grandstand

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grandstand play

1. In sports, any excessively showy action or maneuver during play done primarily to impress or entertain the spectators. Originally specific to baseball, it has since been extended to any sport. Rather than shoot the ball and secure an easy two points for the team, she instead attempted to slam dunk the ball as a grandstand play for the crowd.
2. By extension, any excessively dramatic, showy, or ostentatious action, behavior, or maneuver. Our manager is more concerned with making a grandstand play for the CEO than effectively running the office. The dictator's constant threats of war are more of a grandstand play than a legitimate concern to the rest of the world.
See also: grandstand, play

make a grandstand play

1. In sports, to perform any excessively showy action or maneuver during play so as to impress or entertain the spectators. Originally specific to baseball, it has since been extended to any sport. Rather than shoot the ball and secure an easy two points for the team, she decided instead to make a grandstand play by trying for a slam dunk.
2. By extension, to act or behave in an excessively dramatic, showy, or ostentatious manner; to show off. Our manager is more concerned with making a grandstand play for the CEO than effectively running the office.
See also: grandstand, make, play

grandstand play, make a

Show off, act ostentatiously, as in His colleagues were annoyed with Tom for constantly making a grandstand play at sales conferences . This expression was first used for a baseball play made to impress the crowd in the grandstand (the section of high-priced seats at ballparks). [Second half of 1800s] For a synonym, see play to the gallery.
See also: grandstand, make

grandstand

in. to make oneself conspicuous. Don’t you just hate the way that Pat grandstands all the time?

grandstand play

n. something done exceedingly well to impress an audience or a group of spectators. The grandstand play caught the attention of the crowd just as they were leaving.
See also: grandstand, play