Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
also clothesline, 1830, from clothes + line (n.). As a kind of high tackle in U.S. football (the effect is similar to running into a taut clothesline) attested by 1970; as a verb in this sense by 1959.
A very flat, fast line drive; frozen rope, rope (1930s+ Baseball)
To block or tackle by holding out one's arm in the path of a running player: He clotheslined him (1960s+ Football)