Translating meaningless sports clichés

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Illustration Courtesy of Pete Whalon. CAPTAIN OBVIOUS: For Pete Whalon, and other sports fans, many TV sports announcers chirp off one cliché after another during a broadcast. The half-hearted attempt comes across as lazy announcing by unprepared broadca

I recognize that I have a lot of pet peeves. However, here’s one I’ve never mentioned before. My eyes sometimes glaze over listening to many TV sports announcers chirp off one cliché after another during a broadcast. To me it’s lazy announcing by unprepared broadcasters who insult most fans by shoddily reporting the event being viewed. Do some homework you pretty boy, egomaniacal, overpaid ex-jock and deliver some keen insight into the game! Maybe that’s a tad harsh, but anyone who watches sporting events knows exactly what I mean. Why don’t these overpaid pretentious blabbers compile some interesting material at home before stepping in front of the camera? I know that there are skilled broadcasters who are totally prepared for their performance; however, they are exceptions to the rule. Al Michaels comes to mind when discussing high quality announcers. Here are some of the more irritatingly lazy clichés you often hear, followed by their true meanings.

They came to play: I don’t have an original thought in my head.

He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet: he has an assault charge pending and two DUI’s.

A tie is like kissing your sister: so a loss is like French kissing your sister?

You win as a team; you lose as a team: a single player made a boneheaded play costing his team a win.

It’s been a tale of two halves: one team was really crappy in the first half, and one team was really crappy in the second half.

The intangibles will be the key to the game: I have no idea what I’m trying to express.

Statistics can be misleading or statistics tell the whole story: whichever team has the most points after the game will be the winner.

This is always a tough place to play: the fans here are crude, mindless, hostile drunks.

We don’t play these games on paper: duh!

These two teams don’t like each other: the last time they played each other some moron player flipped off the home crowd.

There’s been a lot of trash talking in this game: the twenty-three year old thugs on one team are trashing the mothers of the twenty-three year old thugs on the other team.

When these two teams get together you can throw out their records: two miserable, pitiful teams are about to play each other.

It’s gonna be a war out there: spoken by a brain-dead chump who has never been remotely close to a war zone.

This is a game for the ages: no it’s not, it’s just another game.

This game is for the bragging rights: two rotten teams whose coaches will be fired at the end of the season are about to play.

He gets the most out of his players: the coach is a narcissistic jerk.

Bad calls even out over the course of a season: I stayed out late last night getting drunk so all I’ll be delivering for the audience today are empty headed clichés.

On any given day any team is capable of beating another team: and fire is hot and ice is cold.

They can’t take these guys lightly: they should beat this team by thirty points.

They have to get the big guy involved in the offense: they only have one good offensive player on the team.

They can’t be intimidated by this team: they are going to lose by thirty points.

They should stick to the fundamentals: they have no good players.

They have to eliminate the mental mistakes: their coach is an idiot.

They have to shore up their defense: they gave up forty points in the first half.

They have to pull out all the stops: they’re praying for a rainout.

They should just go out there and have fun or they’re playing for pride, or they’re playing the role of spoilers: they have the worst record in the league and a bunch of the players will not be with the team next year.

The final score was not a true indication of these teams: crappier team won.

The game was a lot closer than the final score indicates: losing team made lots of dumb mistakes.

It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback: however, we are going to subject you to it anyway.

The real problem with TV sportscasters appears to be that they have too much time to fill between game actions. Here’s a little fact that might surprise you. According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes. Of course during these countless breaks the announcers must chatter, and there’s only so much to be said about any game. So we get endless, mind-numbing “filler” crap sprinkled throughout the 11 minutes of football action and snail-paced baseball games. And don’t forget the pre-game show and the post-game show where the “expert” analysts slickly inform us of what just happened, since we are too stupid to figure it out for ourselves. Haven’t these network executives ever heard the relevant old adage, Silence is Golden?

Translating meaningless sports clichés