737 Who do you admire?


Matt talks about two people he admires. He talks about an athlete and an actor.

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Todd: OK, Matt, I thought we would talk about people that we admire and the qualities about them that we admire. So, first we're both sports fans. Who is an athlete that you admire?

Matt: Athlete that I admire? I would have to say Jackie Robinson, would come to mind, just because the barriers he had to overcome and the things that he experienced, that people after him...

Todd: OK, can you... a lot of people might not know who Jackie Robinson is.

Matt: Oh, sure, yeah, I'm sorry. Jackie Robinson was the first black man, the first man to break the quote-unquote color barrier in baseball and he was in 1947 brought in to the Major Leagues from the Negro Leagues which were at that time the only place where blacks or colored athletes were allowed to play baseball, so the first three years he endured an enormous amount of racism and hatred and he had to basically bite his lip and wasn't able to seek revenge or fight for three years, so yeah, just what he went through, above and beyond just playing the game was something that I always admired in him.

Todd: Yeah, a special guy. Definitely. How about in movies is there an actor that you admire?

Matt: You know, I mean, I love so many actors and actresses in different roles. I think just in the interviews that I've seen, I really like Johnny Depp because he can play different characters and he's not afraid to play off the wall characters or even bit parts or small roles that other main actors probably would not be interested in and he definitely, he brings humor to every dramatic role that he does. And just being in LA, I had a chance to see him film the movie Blow for about a week and just to see his demeanor on and off the set and he was not superficial or tough to deal with at all just from an outside perspective, he seemed like a really down-to-earth, cool guy, so I've always admired him.

Todd: Well, what is your favorite Johnny Depp movie?

Matt: I'd have to say, well, the first Pirate, Pirate's of the Caribbean Movie, the first one was fantastic, his role in that, and yeah, that's probably my favorite.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

the barriers he had to overcome

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I would have to say Jackie Robinson would come to mind, just because the barriers he had to overcome and the things that he experienced.

The 'barriers that he had to overcome' refers to the obstacles or difficulties that he had to conquer he could achieve something.

Notice the following:

  1. I think he did very well considering the barriers that he had to overcome.
  2. They had a lot of barriers to overcome in order to build the house but it looks great now.

to break the quote-unquote color barrier

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Jackie Robinson was the first black man, the first man to break the quote-unquote color barrier in baseball.

To 'break the quote-unquote color barrier' refers to the metaphorical barrier that exists between people of different races. Notice the following:

  1. I am not sure if the quote-unquote color barrier exists any more.
  2. I think he always wanted to break the quote-unquote age barrier in his law office.

he endured an enormous amount of racism

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The first three years he endured an enormous amount of racism and hatred.

When someone 'endures an enormous amount of racism,' it means that he has come up against a lot of negativity due to their race, and he has suffered because of it. Notice the following:

  1. It is such a shame that so many people have had to endure an enormous amount of racism.
  2. The first black footballers had to endure an enormous amount of racism.

bite his lip

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He had to basically bite his lip and wasn't able to seek revenge or fight for three years.

When you 'bite your lip' it means that you stop yourself from saying something. Notice the following:

  1. Try and bite your lip, as you don't want to have an argument.
  2. He had to bite his lip, as he knew that his honesty would not work well in the situation.

down-to-earth

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He seemed like a really down-to-earth, cool guy so I've always admired him.

When someone is 'down-to-earth' it means that they do not have any falseness and they are easy to talk to. Notice the following:

  1. Even though I am rich, I still feel as though I am down-to-earth.
  2. I only make friends with down-to-earth people.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
overcome • barrier • racism
bite my lip • down-to-earth
  1. One thing that he wasn't prepared for when he was traveling was enduring an enormous amount of .
  2. Although he has made over 30 movies in his career, people say that he is still very .
  3. Sometimes I just have to and do what my boss tells me.
  4. I know that this is a barrier that I will , but I have to give myself time to deal with it in my own way.
  5. By wanting to work in construction, she is breaking down a quote-unquote gender .