Posted by Lewis on December 08, 2005
In Reply to: Level playing field posted by Smokey Stover on December 08, 2005
: : Level playing field - who coined it? To have a "level playing field" was coined in the 1980's according to the list of phrase meanings and origins. I'm just curious to know if anyone knows more about where it came from. I'm interested because the Thomas Friedman book, The World is Flat goes on about it obsessively.
: Well, if the world is flat, isn't that all we need to know? Ss
Some football grounds ('soccer' to you ex-colonials) have pitches that slope - the most famous in the English lower-leagues were Barnet and Yeovil. the problem is that when players are tired, running uphill puts them at a disadvantage, so whoever gets to choose ends, gets to play kicking downhill 2nd half.
Football is not supposed to have any territorial advantages like that and the big clubs usually strive for flat pitches with a slight camber near the goal-mouths, so that they don't pool or become a mud-bath in the 6 yard box.
the metaphor has gone into business, trade and politics to be short-hand for a lack of structural advantage to one side in competition.