Full Court Press in the Middle East

New York Times, “International”, February 13, 2010, by Mark Handler:

“U.S. Envoys Head Out on a Mission to Rally Iran’s Neighbors”

Washington:  “With tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions hitting new levels, the U.S. is mounting a diplomatic full court press in the Middle East, sending four top diplomats, including Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to confer with Arab and Israeli leaders.” 

A full court press is an aggressive defensive move over the full length of the basketball court using all one team’s players.   The article refers to the four top diplomats aggressively seeking support in the Middle East.  

My site, www. sportsidioms.com mentions this idiom (go to the index) and my book has a full court press “New Yorker” magazine cartoon about this sports metaphor.

Basketball: a favorite game played by many in the U.S. and all over the world, a game perhaps improvised by American kids throwing a ball into wooden baskets, a game played in backyards with a hoop attached to a backboard, on courts in playgrounds, sports centers, by children, women and men.  

A personal note:  I played basketball at a small school in San Francisco and loved practising for hours throwing a basketball into a hoop.  My claim to fame with some of my boyfriends was “shooting” the hoops at fairs,   getting perfect scores and winning prizes.  For some reason, perhaps my family and friend’s affinity for sports, it was more important to be athletic in California than to get good grades, although I “caught” the latter also.  I dated men who played sports “jocks”, particularly skiiers and basketball players, except for my husband who rowed for the crew team at Yale University.  I swam and dove competively, surfed in the Pacific Ocean,  played touch football on Pacific beaches, soccer (American football) and volleyball on Atlantic beaches,  tennis on public courts, skiied wherever there was a hill and snow, and,  perhaps most important for this blog, was on the Rally Committee in California at UC Berkeley where I worked at football and basketball games.  And I love sports metaphors; they are so much fun.

Here’s to sports and Olympic Games rather than war!

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