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  1. #1
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Question 'so far behind the ball'

    Hello,

    what is the meaning of 'so far behind the ball'.

    The following paragraphs are from an article in New York Times - "Criticism of State-Owned Air India Grows".

    When Bob Haygooni paid a midflight visit to a cockpit at his new employer, Air India, he was shocked. The pilots, he said, had completely covered the windows with newspaper to keep out the sun.

    “All you had in the cockpit was this yellowish glow, as the light permeated the newspaper,” Mr. Haygooni recalled, saying it was a visibility hazard he had never seen before in 30 years of flying.

    .......
    Air India is “just so far behind the ball I don’t know how they will ever catch up,” said Alexander Garmendia, 64, who joined Air India in 2009 after retiring from American Airlines. He trained at Air India’s headquarters in Mumbai for six weeks, but said he left in part because he was worried about safety.
    Is this from baseball, or some other sport? What would be another way of describing this (the part in red)?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: 'so far behind the ball'

    If you say that someone is "on the ball" it means they're up to date, up to speed or possibly knowledgeable about something. So I guess that "behind the ball" means that they are not keeping up, not providing a good service maybe.
    As for the origin, I found this for "on the ball": On the ball

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: 'so far behind the ball'

    "Behind the 8 ball" is an expression from pool (billiards) for being in a difficult situation with little chance for escaping.

    This reads to me like someone is misusing or being creative with the metaphor.

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