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688 The Fan


Ken talks about his favorite team, cheerleaders and good teammates.

Wendi: So I wanna know who your basketball team is?

Ken: Who my basketball team is?

Wendi: Yeah.

Ken: Oh, my favorite pro team?

Wendi: Now, like who's your team?

Ken: Oh, OK. I'm from Atlanta so my favorite team is the Hawks, unfortunately. For the past six or seven years, they have sucked it up royally and they haven't been much to cheer for but they're signs of them turning it around. They've got a nice young core. Like we have the slam dunk champion on your team. A nice free agent pick-up recently. Hopefully in a couple of years we'll make the playoffs, something to cheer for.

Wendi: Alright, in any basketball game I've ever been to, it's like, at half-time, those cheerleader girls come out and cheer. What's the relationship between basketball and cheerleading?

Ken: It's not the relationship between basketball and cheerleading so much as the relationship between the basketball fan and the cheerleader and that the basketball fan is normally a man, and men like to look at beautiful women moving around I think. That's the relationship. It's just a crowd-pleaser more than anything else.

Wendi: That's an honest answer Ken.

Ken: I don't think the players are any more motivated than they would be just because some girls are dancing around in skimpy outfits but the fans still love it.

Wendi: Fair enough.... Alright, if you think of all the teams you have ever been on, what characterizes the best type of teammate to have?

Ken: The best type of teammate to have is one who is a good leader. I like good leaders, like people who know how to win, know how to get their teammates involved in the game. They motivate you. They praise you when you do well. They'll give you constructive criticism when you're not playing as well as you could be. But ultimately they know the strengths and weaknesses of each of the players on the team and they'll make the most of it based on what they feel is best for the team.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

suck it up

For the past six or seven years, they have sucked it up royally.

Used like this, 'suck it up' means you do something really badly. It can be used for when someone usually plays well but is not playing badly. Notice the following:

  1. He's a very unreliable player. Sometimes he plays well, and sometimes he really sucks it up.
  2. I really sucked it up at tennis today.

core

There are signs of them turning it around because they've got a nice young core.

Here, 'core' refers to the main group of players. There are a few older players on the team, but for the most part the players are young. Notice the following:

  1. The entire core of the team is new players.
  2. Our group has a core of members who have been around for a while, but there are a few new members too.

skimpy outfits

The players aren't any more motivated just because the girls are dancing around in skimpy outfits.

A 'skimpy outfit' is one that doesn't cover much of your body. Notice the following:

  1. Halloween is just another time of year for women to wear skimpy outfits.
  2. She attracts lots of men, because she is always wearing skimpy outfits.

constructive criticism

They'll give you constructive criticism when you're not playing as well as you could be.

'Constructive criticism' is when someone points out something that you are doing wrong in an effort to help you improve. Notice the following:

  1. The course involves a lot of constructive criticism, which is not something that is easy to get used to.
  2. After each presentation, the group would give the person who presented some constructive criticism for next time.
Answer these questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
sucked it up • core • skimpy
constructive
  1. I have never seen you wear a outfit like that.
  2. The of the band stayed the same, but a few members came and left.
  3. There have been many times when she has just in a concert.
  4. Can I give you a piece of criticism?