Do away with the cliché

I was watching the Indians game (I know, I know, so much for my credibility) a couple of nights ago on the tube. Well, at least I think it was an Indians game, but I’ll be the first to admit that – after watching the Indians kick the ball around the infield like the Keystone Kops – there are times I mistake the Tribe for an episode of "America’s Funniest Home Videos."

Anyway, as the game progressed, I heard Rick Manning and Matt Underwood reference numerous sports clichés over the course of the telecast. This isn’t to pick on the TV crew, as Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus do the very same thing on the radio. Truth be told, tired clichés are now commonplace virtually everywhere in the sporting world. (In fact, at any college worth its salt, I’m pretty sure Clichés 101 is a prerequisite for Basic Announcing Fundamentals: What To Say When You Got Nuthin’.)

I don’t know about you, but there are some clichés which I’ve heard so many times – from so many sources – that my skin begins to crawl before the announcer is even done uttering it. Of course, my reasons for disliking the statement may be radically different from yours. Just the same, let’s look at a few, shall we? For example:

1. “Mistakes will come back to haunt you.” Really going out on a limb there, aren’t we? Let’s see … two errors, three unearned runs, we lose by two. Wow! Has anyone disclosed the parallel to Tito? Want to know what else will come back to haunt you? That cliché, because I changed the channel shortly after realizing that nothing was worth the price of having to listen to that drivel.

2. “He took one for the team.” Oh yeah? Then how come he jumped about 10 feet into the air to try and avoid getting hit by the pitch? That’s like me saying I’m taking one for the team while I’m heading in for a root canal. Sometimes life just throws one a little too far inside to avoid, if you know what I mean. And even if you don’t know what I mean.

3. “It’s gut-check time.” Personally, that happens to me every morning when I try to tighten the belt on my pants. I have no idea what those guys are talking about, but I wish they’d stop bringing it up. Makes me feel self-conscious.

4. “It is what it is.” Remember when Popeye – ever the philosopher – said, “I yam what I yam?” “It is what it is” is about as prolific as that which Popeye gave us. Whenever some guy, who’s getting paid to offer his opinion on something, offers that as the best response he can muster, I search frantically for the mute button. I mean, has anybody ever said, “It isn’t what it is?” Of course not, because it makes no sense … just like this column.

Keep in mind though, that loyal reader(s) know how to keep what I write in perspective. They just remind themselves …

“It is what it is.”

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

Read More on Sporting Views
Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:22 AM, 05.28.2014