sports / the musings of the boyfriend

5 Phrases Football Announcers Should Stop Using

Sometimes, when I’m not in her doghouse for having an “incorrect opinion” on something, my girlfriend allows me to post on Hot Diggity Daffodil. Today we shall discuss the inane phrases that permeate football commentary. Enjoy!

I imagine being a football commentator for a nationally televised game is challenging. Not only do you have to, you know, pay attention to the game, but you must also provide Derrida-level analysis for the whole multi-hour duration. There can be no “dead-air” (that’s what we in the biz call “awkward silence”) and no swearing or off-color jokes. Have you ever tried to watch a football game without yelling an obscenity? It’s fucking near impossible!

All that said, the difficulty of on-air improvisation does not excuse a lack of intelligence. Simply because a job is hard does not mean that shirking guidelines such as “comprehensibility” and “the English language” is okay. Announcers, I know your job is thankless, but please, please, stop saying…

1) “Escapability”
Escapability” is not a word. It hasn’t been a word and won’t be a word. The OED isn’t going to add it anytime soon. Maybe American Heritage will, but that’s a shit dictionary for mouth-breathing simpletons. “Elusiveness”, on the other hand, is a word. “Evasiveness” is also a word! Wow! So next time you need to incorporate a term into your (always bordering on racially insensitive) assessment of how a black quarterback plays, at least pick a word that exists within our Sprache. Weren’t all you ex-players-turned-talking-heads communications majors anyway?

2) A Player is “Tough”
You mean a guy, braces on each knee and cognitive faculties fuzzy with post-concussion symptoms, playing a vicious collision-based sport that will leave his body so riddled with trauma that he’ll be rendered an invalid by age fifty, is tough? Thanks. I could not have deduced that on my own.

3) A Team’s Offense is “Gimmicky”
I think the term you’re looking for is “strategically superior,” Mr. I’m-Still-Bitter-That-Helmets-Aren’t-Made-of-Leather-Anymore. We get it, back in your day teams played “real” football—predictably running the ball up the middle on three consecutive downs in a demonstration of which coach cared less about their players’ future vertebrae functionality. Well guess what, also back in “your day“ the United States was still segregated and the Internet was non-existent, so why the hell are you so nostalgic? (Interestingly enough, considering the last two points, this brand of football is still revered in the SEC. I’m pretty sure most people down there think “WiFi hotspot” is one of dem dancin’ places for the dagnab ho-mo-sexuals and less-beins).

4) “I Don’t Believe in Momentum”
What you’re trying to say: “While passion and excitement may seem to influence the outcome of the game, ultimately tactical coaching decisions and on-field talent will be the deciding factors in determining the victor.”
What it sounds like you’re saying: “Isaac Newton was goddamn necromancer.”
(What would be awesome if you were saying: “Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformations really impact our understanding of classical physics, don’t they Kirk Herbstreit?”)

5) “Or-ee-gone” or “Ory-gun”
Yes, this is a petty pet peeve (unlike, obviously, the rest of this list). Yes, it honestly doesn’t really matter what you call us when we’re scoring 45 points in the first half against whatever defense is unlucky enough to play us that week. However, not knowing how to pronounce the name of a state that’s been a part of this great country for over 150 freakin’ years is plain inexcusable. We filled your childhood with the best dysentery and cholera based computer game of all time and this is how you repay us?? Rude! It’s “Or-uh-ginn.” Say it with me: “Or” as in…”or,” “uh” as in “Uh, do you notice my speech, uh, fillers at, uh, all?” and “ginn” as in “Gee, Ted Ginn Jr. was great for Ohio State; remember how fast he was?” It ain’t rocket science, folks.

(Speaking of rockets, do you think a Muslim player born with the name Raghib Ramadian Ismail could be nicknamed “Rocket” in current American society? Because I’m guessing that would not fly in our post-9/11, overly politically correct world).


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