The Five Worst Football Announcer Cliches



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!)

Now let’s move on to the new crop of football bromides that have sprouted up. You haven’t heard these phrases as much as the previously mentioned group. But trust me, you will get nauseous from hearing these football expressions this season.

“It is what it is.”

Most of the time when I cover a sporting event, they take select player and coach quotes and print them out for the journalists. Way too often I see this phrase! WHY THE HELL DO YOU BOTHER PRINTING THIS STUPID WORTHLESS PHRASE OUT FOR US???

Who in their right mind would ever publish this?

This is what I say to girlfriends when they try to make me express some emotive opinion on some touchy-feely topic I have zero interest in discussing. So there you g0- 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, and 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 style wasted, start a drinking game revolving around this phrase and watch any contest that he is doing play-by-play. Beyond Herbstreit though, 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.

And if you’re in media, you’ll remember never to include these five phrases in your finished product!

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, MSN, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.


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  1. “He can make all the throws.”

  2. paulmbanks says:

    hahhahhahahaha very true!!! how I did I miss that one? it’s really come about in the last couple years!

    thanks ATL,

    say whatsup to Luda and JD for me.

  3. “[Insert Talented Fr/So Player] is growing up right before our eyes”

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