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
References in periodicals archive ?
On 1st and 10 Ryan Janssen carried the ball 11 yards to the 46, and Lyons carried the ball across the 50 for 5 yards.
Romelu Lukaku carried the ball forward from deep inside his own half and fed Kevin De Bruyne outside the area.
Shaqiri latched on to a pass in his own half with Serbia's players pushed up and carried the ball forward before slotting it past Vladimir Stojkovic.
My forwards carried the ball well but they were let down by poor ball distribution," Livondo pointed out.
He carried the ball and he livened the crowd, which is important in home games."
Corey Lowther carried the ball into midfield and passed it to a goal-bound Charlie Smith, who took his chance well.
"It's been a battleground and there was nothing illegal in anything Papua New Guinea did - they just carried the ball very aggressively.
He carried the ball 29 times against UW, pounding and slashing his way to 169 yards and four touchdowns.
Tyler Rouse carried the ball 19 times for 87 yards, and Murphy had 118 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard naked bootleg for a touchdown.
Townsend was involved in the first goal as he carried the ball down the left channel before finding Barthram, who picked out midfielder Ryan Mason who fired home from six yards.
Hoolahan, who has just signed a new contract extension until 2015, carried the ball to the edge of the Wigan penalty area and then won a 50/50 with Emmerson Boyce to stab a pass through to Pilkington.
He broke through a lot of tackles and carried the ball really strong for a little bloke and he is growing into himself as a winger.
But a gust of wind carried the ball over a fence into the car park of his local club - and he heard glass breaking.
As the wind and tide carried the ball further and further out to sea, Molly set off in determined pursuit and soon ended a long distance from the beach.
He said: "We stuck to our game plan, carried the ball well as a pack, and within about 20 minutes had got back to a good level playing field.