Phrase borrowed from American football terminology to indicate a player or team running out the final seconds of a football game (the act itself consists of literally touching one's knee to the floor to facilitate the running of the game clock), "taking a knee" is the act of putting oneself in cruise control, usually in a work setting or some other undesirable situation. The individual is physically present, but his mind is not on his task, and there may even be some goofing off associated with "taking a knee." Mostly used by professional sports savvy men.
Since it is the Friday before a long weekend and I don't want to do any work, I'm "taking a knee" today.
by JeffP August 30, 2005