The best thing about the NFL Sunday ticket, or having the Direct TV sports package is there is virtually not one single televised football game on any given weekend that I cannot see from the comfort of my own couch. No need to hit a sports bar and pay for overpriced appetizers while being distracted by an annoying waitress. Just some Fruity Pebbles, my remote and me.
The only downside to all of these televised games are the viewers are subjected to a myriad of mediocre at best announcers who are nothing more than programmed cyborg cliché machines that spend the entire broadcast stating the obvious as if it were the original formula for splitting an atom.
Look I understand that there are only so many ways to analyze a football game. But what happened to personality? Or originality? I am not looking for an announcer to go all Larry Merchant and make himself the story, but why not have an honest opinion or a fresh outlook on something? Aren’t the announcers there to educate us the fans? Are they not supposed to point out their observations in such a way that us none professionals can be enlightened?
Just like with hip hop now essentially evolving into “pop” music and everyone from the stock boy at the local grocery store, to the small time weed dealer passing out his demo CD, the talent pool of announcers has been diluted. It has been watered down like a rhino at the zoo. To be blunt, there simply are not that many really good commentators. And as I previously stated with even high school games now being broadcast on ESPN as a regular occurrence you are bound to get some extremely corny incompetent announcers.
But this list isn’t just about the bad announcers, but more so about the universally used catch phrases that seem to permeate through the sports broadcasting sphere. I am not sure if ESPN and Fox Sports and these other channels have off season seminars for all of the on air talent conjugate and agree to over use certain terms or what, but there is no doubt that someone could make a lot of money if they opened a personality driven broadcasting school.
It isn’t even so much that some of the catch phrases don’t make sense or are illogical, but the announcers are either just so bad or so intellectually lazy, or both, to use original examples or phrases to get their point across.
To the list:
1. “Plays like a linebacker”
This is most often used for quarterbacks who aren’t wussy’s. Actually if he played like a linebacker he would be tatted up, wearing a number in the 50’s and be on defense. Quarterbacks are tough, just look at the hits they take. But they are not linebacker tough. It takes a different type of person to run full speed into an equally crazy individual (playing fullback) play after play. Now if you wanted to say for instance Sebastian Janikowski drinks like a linebacker, I think that would be a fair comparison.
2. “The son of a coach”
Code for, lacks talent but is much smarter than his opponents. This is both a compliment and an insult. I think a lot of intelligent players are not given enough credit for the talent they possess, and vise versa, very many gifted athletes are plenty intelligent and work hard.
4. “He has a none stop motor”
Player A plays hard, we get it. But no one, and I mean no one is non-stop all the time. There is a reason guys don’t play both offense and defense and special teams. It is to refuel and you guessed it, rest their motor.
5. “He’s a gunslinger”
What is it with the 350-year-old catch phrases? Who exactly slings a gun again now days? And is that really an admirable trait when describing a quarterback? Brett Favre is the most famous “gunslinger” since Wyatt Earp and look at how many playoff games the Packers and Vikings lost due to his miserable decision making. Yes “gunslingers” are fun to watch, but they will also get the head coach fired, and give the fans a heart attack. Me personally, I would prefer my teams QB to be referred to as a “sniper” or a “surgeon.”
Basically this means a defense changes up its personnel depending upon the down or distance. What is funny about this is, I thought defenses ALWAYS have changed up their personnel depending upon down and distance.
7. “Fast twitch”
This is the term used for fast players now a days. I guess quick, or really fast weren’t specific enough, and every draft expert or wanna be blogger (like myself) who wants to sound like he is an expert falls back on “fast twitch.” When I think of fast twitch, I think of someone with medical condition, not a defensive back in the 3rd round that explodes out of his break.
8. “Scheme versatility”
Basically you have a player that can play multiple positions. I actually do not mind this phrase all that much, but just that in the last year or so it seems everyone at ESPN has been using it. I think Mike Mayock, whom I like a lot, started this. This phrase is his entire fault.
9. “Plays every game like it’s his last.”
And if he keeps playing that way it just might be. Every NFL player makes, as Deion Sanders likes to call them, business decisions. There is reason Mike Vick is always hurt and until now Peyton Manning never was. Peyton plays every play like it is 2nd down.
10. “Shot out of a cannon”
Really? A cannon? It is 2011 right? There aren’t many wars being waged on the high seas of the Atlantic between pirates over stolen treasure is there? So why has this phrase stuck around seemingly forever? Ask yourself this, A) When is the last time you saw an actual canon, and B) When was the last time that thing was actually fired?
11. “SEC speed”
Look, the SEC is the best college football conference in America. I, nor any other breathing mammal with a reading level above Sarah Palin will ever argue this. But announcers fall into the trap of acting like every single player from the SEC is Usain Bolt. Relax already.
Most of the football talent in our country is in the south. There is no disputing that. And the SEC obviously is a southern conference. Furthermore it doesn’t hurt either that the conference is also dirtier than a used sheet of toilet paper and the coaches and boosters will go to absurd lengths to procure said talent at their given school. Every single school, except Vanderbilt, is a scandal waiting to happen. This is not sour grapes from a “northerner” what so ever, but let’s just end the façade and stop acting like everyone is playing on the same terms.
SEC players are fast, but so are the players from all over other parts of the country. Where the SEC truly is dominant is in the trenches. And that really isn’t a speed issue as much as it is a SIZE and speed issue. The skill players from the Big 10 (11/12), Pac 10, and the ACC, and the SEC are all about equal. But on the defensive line where you have true freshman (from the south) stepping on campus at 6’4 285 lb’s and ready to play right away is what separates the SEC from the other leagues across the country.
What phrases did I miss?