|The List: Sports clichés that must go|
Page 2 staff
This week Page 2 posts our list of 10 sports clichés that simply must go. We know our readers are hard-nosed veterans, who can flat out play ... this one is ours to lose.
1. "Shock the world" (recent variant: "Surprise the world")
Shopkeeper in London: "Can you believe what a show the Cavaliers are putting on every night?"
Visitor from Nairobi: "Believe me, I'm surprised, as are most people in Kenya, and, from what I hear, people the world over."
Note to players, broadcasters, and sportswriters: Most of the world isn't aware, and doesn't care.
2. "He's got to step up now" (variant: "Somebody else has to step up now")
An insult to factory workers, farmers, coal miners, small businessmen and millions of others who bust their butts every day just to make ends meet.
Most of the hundreds of athletes to whom a great "work ethic" has been attributed devote almost their entire lives to sports, and if they're pros, they can afford to. We know that most pro athletes have worked very, very hard to get to where they are, and work very, very hard to stay there. But in the end, they're playing a game, and making millions for it.
We understand the appeal of this idea goes back to our Puritan forefathers, but hearing over and over again about the work ethic of overpaid athletes is almost (but not quite) as sickening as hearing about how hard (name your celeb actor/actress here) "works."
4. "You can feel the electricity ... "
Yes, we know. Teams have to score to win. But here's a question: Can you "generate some defense"?
6. "Statistics can be misleading"
7. "They know how to win" (Variant: "He knows what it takes to win")
8. "They have to come together as a team"
Almost always applied to underdogs, post-facto their winning season (example: Anaheim Angels). No evidence whatsoever that, if such a thing exists, it makes much of a difference. Example a: The 23+1+1 Giants had mediocre-to-sucky chemistry, but made it to Game 7 of the World Series Example b: Tinker and Evers hated each other's guts, but turned the best double play in the game. Example c: Billy Bob and Angelina had great chemistry, but we know how that turned out.
10. "You can't say enough about him"
Also receiving votes: