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0145 The Big Game

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Complete Transcript
This is English as a Second Language Podcast number 145: The Big Game.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 145. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this podcast, we’re going back to school and to the big game. Let’s go!

[start of dialog]

On my way home from class, I ran into Cara, a schoolmate that I have not seen in a few months. I stopped to say hi to her.

Mark: Hey, Cara! How's everything? Long time no see.

Cara: Yeah! It's been a while. I'm doing alright. How about you?

Mark: Great! I'm excited about the Big Game this weekend. Are you going?

Cara: Uh, no. What Big Game?

Mark: Are you kidding? This is the biggest football game of the season! And we're playing against one of the best teams in the state, so it's going to be really exciting.

Cara: Wow, that sounds like fun! Who are you going with?

Mark: A big group of friends. Hey, you know what? One of my friends has to go out of town this weekend and he won't be able to make it to the game, so I have an extra ticket. You want to join us?

Cara: Sure, I would love to go! I've never been to one of our school's football games before.

Mark: Awesome! There's a bus picking students up in front of the dorms at 1pm. Meet us there at 12:30.

Cara: Sounds like a plan! Thanks for giving me the extra ticket. I'll see you Saturday.

Mark: Alright, see ya!

[end of dialog]

In this podcast, we heard a conversation between two students talking about going to the “Big Game.” And the “Big Game” is usually the most important football game at a high school or a university. It’s usually a game between the team and its most important rival. And a “rival” (rival) is someone you are competing against. The dialog begins with Mark saying, “On my way home from class, I ran into Cara.” “On my way home” means as I was going home. He was coming, in this case, home from class, from his university or high school class, and he ran into Cara. “To run into someone” means that you meet someone that you weren’t expecting. Cara is a schoolmate. And a “schoolmate” (schoolmate) – all one word – is someone that you go to school with – someone in your same school is a schoolmate. Mark says to Cara, “How’s everything? Long time no see.” “How’s everything?” “How are you?” “How are things going?” – all of those are ways of asking about how someone is doing. “Long time, no see” is an expression we use when we haven’t seen someone in a long time. So, literally it’s been a long time since I have seen you.

Cara says that she’s “doing alright” – means she’s okay. Mark says he’s excited about the “Big Game this weekend.” And we talked about the big game is usually the most important football game – American football game that is. And Cara doesn’t know about the big game. Mark says, “Are you kidding?” meaning are you joking? And that’s an expression we use when we’re surprised by what someone says or what someone does – “Are you kidding?” – means how can you not know? It’s so important or famous, in this case. Well, Mark explains that this is the biggest football game of the season and the “season” (season) is the period of time, in this case, when you are playing a sport. So, the football season is usually in the fall. And the baseball season is in the summer. So, we use that term – not just to describe the four seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter – but also the seasons of a particular event, when the dates or the months of a particular event.

Well, this is the biggest football game of the season and Cara asks who Mark is going with. Mark says he’s going with a big group of friends and then he says, “Hey. You know what?” And that expression – “You know what?” – is something you would say before you are going to tell someone or ask someone a question – often involving some sort of favor or good news that you are giving this person. So, for example, in this case, Mark says, “You know what?” One of his friends is not going to be able to go to the game and he has an extra ticket. So that’s good news for that person. That expression “You know what?” is used often in front of – when we are about to tell someone some unexpected good news – usually something we are giving to them or some favor we are doing for them. You can also use this expression simply to call attention to or to indicate to the other person that what you are going to say is important. And that can be a positive or a negative thing. So, if maybe you’re arguing with someone and you say, “You know what? I’m leaving. I don’t want to talk to you. So, it can be used both in a positive and a negative way.

Well, the favor here is that Mark is going to give Cara a ticket to the big game. The reason his friend cannot make the game – and “to make the game” would mean to go to the game. He’s not able to make it – that is the game – because he has to go out of town. And to go “out of town” means that they have to – the person has to travel somewhere else, to another city or another state. That’s a very common expression “I’m going to be out of town. I’m not going to be here in Los Angeles. I’m going to be in Las Vegas losing all of my money – that is to go out of town. It can be for business or it can be for a vacation. Cara says that she would love to go – I would love to do that. I would really like to do that. And she says she’s never been to one of the football games before. Mark responds by saying, “Awesome.” “Awesome” (awesome) is the same as that’s great – that’s wonderful news. When you hear something very good and you’re very excited, you would say, “Awesome.”

Mark says that there’s a bus picking up students to go to the game, in front of the dorms at 1 PM. The “dorms” (dorms) is short for dormitories and a dormitory is a place on a school – usually a university – a college where students live. And dorms are owned by the school. So, most big schools have dorms where students from other parts of the state or the country can live. If they don’t live there in the city. Of course, many students in American universities also live in apartment buildings and they rent apartments, often sharing the apartment with one or two or more students. And that is also one way to attend a university that is in a different city, or many times, even if you live in the same city as the university – your parents do - students will sometimes get their own apartment when they begin their first year of college. And the difference between a dorm and an apartment, usually – well, first, the dorm is owned by the university. The apartment building would be owned by someone – some company or some private individual. The other difference is that dorms are usually smaller and they usually don’t have a kitchen. So, you can’t cook food in most dorms. Some dorms, you can. Some dorms are more like apartments, but most dorms have no kitchen and so, you have to eat – the school has a big cafeteria – a place where lots of people can eat and they prepare food. So, you have to pay for the dorm room but you also have to pay for your food.

Well, in this case, they are going to pick up students – back to the dialog here – they are going to pick up students in front of the dorms, and Mark says to Cara that she should meet him there at 12:30. Cara says, “Sounds like a plan.” “Sounds like a plan” means that’s a good idea. And this is an expression we use when – kind of informal expression I guess – when you are agreeing with someone, you have decided on a plan – what you are going to do and it’s a way of saying you agree with this plan. “Sounds like a plan” means that’s a good idea, in this case. Mark then says, “Alright. See ya!” “See ya!” (ya) means, of course, the same as see you – means I will see you there at 12:30.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialog]

On my way home from class, I ran into Cara, a schoolmate that I have not seen in a few months. I stopped to say hi to her.

Mark: Hey, Cara! How's everything? Long time no see.

Cara: Yeah! It's been a while. I'm doing alright. How about you?

Mark: Great! I'm excited about the Big Game this weekend. Are you going?

Cara: Uh, no. What Big Game?

Mark: Are you kidding? This is the biggest football game of the season! And we're playing against one of the best teams in the state, so it's going to be really exciting.

Cara: Wow, that sounds like fun! Who are you going with?

Mark: A big group of friends. Hey, you know what? One of my friends has to go out of town this weekend and he won't be able to make it to the game, so I have an extra ticket. You want to join us?

Cara: Sure, I would love to go! I've never been to one of our school's football games before.

Mark: Awesome! There's a bus picking students up in front of the dorms at 1pm. Meet us there at 12:30.

Cara: Sounds like a plan! Thanks for giving me the extra ticket. I'll see you Saturday.

Mark: Alright, see ya!

[end of dialog]

That’s all we have time for on today’s ESL Podcast. As always, you can go to our website at eslpod.com for a script of the podcast and for more information.

From Los Angeles, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
on one’s way – along the path that one must take to reach a place one wants to go to; on the route that one takes to go from one place to another

* The library was on Gracie’s way to work, so she returned a borrowed book.


to run into – to meet someone without meaning to meet that person; to meet someone that one had not intended to meet

* His mother ran into his aunt when she went to the store, and the trip took longer than she planned.


schoolmate – a person who one goes to school with; a person who takes classes with one

* Roxanne and Paul were schoolmates who went to the same university.


How's everything? – How are you?; a question one asks when greeting someone informally to find out how they feel

* When Christina saw Gregory, she walked to him and asked, “How’s everything?”


Big Game – an important sports game; an important match, competition, or meeting between two sports teams

* Ricardo enjoyed watching baseball and wanted to watch the Big Game on Friday.


Are you kidding? – Are you being serious?; a question one asks to find out if someone is telling a joke or being serious

* The store charged too much for a container of milk, and many customers who saw the price asked, “Are you kidding?”


You know what? – Do you know this?; a question one asks when telling someone something they may or may not know; a question used before giving one’s opinion or some information

* Erika smiled at her boyfriend and said, “You know what? I think we should watch a movie tonight.”


out of town – away from home; away from one’s current location

* Stefan did not want to leave his family while his daughter was sick, but he needed to take an out of town trip for work.


to make it – to be able to go somewhere; to be able to attend an event

* Sarah wanted to make it to Manuel’s concert, but she was late and missed the event.


awesome – great; very good

* The bakery has awesome food that tastes better than any other bakery.


dorm – a dormitory; a building with many rooms where students live

* Girls and boys live in separate dorms at that school.


Sounds like a plan. – That sounds like a good idea.; a phrase someone uses to agree with someone else’s plan or idea

* Yolanda asked Zachariah to meet with her on Tuesday, and he said, “Sounds like a plan.”


See ya. – I will see you later.; Good-bye.; an informal phrase that someone says when leaving a friend they will see again

* Melanie told Aaron, “See ya tomorrow!” when they left work.

Culture Note
Super Bowl Sunday

In late January or early February each year, Americans like to watch the national American football championship in the United States – the Super Bowl. It is the most popular sporting event of the year, watched by close to 80 million people.

Two reasons why Super Bowl Sunday is so popular, however, have nothing to do with the game of football itself. In fact, many of the 80 million people who will watch the game don’t watch another game all year. The Super Bowl game is the only game they watch. Why?

First, American football has two periods or “halves” (the plural of “half”). In between the two halves, there is a halftime show. In most other professional football games, there is a small entertainment show, often with “cheerleaders” (mainly women who try to get others excited about the game by jumping up and down, shouting, or dancing) and a “marching band” (a musical group that walks around or marches as they play). But the Super Bowl is different. The halftime show is a “major production” (big show), with famous singers and stars and other performances. It is a huge event.

The second reason people love to watch the Super Bowl is the commercials. The advertising announcements during the breaks in the game are extremely popular. In fact, because so many people watch the Super Bowl, advertisers have to pay close to $3,000,000 for a 30 second ad. Every company tries to produce an ad that people will remember, one that is funny or clever, that people will talk about the next day at work. A lot of people watch the Super Bowl really to watch the commercials. It’s strange but true.