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 classic literature ?
One of them, tossing a ball about with her racket, happened to drive it into the shrubbery, whence, to the surprise of the company, Smilash presently emerged, carrying the ball, blinking, and proclaiming that, though a common man, he had his feelings like another, and that his eye was neither a stick nor a stone.
"Then you look at Jacob Miller, who has more try assists than anyone in Super League, plus Pauli Pauli in the pack, who can be as devastating as anybody carrying the ball as well.
"I do like carrying the ball which I didn't get to do too much, but to make the most tackles of any international player last Saturday is something to be proud of."
The 12-year-old won the honour of carrying the ball onto the pitch in front of the huge crowd after her father John entered DHL's Match Ball Delivery competition.
Schoolgirl Antonia Lacey won the honour of carrying the ball on to the pitch in front of a sell-out crowd after her father John entered DHL's Match Ball Delivery competition.
Mark McCall, director of rugby at Allianz Park, told the club's website: "We have some time ago identied Michael as a player who could make signicant contribution to the squad, playing in the second row or the back row, carrying the ball and we are condent we can provide an environment where he will realise his full potential.
I love to see Stones carrying the ball out of defence.
"He's a tough defender and brings real physicality when carrying the ball. He has a lot of experience, having played for Northampton and Munster, and has been involved in some epic European games.
He is the complete package, and a different style of player to the tall and powerful Phillips, who offers a physical presence behind his pack and enjoys carrying the ball much like a fourth back-row forward.
"But carrying the ball out on Saturday is an amazing opportunity."
LAST TIME THEY MET December 26 2012, QPR 1 Albion 2: Chris Brunt put Albion into the lead with an excellent first-half strike, with Rob Green then carrying the ball over his own goalline from the Northern Irishman's second-half corner.
The modern style of dropping sweepers deep and carrying the ball out of defence has reduced the effectiveness of long ball football and betting in-play punters in particular should be wary of presuming that the team with the wind will overachieve significantly.
Argentine striker Diego Milito scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute, after carrying the ball past three defenders before hitting a powerful shot to seal a stunning solo effort.
He enjoys carrying the ball out of our own end but he's a winger and they're paid to score tries."
Into the second half and Lewis Treloar decided to take matters into his own hands - carrying the ball from the half way line, past three Cargo Fleet players and smashing into the back of the net to put Brotton ahead.