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0811 A Heckler at a Sports Game

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 811: A Heckler at a Sports Game.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 811. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there to become a member of ESL Podcast. When you do, you can download our Learning Guides. You can also take a look at our ESL Podcast special courses in business and daily English and our ESL Podcast blog.

This episode is a dialogue between Lew and Alexa who are watching a sports game. Let's get started.

[start of dialogue]

Lew: Boo!! Boo!! Your team sucks!

Alexa: Sit down and stop heckling the visiting team. You’re making a fool of yourself.

Lew: I’m supporting our team. If I keep taunting the players on the other team, they may lose their concentration and we’ll gain an advantage.

Alexa: If you keep this up, we’ll get kicked out of this stadium.

Lew: We won’t get kicked out. Get into the spirit of the game and start yelling at the other team with me. Hey, it’s working! Look at that pathetic attempt to score. You guys are a bunch of babies!

Alexa: Stop that! Look, security is coming this way.

Lew: They just want to catch a glimpse of the person who has the guts to stand up for our team. Whoo! Whoo!

Alexa: If anyone asks, I don’t know you.

[end of dialogue]

Lew begins our dialogue by saying, “Boo!! Boo!! Your team sucks!” Lew is at a sports game and he’s yelling at the other team. This is something of course that some sports fans like to do. When they go to a game, they like to yell at the opposing or opposite team, the team that is not your team. “Boo” is a word that we yell loudly when we want to show our disapproval or dislike of some sports team. It could also be in some other sort of performance. It could even be in a musical or theatrical performance, in a theater. Lew says, “Your team sucks.” This verb to “suck” is a rather rude, informal word meaning to be very bad at something or to be terrible. It's a very negative way of describing someone. If you say “This sucks!”, you mean this is terrible. This is awful. It's a pretty strong word, not a vulgar word, but certainly one that you wouldn’t want to use in a business meeting.

Alexa says, “Sit down and stop heckling the visiting team. You're making a fool of yourself.” Alexa is telling Lew to sit down and to stop heckling. To “heckle” (heckle) means to make rude comments, unkind comments interrupting someone when they're speaking or when they're performing, so if you are going to a performance of a comedian and the comedian is telling jokes and you don’t like the comedian, you may yell things back at him or her, insulting him or her. That would be heckling. Well, that’s what Lew is doing. He’s heckling the visiting team, the sports team that has come from somewhere else to play where your sports team normally plays. Alexa says that Lew is making a fool of himself. To “make a fool of yourself” is to do something that makes you look stupid, that other people look at and laugh at.

Lew says, “I'm supporting our team (I'm trying to help our team). If I keep taunting the players on the other team, they may lose their concentration and we'll gain an advantage.” To “taunt” (taunt) means to say something that is mean, something that is rude, trying to get someone to react to you, trying to get you to get mad. We might also use the verb to “tease” (tease). Well, Lew thinks that he’s taunting the players on the other team, the visiting team, so that if he does, they will lose their concentration. Your concentration is your ability to focus, to think about only one thing and ignore all the other things. To “lose your concentration” means to not be able to do that. Lew thinks that his taunting will give his team an advantage, that they’ll gain an advantage. To “gain an advantage” is to do something that will give you a better position or better situation, so that you are more likely to, in this case, win.

Alexa says, “If you keep this up, we'll get kicked out of this stadium.” To “keep something up” or to “keep up something” here means to continue to do something, especially something that is difficult or challenging. “To keep up” can also have other meanings in English and those can be found in our Learning Guide. Alexa says to Lew that if he keeps up his heckling, they will get kicked out of the stadium. To “get kicked out” means forced to leave a place even though you want to stay there, so if you go to a restaurant and you start yelling at people and screaming and swearing, the owner will probably kick you out. He will say, “Hey, you get out of here! You can't stay here.” That’s to be kicked out. Sometimes bars, places that serve alcohol, have special people that will kick you out, that will remove you physically if you cause problems. They're called “bouncers”. Well, Alexa is afraid they will get kicked out of the “stadium” (stadium).

A stadium could also be called an “arena” (arena). Basically, it's a large building usually without a roof on the top that has a lot of seats, around often in a circle, could be in a square, but usually in a circular formation that is watching some sort of sports game in the middle of the stadium. You could have a baseball stadium. You could have a football stadium. Many cities have separate stadiums for football and baseball. Some just have one. Some stadiums are also used for rock concerts because often you can put 20,000 or 50,000, sometimes as many as 100,000 or 150,000 in a single stadium. I believe the Los Angeles Coliseum can hold about 110,000 people. The Coliseum is an example of a stadium.

Lew says, “We won't get kicked out. Get into the spirit of the game,” he tells her “and start yelling at the other team with me.” To “get into the spirit of something” means to do what other people are doing, to have the same excitement and enthusiasm as they have. To “yell” (yell) means to shout, to speak in a very loud voice. Lew says, “Hey, it's working” meaning he’s heckling is working. “Look at that pathetic attempt to score.” “Pathetic” (pathetic) here means very sad or miserable, terrible. To “score” means to earn a point in a game. In baseball, you can score if you hit the ball out of the ballpark, what's called the homerun. In American football, you score when you take the ball, one of your players and you run across what's called the goal line. Lew again yelling at the other team says, “You guys are a bunch of babies!

Alexa says, “Stop that! Look, security is coming this way.” Alexa is telling Lew that the security officers, the people whose job it is to keep the stadium safe and secure and to be not crazy. They're coming this way. They're coming toward Alexa and Lew.

Lew says, “They just want to catch a glimpse of the person who has the guts to stand up for our team.” The phrase to catch a “glimpse” (glimpse) means to see something for a very brief moment, very quickly. In this case, Lew is saying that the security guards want to come over and see him because he has the guts to stand up for his team. “Guts” (guts) here means courage, bravery, the willingness to do something difficult when it is a perhaps scary or frightening situation. To “stand up for something” means to defend or protect someone who is perhaps being attacked or in a difficult place or situation. Well, of course, we don’t think Lew is correct. The security guards are probably not interested in catching a glimpse of him because he has guts.

Alexa says, “If anyone asks, I don’t know you.” She’s saying she doesn’t want to be associated with Lew. Lew’s probably had a little bit too much beer during the game. That happens in American stadiums. Sometimes people drink a little too much and then they start yelling. Of course, if you’ve watched the soccer match in some countries, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Lew: Boo!! Boo!! Your team sucks!

Alexa: Sit down and stop heckling the visiting team. You’re making a fool of yourself.

Lew: I’m supporting our team. If I keep taunting the players on the other team, they may lose their concentration and we’ll gain an advantage.

Alexa: If you keep this up, we’ll get kicked out of this stadium.

Lew: We won’t get kicked out. Get into the spirit of the game and start yelling at the other team with me. Hey, it’s working! Look at that pathetic attempt to score. You guys are a bunch of babies!

Alexa: Stop that! Look, security is coming this way.

Lew: They just want to catch a glimpse of the person who has the guts to stand up for our team. Whoo! Whoo!

Alexa: If anyone asks, I don’t know you.

[end of dialogue]

Even if you heckle us here on ESL Podcast, we'll never kick you out. That’s because we can't hear you. Thanks to our scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse, for her wonderful scripts.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2012 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
Comprehension Questions
1. What does Alexa want Lew to do?
a) She wants him to stop yelling at the team.
b) She wants him to sit down and stop standing up.
c) She wants him to play on a sports team.

2. According to Lew, why is security coming toward him?
a) Because they want to thank him for his efforts.
b) Because they want to admire what he is doing.
c) Because they want to arrest him.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to keep (something) up

The phrase “to keep (something) up,” in this podcast, means to continue to do something, especially when it is difficult or challenging: “Wow, you’ve cleaned out a huge part of the garage! If you keep this up, you’ll have the whole thing finished by dinnertime.” The phrase “to keep up with (someone)” means to walk as quickly as another person is walking: “When they go for walks, it’s hard for Jenna to keep up with her husband, because he has much longer legs.” Finally, the phrase “to keep up with the Jones’s” means to do as well as one’s neighbors, especially to buy things that are at least as nice as the things they have bought: “They borrowed thousands of dollars to buy fancy cars and furniture as they tried to keep up with the Jones’s.”

to score

In this podcast, the verb “to score” means to earn a point in a game: “Who scored the winning point?” The verb “to score” can also mean to be very successful in something, or to do something very well: “Jens scored when he got that job offer.” Or, “The movie scored at theaters, even though critics didn’t like it.” Informally, “to score” means to have sex with someone without having a serious relationship, especially someone whom one does not know well: “In real life, do young men talk about who they scored with over the weekend like they do in the movies?” Finally, the verb “to score” can informally mean to buy or get something that is difficult to find or purchase: “How did you score tickets to the concert?”

Culture Note
Sports Fan Appreciation Events

Many professional “athletes” (people who play sports) and sports teams have “fan appreciation events” to try to show how much they “appreciate” (are thankful for) their “fans” (people who really like something, especially a celebrity) and to “connect with” (create a relationship with) new fans.

Some events offer “freebies” (things that are given away for free, at no cost) to attract “attendees” (people who come to an event). For example, they might offer a t-shirt or a discounted ticket to the first 500 fans “at the door” (in line to enter). Or everyone who attends might receive a bag, towel, or “visors” (hats that keep the sunshine out of one’s eyes) with the team’s “logo” (picture or image representing a team, company, or organization).

Once people are at the event, they may get to “meet the players.” There might be opportunities for personal interactions and short conversations. More likely, the fans will be able to ask for the athlete’s “autograph” (the signature of a famous person). Fans often ask an athlete to autograph a ball, but they might also ask the athlete to autograph an “article” (piece) of clothing or even the skin on some part of their body!

Some stadiums have “fan appreciation events” where they advertise “discounted” (lower-than-usual) prices for admission or for “concessions” (the food sold at a game or concert). They might have special music to entertain the fans, too, or they might have “fireworks” (noisy and brightly colored explosions in the sky) after an evening game, especially when there is warmer weather during the summer.

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - b