got thrown for a 40-yard loss [American football]

creosote

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everybody,
what exactly does "thrown" mean in this context: "got thrown for a 40-yard loss"?
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello creosote

    Please always give the source of your texts. That way we can read more of it and understand better.

    Here is the source Billy Wilder, American Film Realist By Richard Armstrong

    Knowing that really helps because then we can see:

    Only you fumbled on the goal line. Then you heaved an illegal forward pass and got thrown for a 40-yard loss. Now you can't pick yourself up because you haven't got a leg to stand on." Much of the dialogue stems from this ease with mid-century American vernacular. As Schickel noted, Wilder "heard something wild and strange what sounded like clichés to the native-born sounded like fresh metaphors to a wry spirit listening Closely.

    That indicates that

    1. the terminology is American
    2. it is to do with sport - specifically football
    3. It is about Billy Wilder
    4. Wilder is unfamiliar with the idiom (as you are creosote and as I - a Brit- am also)

    Billy Wilder was Austrian. He saw American football terms from a new perspective.


    Now all we need is an American Forum member with a knowledge of American football.

    It saves us poor Brits having to struggle to understand it!

    (cross-posted with sdgraham. I agree with him)
     
    Last edited:

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In American football, the objective of the team on offense is to move the ball along a 100-yard (about 90m) field to the opposing team's goal. The objective of the team on defense is, of course, to prevent them from doing this.

    The game proceeds as a series of set plays. It is not dynamic as soccer (football in most of the world) or hockey are. In each play, the team on offense succeeds in moving the goal toward the opponents' goal line (a gain) or may be pushed back (a loss). It is also possible for the ball to remain where it is, with neither a gain nor a loss. The team on offense has four opportunities to advance the ball 10 yards. If it fails to do so, the team on defense gets the ball and is then on offense.

    A loss of 40 yards would be disastrous. A loss this great is highly unusual. Most games never see even one loss approaching this size. (Gains of over 40 yards happen often, though.)

    In terms of the specific quote, throwing an illegal forward pass would not result in a 40-yard loss. It might result in a 15-yard penalty. It might result in losing one of the offensive team's four opportunities to gain 10 yards. It might also result in the defensive team catching the ball and running with it, so that it ends up 40 yards behind where it started, but that's not a loss; it's an interception or a turnover. The person who wrote this is not familiar with American football, but has heard some of its terms and is trying to use them.
     

    creosote

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the link (Biffo) and for the explanations (Egmont). It seems that I completely misunderstood the phrase in question - I read it as "the player lost ball at the 40-yard mark and was somehow thrown for it (removed from the game?)", but it should be "the player made illegal forward pass and was thrown 40 yards back on the field". And yes, I'm absolutely unfamiliar with rules of american football, that's true.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A loss of 40 yards would be disastrous. A loss this great is highly unusual. Most games never see even one loss approaching this size. (Gains of over 40 yards happen often, though.)
    Surely, if one side loses the other side gains, so gains = losses. :confused: (and I was getting on quite well with understanding this variant of rugby.)
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Surely, if one side loses the other side gains, so gains = losses. :confused: (and I was getting on quite well with understanding this variant of rugby.)
    Not really. In terms of field position, yes. But only the team that has the ball is referred to as gaining or losing yardage on a play.
     
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