[Ads-l] Take a knee

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 25 00:19:33 EST 2017


The kickoff-return usage is also discussed in the Language Log post, with
an early example from 1982.

On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 11:37 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> A "special team's" kick-return specialist who receives the kick in the end
> zone will also "take a knee" to signal that he has chosen not to try to
> return the ball from the end zone against the opposing team's "special
> team."
>
> On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 10:23 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > All of this is discussed in the Language Log post I linked to upthread.
> >
> >
> > http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=34671
> > Beginning in the '90s, "taking a knee" or "taking the knee" often
> referred
> > to the "quarterback kneel," where the quarterback on the winning team
> runs
> > out the clock by kneeling after the snap — either to protect a small lead
> > or as a show of sportsmanship with a larger lead.
> >
> > [linking to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel ]
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Dennis During <dcduring at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 12:50 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > > -----------------------
> > > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > > Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> > > > Subject:      Re: Take a knee
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > -------------------
> > > >
> > > > Wasn't there once a time when there was only a trivial amount of time
> > > left
> > > > and the winning team had the ball and, though, officially, there was
> > time
> > > > left for one more play, running that play would be pointless? So, the
> > > > winning team would go into the spread formation, the ball would be
> > > snapped
> > > > and the quarterback, instead of trying needlessly to run a useless
> > play,
> > > > would simply "take a knee" - i.e. drop to one knee - thereby ending
> the
> > > > play and, consequently, the game.
> > > >
> > > > ​There indeed once was and still is such a time. The practice and the
> > use
> > > of the expression "take a knee" by sportscasters​ probably can be
> > observed
> > > and heard today on football broadcasts.
> > >
>
>

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