First one(s) through the door

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Senior Member
Dear all,
could you please help me out with a difficulty in a novel by Dennis Lehane "Gone, Baby, Gone"?

Jimmy nodded. “We might not be pussies, but we ain’t cowboys like those crazy fuckers.” He whistled. “First ones through the door because they love the jizz.”
“The jizz?”
“The action, the orgasm. Forget the foreplay with those boys. They go right to the fucking. Know what I mean?”

This is a conversation of two players of opposing teams during an American football match. Googling the phrase shows that the expression is not very rare but I cannot find any commentaries about its sense. I would surmise that the one who is always first through the door is rude and impolite. Is there any meaning to it beyond that?
  • AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    I don't think there is nothing about being rude and impolite with "first ones through the door", it's more that the first ones have the best chance to win/score and are the most successful.


    Senior Member
    I think it's an allusion to the proverb first come, first served.

    I agree with AutumnOwl that the expression does not automatically imply rudeness or impoliteness. People who always have to be first through the door do what it takes to achieve their goal. If being rude or impolite is necessary, then so be it.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If they're referring to the game, and I'm supposing that they are, I think they mean that the guys they're describing play a very aggressive, strongly offensive game.


    Senior Member
    I see. But then can you perceive any emotional estimation of his rivals in Jimmy's words. Does he seem to speak
    1) approvingly;
    2) disapprovingly;
    3) neutrally?
    Before you gave your responds I had thought 2). Now I am at a loss.


    Senior Member
    English - American
    First one(s) through the door is a phrase in police-talk (or at least police-novel-talk). It means the first person or persons who enter a room or building where the level of danger is high, or likely to be high.

    Preparing to enter a room or house where criminals are hiding creates a very high adrenaline level, and some police officers are considered to be addicted to this excitement, to the point where they always volunteer to be first to enter such situations.

    I believe that this is what is being referenced here.

    Cowboys is being used in the same sense here: reckless police officers. Reckless because they enjoy the excitement. Also "crazy fuckers".

    Someone actually must take these risks, but trying to always be the one who takes them is regarded with understandable reservation by other police officers, and by their superiors, as it may indicate a lack of judgement which would endanger other officers and bystanders. (There may be some admiration for the bravery, but it is underlaid by concern for the craziness of it.)

    It could be used to describe an approach to other aspects of life (such as aggressiveness in a football game), but this is the source of the meaning. This book is full of specialized police-talk.
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