From the Coach Carter movie. The coach canceled a basketball game and the basketball team players were discussing about his decision. There were a lot of reporters came to the school to take an interview from the coach.

One of those players said:

I feel like running right up in the middle of all those reporters and telling them I think this is bullshit, son.

What is the point of the part running right up in the middle of all those reporters?

  • 1
    In sports, running up the middle refers to the action of running straight through the group of defensive players so that you would be, for some period of time, right in the middle of the group of defenders- I.e., you would split the defenders so that there would be defenders on both your left and right as you passed them. So instead of trying to go around them all you're authoritatively pushing your way right through the middle of t he pack. Up the middle can also refer to field position- equidistant to both sidelines, but in this case it is with respect to the group of reporters.
    – Jim
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 20:53
  • I think "in the middle of all those reporters" means "in their midst", that is, with reporters on all sides of him. To be "in the middle of things" is to be "in the thick of things", that is, to be where the action is happening, not "on the sidelines" (to use a sports metaphor).
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


As far as I'm aware, "up the middle" is a sports term originating in American football. I wouldn't be surprised if there was previous usage in rugby or football.

It's not particularly idiomatic. It literally means just running up the middle of the field, which is usually where most of the defenders are.

Running through the defense like this is generally considered more aggressive and 'tougher' than attempting to run around the defense by going toward the sideline.

So, when the basketball player says he feels like "running right up in the middle of all those reporters", he's casting his actions in an aggressive light. He may also literally mean that he would be in the middle of the group of reporters, with them on all sides.

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