Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sports terms I hope disappear in 2011

By Jeff

This post is kind of a rip off of Gene Collier's annual column in the Post-Gazette that makes fun of all the cliches used in sports today. It's a fun read if you have the time to check it out, and he does it much better than I'm about to do. This is more of a focus on sports terms/sayings that need to die.

Let's face it, sports broadcasters, coaches, analysts, fans and just about everyone gets caught up in using certain terms way too much. Some were OK at first, then they got beat into the ground like the Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody". Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed that song until it was played three times an hour on every pop radio station in existence.

Of course, then there are other phrases that were never cool and always sucked, making it even stranger that they continue to be used.

Initially I was going to separate all these stupid sayings into these two categories, but they all make me cringe and should be lumped together.

  • Pick Six: An interception returned for a touchdown. Greg loves this term, but I despise it now. I hear it multiple times a week and don't get the obsession with it. The words don't even rhyme. There is no Fumble Six, Return Six, Throw Six, so why is Pick Six cool?
  • Dribble-Drive: When a basketball player drives to the hoop. There is one thing on this earth that Bob Smizik and I agree on, and it's how silly this term is. What's even sillier is how often it's used. If a basketball player is driving on the court, he has to be dribbling or it's a travel. Even in the NBA. So why do we need to combine the words? Just say Player X driving the lane effectively, or dribbling well. Don't tell me he is using the dribble-drive to his advantage.
  • Quarterback of the Power Play: The player in hockey who brings the puck up the ice on a power play. Why do we have to cross mingle our sports. There is no quarterback position in hockey. It's like when someone says a safety in football is playing centerfield. No, he's playing deep or simply playing the safety position.
  • Swagger: A very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner. I blame the New York Jets for the rise of this term in the sports world. When Rex Ryan was brought on to coach the Jets, it became the popular belief that he brought "swagger" to the team. You couldn't turn on "NFL Live" or any NFL show and not hear an analyst say the Jets got their swagger back last year. Shouldn't you have to win something to become arrogant? At least the AFC East, right?
  • It is what it is: Do I really have to define it? Of course it is what it is. If it wasn't, then it wouldn't be. It would be something else. Sounds like an argument George Carlin would make. He probably did and I just subconsciously stole it from him.
  • They control their own destiny: As long as said team wins, they will make the playoffs. Destiny is defined as a predetermined course of events. If it's predetermined, then no one has control of it. Many journalists and broadcasters also majored in english, yet they constantly use this saying when playoff time rolls around. Maybe it's destiny that we'll be subject to this misuse of the english language for eternity and there is no way of stopping it.
  • Stuff: Usually used to describe a pitcher's skill set. This one can still be saved, but it was killed in Pittsburgh last season. First, there was hearing the Pittsburgh Pirates praise Charlie Morton's "stuff", even though he had an ERA greater than 9. Then it was the people making fun of the Pirates, who were making fun of Morton's "stuff". It never stopped. I heard the word every day on the radio or at the game or wherever I went. 
  • Slugfest: Opponents are playing really physical. Sounds like an annual festival for or celebrating slugs.
  • Dagger: In sports, it means to put a team away. Well, it's supposed to be like a dagger in a the chest, or finishing blow. Gus Johnson has turned it into a common phrase used for any 3-pointer made in March Madness. This includes those made in the opening minutes of the game.
  • Useful shot: A good shot in golf. This one gets 10 times worse when the person uses a Scottish accent when saying it.
Are there any big ones I missed?

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