, to literally hold the ball (and protect it in order to maintain possession) while attempting to advance it on the field, ultimately in pursuit of a touchdown. This is our last chance to tie the game, so I want Ross carrying the ball on this play.
2. By extension, to have a leading role in the completion or execution of a task or project. After I implemented that important initiative, the boss asked me to carry the ball on our next big project.
See also: ball, carry

carry the ball

 
1. Lit. to be the player who is relied on to gain yardage, especially in football. It was the fullback carrying the ball. Yes, Tom always carries the ball.
2. Fig. to be in charge; to be considered reliable enough to make sure that a job gets done. We need someone who knows how to get the job done. Hey, Sally! Why don't you carry the ball for us? John can't carry the ball. He isn't organized enough.
See also: ball, carry

carry the ball

Take charge, advance a cause, as in In our lab any of the assistants can carry the ball. This usage comes from such sports as football, where the ball-carrying player gives the team yardage or a touchdown. By the early 1900s it was being transferred to other endeavors.
See also: ball, carry

carry the ˈball

(American English, informal) take responsibility for getting something done: My co-worker was sick, so I had to carry the ball.We need a couple of Senators who will carry the ball for us in Congress.
See also: ball, carry

carry the ball

Informal
To assume the leading role; do most of the work.
See also: ball, carry