We’ve all made fun of the most shopworn of sports cliches, sayings such as “at the end of the day,” “defense wins championships,” “we’re taking it one game at a time,” and “we try not get too high after wins, or too low after the losses.” We all know these phrases make us dumber each time that we hear them. We delete or cut them the instant they are uttered (at least journalists that are trying to at least be half-way competent at their jobs do) because we know they bring “nothing to the table.’ (Had to ironically finish that sentence with a cliche!)
But in football, you have your own set of bromides that have sprouted up.
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To quote the legendary John Facenda, of NFL Films: “there’s glory in this hard muscle life, and there’s poetry in every season made of blood, sweat and strife.” Now, on to the list
“It is what it is.”
Some of the time, when I cover a sporting event, the team takes select player and coach quotes and prints them out for the journalists. Way too often I see this phrase!
WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU BOTHER PRINTING THIS STUPID WORTHLESS PHRASE OUT FOR US???
Who in their right mind would ever publish this? It’s what you say when you DON’T want to talk.
“He’s a beast.”
Well, he’s really not, because you’re describing so many other players by this same exact term.
“He’s a high-motor guy.”
This one came out of nowhere, but now you just HEAR IT NON-STOP these days. I’d write more about it, but I’m getting queasy already. Every time you wrong this phrase upon the mic, you rock upon the mic WRONG!
“He’s good at making plays IN SPACE.”
Whenever I hear this one, I think of bad science fiction: “(insert name of main character here) INNNNNN SPAAAAAAACEEEEE!!!!!!!.” Or the old Daffy Duck cartoons- “Duck Dodgers, in the 24th and a half CENTURY!”
Seriously, I get what you’re trying to say, certain players do things in traffic, in the congestion of the trenches, and then there’s what these players do when in open spacing. I get your point, but it still sounds idiotic.
Because we’re all “in space” of some sort all the time, how do you define that space? It’s all relative man. Whoah broham, that’s deep.
Pass the Funyans man, don’t bogart my stash dude!
“(Insert player name here) must step up”
This is Kirk Herbstreit’s bread-and-butter phrase. If you really want to get Nick Nolte level wasted, start a drinking game revolving around this phrase and watch any contest where he’s doing play-by-play. This phrase is pure tautology anyway. We know the point of this exercise is to be as good as you can be. To “step your game up” as Lil Jon would say.
No need to remind us.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks