Here’s 5 more cliches that must be retiredPublished 12:01am Sunday, April 14, 2013
A couple of years ago, I brought attention to a pet peeve of mine — sports clichés.
In that writeup, I listed five sports clichés that do not play. In other words, if those clichés were said to me during an interview, whether by a player, coach or fan, I didn’t intend to translate them from the notebook to the story.
All types of journalists, whether they work in sports or news, despise clichés. They rarely tell us anything, and they’re often little more than go-to phrases when people simply run out of original things to say.
It’s not that I don’t understand what’s trying to be conveyed by clichés. (Well, except for the awful “he/she plays the game the right way.” That one is totally useless.) But can we not come up with better ways to articulate what we mean?
Unlike the first time around, this time I will be providing suggestions as to what can be said instead of just throwing around the typical jargon that’s usually heard.
So, here’s five more sports clichés that should be retired — sooner, rather than later:
- “We’re taking it one game at a time.”
It is literally impossible to take games any other way than “one game at a time.” You cannot play more than one game at once.
Instead, try saying something like this: “We can’t worry about (insert team we play several weeks away) right now. We have to get ready for (insert team we play next) and totally focus on those guys/girls.”
- “We have to bring our A-game.”
Well, yeah. If you bring your B, C, D, E or F game, that means your initial game plan was left in the locker room, and now you’re scrambling to figure out what to do.
Or did you mean to say, “We cannot afford to take this team for granted. We have to play like we’re capable and not sleepwalk”? In that case, just say that instead.
- “He/she is a warrior.”
Then suit him or her up with full body armor, make sure he or she is equipped with a sword and shield, then move them to the front lines. Those evil district opponents will surely stand no chance against our very own William Wallace or Joan of Arc.
My suggestion: Just say so-and-so is an excellent and passionate player whom their teammates rally around.
- “We left it all on the court/field.”
Eventually, you’d better clean up the mess, because you’ve got to turn around and play a game on that same court/field in just a few days.
Saying that we all fought hard and gave 100 percent will suffice. And please, don’t say you gave more than 100 percent. As we established last time, that’s physically impossible. One hundred is the maximum percentage.
- “I want to thank God for helping us win today.”
One word: No.
You can thank God for blessing you with athletic ability. You can thank God for blessing you with good athletes or good coaches. You can even thank God that you didn’t suffer a serious injury while playing.
But make no mistake — God does not care who wins and loses games. He’s got much more important things to worry about.
Personally, I’ll be thanking God that you’re reading this — and hopefully taking heed to what I said.