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November 18, 2012

"NFL broadcasting cliches will come back to haunt you"

Norman Chad comments on some of the worst of announcer-speak. Two examples:

“He is able to walk off the field under his own power.” How else do you walk off the field? Heck, you never hear about somebody “walking away from a meeting under his own power” or “walking away from a marriage under his own power.”

“He’s deceptively quick.” How can you tell?


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Joe R.

A personal baseball favorite from (mostly) years ago:

"That ball in the gap picks up speed as it hits the Astroturf"

(AKA Tony Kubek defying the laws of physics.)


They have cushy jobs and they want very much to hold onto these jobs so they think they have to say SOMETHING, no matter how mindless. Phil Mushnick of the NY Post is very good at skewering these gasbags. There was one NFL game many years ago with no announcers. I'll have more of that please.

IMO two of the absolute worst (and two of the most popular) were/are John Madden in football and Tim McCarver in baseball.


My favorite is from college football - "that's what college football is all about".

When its said - its never actually what college football is all about - if fact its often the opposite of what college football is all about.

I've seen it used when some player does work with charity (but there are no shortage of players performing criminal acts) or a player with a solid GPA in a real course of study finally manages to make a play (but at UNC the players can pass courses that don't meet).

BTW, I'm still waiting for the electrical engineering major to make a play.

"Pin your ears back" is my least favorite announce expression.


My wife's favorite [and neither of us pays much attention to sports any more] is "he's got great foot speed. She wondered what would happen if the foot speed wasn't matched by great leg speed. Would he get broken ankles, or would he just gradually have his body leaning further and further back as his feet got ahead of his legs?


Actually, you can walk off a field with someone giving you a helping hand for support ...


"How else do you walk off the field?"

With someone helping you.

"''He’s deceptively quick.' How can you tell?"

Because I am not the object of the deception. Same way it's easy to tell when a friend is being had and not listening when you tell them that.

And so we find that announcer-speak is neither inaccurate or stupid, but merely colorful.


How about repetitious to the point of cliche? And as such, an insult to intelligence.

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