Random News Of The Day: Sports Clichs

Random News Of The Day: Sports Clichs

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011
5:13 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Clichs and sports go hand-in-hand. Ha...exactly. You cant avoid them. A sports clich can be heard on every pregame show in America. Or every postgame show. Or in the game itself. And Im sure youll see them in quotes in the paper the next morning. In fact, according to sportscliche.com, there are approximately 1,180 known sports clichs making the rounds across America. They list ones found in every sport, every interview session and in any kind of game situation from the first play to the final whistle:

The coach has been under fire.This game is a slugfest. He brings a lot to the table.We need a clean slate.They've answered the call.A win is a win.

Unfortunately, sports clichs are a byproduct of todays politically correct landscape and the overall sanitization of the sporting world (see also: rules and regulations, NFL). It's probably one of the reasons why Jets' head coach Rex Ryan has stood out so much. His comments have been anything but sanitary...especially when they involve feet. He said this to the New York media yesterday:

"This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan," addressing the upcoming showdown in Foxborough, Mass. "There's no question, it's personal. It's about him against myself. That's what it's going to come down to."

You don't hear somebody calling out one of the most successful coaches in NFL history every day. But it's refreshing to hear. Yes, it's brash and a little stupid. But it's a nice change. And what is wrong with a little smack-talking before a big game? It's these kinds of things that draw big TV ratings.

But generally speaking, sports quotes have become as predictable and exciting as a summer vacation with your parents. For two weeks. In North Dakota. Athletes are "coached" by media experts to give quotes that, not only blur the X's and O's on the field, but ones that appear off the field as well (enter the term "damage control" for those who slip up). The safe harbor is the standard sports clich. You know-- sentences that end in, "...we gotta do what we gotta do." Or, "we just have to play our game." And I can't really blame anyone for this. I mean, if I ran a team I wouldn't want any members of my organization serving up a hot plate of bulletin board material for the opposition either.

Maybe all we need is some balance.

Since we cant eliminate all 1,180 sports clichs from the public lexicon right away, I figure we can eliminate (or maybe, alter) the worst of em. Here are five clichs that either need to be altered or put out of their misery:
A Must-Win-Game Alternative: Its A Must-Win-Game...Until We Clinch Something And Can Rest Our Starters

Every game is a must-win. So why even say it? It's a cringe-worthy sports clich. Reporters shouldn't even bring up the subject in the first place. Herm Edwards could tell you a thing or two about that. Let's face it, losing isnt all that popular and the only time that ties are acceptable are in soccer and on Fathers Day. Winning is a must. If you don't do it, you're waived, traded or fired.

The Queen song We Will Rock YouAlternative: Anything Else.

We have to remember that sports clichs arent just limited to what players or announcers say. Its everything that surrounds the game, too. We Will Rock You is the musical equivalent of leftover meatloaf on a Monday night after a long day at work. No matter how you slice it or spice it up, its still leftover meatloaf. The Bulls made the Chicago Stadium rock in the 80s when this song played. Now, every franchise in America is playing it. Note: when you see fans reacting to this song the way an audience would at a routine village board meeting, its time to think about changing the arena music. Also on the clich list: We Are The Champions, YMCA and anything off Jock Jams Volumes 1 & 2.

We Brought Our A GameAlternative: We Brought Our C game. Or Our B Game. Even Our A- Game

Did your team score 15 runs without one of the batters striking out? Or did you play a complete 48-minute NBA game without one player drawing a foul? Or a 60-minute hockey game without one penalty or goal given up? Did your team make every single tackle or block? If so, you brought your A game. But by and large, many teams that win games fall into the B- to B range. They make mistakes but still do enough to win games. Thats normal. The 96 Bulls and 85 Bears are the only teams that could get away with bringing their A-game in interviews. But sports teams mirror the American society: a microscopic amount of winners, an overwhelming amount of .500 teams and a good amount of losers. I mean, would it hurt if someone actually came out and said, Yeah we got flagged 10 times but still won 28-17. Pencil us in for bringing our B- game today. Nobody gets hurt when you tell the truth, folks.
Were Taking It One Game At A TimeAlternative: We Know We Have The (Fill-In-The-Blank-Superpower Team) Lurking, But Were Still Going To Take Care Of Business Tonight. Dont Worry About It.

Thing is, this quote only works a few seconds before the game starts. You dont want to anger the opponent. But the one game at a time clich is the most boring of the lot. Its so mundane and predictable. But you can only blame the athlete so much. A lot of the scowling should go towards the reporter who fuels the one game at a time answer by asking a stupid question like, If you take care of these guys tonight, you could have a ton of momentum going into a tough stretch of games, so how big would a win be here?" Psssh. Weak. Heres a quote Id like to see an athlete make after a question like that:

Athlete: Were playing a bunch of chumps tonight. I know it and you know it. But we both know that mailing it in doesnt look good on camera. We all need good stats and TV ratings. And the W needs to be seen in the standings. So, truthfully, were probably going to go at 85 speed tonight. If we get a big lead, we take that down to 50. Hopefully our coach has pulled us out of the game by then because we, just like you, have circled the game against (Team X) on the calendar when the schedule came out. Deep down, were absolutely looking ahead to that gameeven though we wont admit it. Were human too.
(Finger Pointing) Were Number One!Alternative: Sitting Down And Facing Front

Colgate (1-13) plays Lafayette (5-11) in a marquee Patriot League game on Wednesday night. Im guessing that the fans of these two esteemed basketball powerhouses have a few brain cells among them. I can't imagine that these rooters would find the nearest camera and pointshout, Were Number One! at it. Right? Lets hope not. Sadly, it happens more than it should. Fans of weak teams have a hard time comprehending reality. Only one team can say they're number one, folks. So, to the fans of the aforementioned Raiders and Leopards: dork it up. Both of your college basketball RPI rankings are in the 300s (Colgate is ranked 333 out of 346 possible NCAA teams). How about finding a camera and hand-signaling a 333 towards the camera? I would expect this kind of smart, realistic behavior from a school on the eastern seaboard. Have fun with it!

Of course, there are limits to all of this. Every soundbite cant just go from clich to unique (take the "Boom Goes The Dynamite" kid for example). And trying to become the next Rex Ryan would be going too far. In fact, is it just me or is Rex Ryan turning into the best man that gives the way-too-personal awkward wedding toast? The Jets P.R. staff would be the bride and groom, shaking their heads and looking for the nearest microphone power cord. I just hope Rex Ryan doesn't turn into a cliche himself. He's probably already there. One way that he could fix all of that is if he actually goes out, backs up his words --and bravado-- and outcoaches Bill Belichick.

Now there's a must-win game.

Or something like that.

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

How Indians regrouped and reloaded after losing unforgettable Game 7 to Cubs

MESA, Ariz. — As Major League Baseball officials responded to an unbelievably timed rain delay, Cleveland president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti huddled in a suite beneath Progressive Field and recognized what he saw in Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer after nine innings in a World Series Game 7.

"(We're) trying to figure out: Hey, what's going to happen here? How long are we going to have to wait? Are we going to have to pick up this game tomorrow?" Antonetti said. "I remember the look on both Jed and Theo's faces — it was the same as mine — just like exhaustion and fatigue and angst."

Soon enough, Epstein would be standing in the visiting dugout, his black suit completely drenched, winging it through a CSN Chicago postgame show interview: "Jed's in charge. I'm going on a bender."

However Cleveland fans processed the 10th inning — at least LeBron James had already delivered the city's first major sports title since 1964 — the Indians regrouped and reloaded as one of the favorites to win the 2017 World Series.

Danny Salazar — who hadn't built himself back up to full strength by the Fall Classic — threw two scoreless innings during Sunday afternoon's 1-1 tie in front of a sellout crowd at Sloan Park in Mesa. The Indians also survived and advanced into early November without frontline starter Carlos Carrasco (broken right pinkie finger) throwing a single playoff pitch or All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder complications) playing beyond May.

But the Indians didn't just sit back in their comfort zone this winter and simply hope for good medical reports and assume their young core players would improve. Sensing an opportunity, Cleveland swooped in around Christmastime and made a three-year, $60 million commitment to Edwin Encarnacion, who put up 42 homers and 127 RBIs last season for the Blue Jays, weakening the team that lost the American League Championship Series.

"It certainly has a positive impact on the momentum that we established and revenue heading into the following season," Antonetti said. "But I still think beyond that, it's been a big leap of faith by our ownership to really step out beyond what may make sense, just looking at where our projections might be.

"It's really a belief in our fan base that they'll continue to support our team and build on the momentum from last year."

Cleveland already paid the price for Andrew Miller — the Yankees wanted Kyle Schwarber or Javier Baez from the Cubs as a starting point last summer — and now control the game-changing reliever for two more pennant races. The Indians also invested $6.5 million in Boone Logan — a reliever the Cubs had monitored closely — when the lefty specialist lingered on the open market until early February.

Between the future Hall of Fame manager (Terry Francona), a Cy Young Award winner (Corey Kluber), the young All-Star shortstop (Francisco Lindor) and the dude from Glenbrook North (Jason Kipnis), Cleveland has way too much talent to be consumed with what could have been in Game 7.

"Hopefully, our guys learned from all of their experiences," Antonetti said. "They went through a lot last year. But I think at the same time, we have an appreciation and realize how hard it is to win, and how hard it was to get to the postseason.

"Continuing that mindset — and remembering what helped us get there — will benefit our guys the most. They'll reflect back and realize we didn't just show up and end up in the postseason and in the World Series. We started that work on Day 1 of the offseason and Day 1 in spring training."

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

Kurt Busch steals a monster of a win in Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Kurt Busch had a monster start to the season with a last-lap pass to win the crash-filled Daytona 500.

Busch is sponsored by Monster Energy, which kicked off its first season as the title sponsor for NASCAR's top series Sunday with the season-opener. It wasn't NASCAR finest moment, though, as multiple accidents pared down the field and had a mismatched group of drivers racing for the win at the end.

"The more that becomes unpredictable about Daytona, the more it becomes predictable to predict unpredictability," Busch said. "This car's completely thrashed. There's not a straight panel on it. The strategy today, who knew what to pit when, what segments were what. Everybody's wrecking as soon as we're done with the second segment.

"The more that I've run this race, the more that I just throw caution to the wind, let it rip and just elbows out. That's what we did."

It appeared to be pole-sitter Chase Elliott's race to lose, then he ran out of gas. So did Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Paul Menard. As they all slipped off the pace, Busch sailed through for his first career Daytona 500 victory.

It also was the first Daytona 500 win for Stewart-Haas Racing, which is co-owned by Tony Stewart. The three-time champion retired at the end of last season and watched his four cars race from the pits.

"I ran this damn race (17) years and couldn't win it, so finally won it as an owner," Stewart said.

Ryan Blaney finished second in a Ford. AJ Allmendinger was third in a Chevrolet, and Aric Almirola was fourth for Richard Petty Motorsports.

The win was a huge boost for Ford, which lured Stewart-Haas Racing away from Chevrolet this season and celebrated the coup with its second Daytona 500 victory in three years. Joey Logano won in a Ford in 2015.

The first points race of the Monster era was run under a new format that split the 500 miles into three stages. Kyle Busch won the first stage, Kevin Harvick won the second stage and neither was a contender for the win. NASCAR also this year passed a rule that gave teams just five minutes to repair any damage on their cars or they were forced to retire.

But the race was slowed by wreck after wreck after wreck, including a 17-car accident at the start of the final stage that ended the race for seven-time and reigning series champion Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick. It was a particularly rough incident for Patrick and her Stewart-Haas Racing team, which had all four of its cars collected in the accident.

"Just seems like that could have been avoided and was uncalled for," Johnson said of the aggressive racing behind him that triggered the accident.