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grandstand play

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noun
  1. an ostentatious play, as in a sport, overemphasized deliberately to elicit applause from spectators.
  2. any action or attempt designed to win approval or to make a strong impression: His going to work on Christmas was another of his grandstand plays.

Origin of grandstand play

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018