Seven Things To Stop Saying
It was a bad weekend, what with the coach shuffling, basketball getting the woodshed treatment from Iowa, and the hockey team splitting yet again. So instead of talking about sports I'm just going to be meta-mean. Enjoy. PS: this gets a Unsuitable for Children, The Elderly, And Those With Heart Conditions Swearing Alarm.
I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.
This was mildly funny for two weeks in the middle of 2003. Now it is grounds for a visit from the cock-punching robot.
Provenance: Internet message boards.
Category: I think I'm funny... I'm not.
...also: "just a hunch."
I realize it's the size of Volkswagen, but shut the fuck up about it, okay? Your gut is not particularly well informed about the outcome of sporting events. The reason you reference your gut is to absolve yourself from any responsibility to back up your statement with those funny things called "reasons." Therefore, by definition, your statement is useless. You are wasting the lives of everyone who scans your subject line and should have a starving squirrel taped to your scrotum.
Please do us all a favor: the next time your gut decides to get chatty, punch it.
Provenance: Internet message boards, Aaron Taylor
Category: Maybe if I tell you this post is useless it's okay... it isn't.
... which probably exists on some level, but is referenced eighty times a game whenever two colleges meet in any competitive endeavor, even if there are no seniors present. A way to fill two hours of airtime when you have no ability to watch the game in front of you and provide interesting commentary on it. I know Daniel Horton is a senior. I know he's playing much better. Your job, Mr. D-List Color Guy, is to tell me things I don't know.
Provenance: Mr. D-List Color Guy
Category: Oh God, oh God, oh God... I have to say something.
When the moon is gibbous, Team X is 12-3
... or any random statistic provided without any context.
Is that good? Is that bad? Tell me what the average winning percentage is! And stop scouting for nonsensical low-sample statistics (record when TE Jeb Putzier scores a touchdown: 8-0) that tell us nothing in the larger context of the game. I like stats. I just think they should be used to tell us something about the sport instead of how TV people like any shiny bauble they come across. The frequency with which these little anomalies are discovered--a dozen per game, it seems like--indicates that they aren't meaningful.
Provenance: Television announcers.
Category: We have a database and we're damn well going to use it.
Playing with Heart/Pride/Intensity/Etc.
Another in the long line of "things ex-jocks say." Asserting that a team cares more may have some validity in certain circumstances (say, a regular season NBA game against Atlanta) but has ballooned into a monster that cannot be stopped. Especially egregious is postgame analysis that boils down to "I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but they looked like crap." Sometimes teams get beaten for tangible reasons, too.
Provenance: Everywhere that loses.
Category: I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm really, really mad.
I'm about as easily offended as the Antichrist, but this particular noun drives me up the wall. It gets employed whenever some mouth-breather who wants Coach X FIIIIIIRED decides to fight the good fight against his opposition, be they real or imagined. The mouth-breather will launch into a tirade about the "Lloyd Apologists," to use an example particularly relevant to the current zeitgeist, while giving no thought to how the term leaked into the sports lexicon and from where.
Kids, "apologist" is a political word used by horribly dull people to describe other horribly dull people. The ADL labels Holocaust revisionists "apologists." Muslim activist groups label the ADL "Israeli apologists." George Orwell busts it out irregularly:
In our age, the idea of intellectual liberty is under attack from two directions. On the one side are its theoretical enemies, the apologists of totalitarianism, and on the other its immediate, practical enemies, monopoly and bureaucracy.
If you use the word apologist in regards to people who think football coaches should not be fired you pick up all those overheated political connotations and you sound like an idiot, probably because you are. This may seem strange coming from a man who has an sports blog, but here goes: it's just not that important.
Provenance: Internet message boards.
Category: I think impressive words mask the shallowness of my argument... they don't.
Drinking the Koolaid
The #1 reason Jim Rome's body should be chopped into thousands of pieces, burned, and hidden away in catacombs at the seven corners of the world lest he return and inflict a new dark age of sports talk radio upon us. Rome uses it to dismiss the arguments of those who disagree with him by comparing them Jim Jones' cult. The assertion is that the person being accused of said drinking has been brainwashed to the point of madness by his team allegiance; ironically, the scores of his fucking clones who have spread out across the globe parroting their dark lord's most annoying gift to the world are more akin to Peoples' Church members than those they accuse.
If I ever get around to chiseling the Ten Sports Commandments on hunks of granite, I will come down from the mountain to find the Israelites gathered around a golden radio, listening to "Rome is Burning." I shall smite them and then scribble in the Eleventh Sports Commandment: thou shall not suffer a clone to live.
Category: I need a bullet in my head. Now.