Alright, it must be that time of year where the weather turns sour, daylight starts to wane, and I turn into a major grouch, because I'm about to get into some of the headache-inducing, blackboard-scratching, O'Donnel-style assanine phrases that continually spring up during sports analysis in the WWL. Okay, I'll admit, ESPN has generally p*ssed me off lately with their constant questioning of Ohio State's legitimacy atop the rankings, their Boston/LA/Dallas-only website lauches, Mark May/Reece Davis, sweeping the Favre genetalia photo situation under the rug, how they handled The Decision, and how they were 100% spot on with predicting the NLDS outcome (sigh for my Reds).
But there are a few things that come up in pretty much every sporting discussion that have me teetering on whether or not I should renew my cable package to include any sports networks at all or just jump off a bridge and end it. Cliches and worthlessness abound...Here they are, and call me crazy if you wish:
1) Something to the effect of: "If you look at [insert athlete name, team, side of the ball, etc.]..."
What does this mean? You know you've heard it. John Gruden says it pretty much every other sentence during MNF. "When you look at LaDanian Tomlinson/'this guy,' there's a true running back, ain't going down, running hard, just a great football player." Or, "If you look at Ohio State's defense, they are close to tops in the nation in takeaways...." What does this stupid phrase mean? Of course we're looking at them, or, well, we're discussing them. Technically, or literally, we're not looking at them if Todd McShay is just describing what they do with his words. I hate it. It's nonsensical and unnecessary. "If you look at so-and-so, you'll see that..." is alright, but still awful. And now, it is going to annoy you.
2) The word "command" when describing anything.
This is most commonly used when we're talking about what a pitcher does on the mound, or more recently what Brad Childress used in describing what Brett Favre doesn't have. "Roy Halladay had great command." I understand what these former jocks/nerdy analysts are trying to do - they're trying to sound like they're smart. I guess it sounds stronger than "control," but not really. But is it necessary? No one ever says, "he had great command of his tackling." No one says, "he had great command of his jump shot." I think it actually has started to creep into golf (command of his wedges, for example) and it must be stopped at all costs.
3) "It will be interesting to see..."
Oh my God, the mother of all redundant and unnecessary phrases in the world of sports. "It's going to be really interesting to see how this defense matches up with this offense." "I'm interested to see how Terrelle Pryor throws the ball." "It will be very interesting to watch Roy Halladay pitch against Tim Lincecum." No! You're EXCITED to see what happens, not "interested." "Interest" is already implied in the very fact that we're talking about it. If you didn't have an interest in the sport, athlete, or team you are discussing, then you wouldn't have a job discussing sports. And if I didn't have an interest, I wouldn't have turned the channel long ago. I absolutly abhor this phrase.
Alright...that's my rant for today. I hope it finds all of you in good spirits, because you'll probably hear each of these phrases every 3.333-repeating, of course, seconds when you turn on SportsCenter or College Gameday in the morning.
GO BUCKEYES!!! IF YOU LOOK AT TERRELLE PRYOR, I'M INTERESTED TO WATCH HIS COMMAND BEAT WISCONSIN!!!! WOO-HOO!!! O-H!