old college try, (give it) the

(redirected from the old college try)

old college try

a valiant effort. Will made the old college try, but that wasn't enough to get the job done.
See also: college, old, try

old college try, (give it) the

Do the best you can, even if you think it’s a hopeless cause. This slangy Americanism dates from the 1930s when college football films became very popular in the United States. The phrase was one of the cheers intended to urge on a team that was falling behind or facing overwhelming odds. Transferred to other endeavors, it came to be used more or less ironically.
See also: college, old
References in periodicals archive ?
"They really gave it the old college try," a source told the news outlet.
Petersburg College, explain how to replicate a 3D printer--or at least give it the old college try.
Max and Annie aren't really action heroes, but they give it the old college try. Max tests a bartender by ordering a Harvey Wallbanger, then admits he doesn't actually know what a Harvey Wallbanger tastes like.
When they were born, their dad asked me if I knew how to make Osage baby boards, and I said that "no, I didn't know how, but I would give it the old college try".
Two basketball documentaries air this weekend in advance of the NCAA tournament, with one earning championship honors and the other settling for the old college try. ESPN seldom connects the dots as well in examining sports' role in society--or the network's own enormous influence--than in "Requiem for the Big East," while CBS essentially delivers a somewhat diluted version of "Hoop Dreams" with "Summer Dreams," following various hopefuls as they go through the NBA Summer League.
"We didn't come up here to give it the old college try. We came up here to win the game and we didn't get it done.
The Sharks lost the debate on Russell's goal, the Falcons lost the argument on MacIntyre's goal, but there was no doubt about Irwin's winner, and the Sharks had their second victory in the last nine games, thanks to the old college try.
I gave it the old college try, but realized no amount of detailed explanation was going to work.
One university is giving ebooks the old college try this year.
So, the next time you set eyes on a gorgeous bombshell and decide that, after all, you're wearing your lucky socks, you should offer her a drink and give it the old college try ...
I don't know how possible this is for you, but if there is any way for you to make this happen, I suggest you give it the old college try. You say that you can't afford to move, which I can certainly understand, but electing to stay there when you need to go is only going to exacerbate the pain you're feeling now and may feel in the future.
Reading Ghost Hunters, it's hard not to reserve some admiration for the handful of academics who gave it the old college try." MARK ATHITAKIS
A small, Knight Ridder paper in Penn State's backyard gives it the old college try in bid for new readers
Driven by a host of new product introductions and line extensions as well as the beginning effect of category management, supermarket HOC gave it the old college try last year, which in most cases wasn't enough to pull ahead of other channels.