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Friday Happy Hour: Phrases We Can Live Without


So we head into the bye week, and maybe you, like me, enjoy watching sport shows in general, and all things football. After watching enough television, you tend to hear similar analysis. Well, a few tidbits from the experts are starting to really irritate me. Now, I can appreciate the difficulty of talking for three hours a day on radio or analyzing the same plays over and over. Nonetheless, it is a minor complaint I feel is valid. So, here are seven phrases I no longer want to hear when watching football/sports:

1. "They aren’t going to ask him to do too much." This is extremely popular analysis for introducing new or young quarterbacks. This phrase pairs with "they’ll scale down the playbook for him" and "they are going to run the ball to help him out." Really? Put yourself in the shoes of the deposed veteran quarterback for a moment. Is he asking himself, "Why didn’t they ask me to do less? Why didn’t they run the ball for me?" I think what they really mean is that the old quarterback was terrible, we are going to run the same plays but the new quarterback can read and react much faster, so we think he’ll be better. But they never say that. We will hear this a lot concerning Josh Freeman.

2. "We are going to be a physical football team." Really? What coach has ever said, "We are going to play like pansies, but that fits with our strategy and gives us a better chance to win." In reality, physical is a euphemism for better, they are going to try to be better, with better players making smarter plays. How physical is this Bucs team? Raheem went on and on about how we need to be more physical and that’s why they hit so much during camp. How is that working out? They may in fact be more physical than they were last year, but they aren’t as good.

3. "You’ve watched football all day. Can you watch ‘Brothers and Sisters’ with me?" Did I just say that out loud?

4. "It is what it is." Oh, is that what it is? A thought it was what it may have been, should have been, or could have been. How about it is what I said it is, thought it is, want it to be, thought it could be, or hoped it could be? Am I writing a football article or singing an Avril Levigne song.

5. "This guy just wins football games." Ah, the classic Jeff Garcia analysis. Does the quarterback win by himself? Personally, I think the two most important positions in football are quarterback and defensive tackle, but you can win with only one, neither, or lose with both. The total team determines success, yet your average sports analyst is too lazy or thinks you are too dumb to handle thought provoking analysis. Jeff Garcia won quite a bit when he played for defensive minded football teams that routinely held opponents to low scores. This allowed the inconsistent Garcia to win by leading one or two key scoring drives. Garcia was a good quarterback, but not able to carry a franchise. Ask the Browns or Lions how much of a "winner" Garcia was? I know he had no talent around him on those teams, but that just reinforces my point: he’s not a winner, he’s a nice component on a top notch defensive team. Plus, they don’t ask him to do too much on those teams. AHHHHH!

6. "Brian Cashman does a wonderful job." What does he do? He allows the Royals, Indians, or (insert small market club here) to scout for him, waits for the best players to become unrestricted free agents, and writes the largest check possible. Is that talent? Really, baseball is no longer a contest where franchises draft and develop players to build competitive rosters and see who is the best. Rather, it is an economic competition. No on doubts that New York is an economic hub of this country, full of many large, profitable businesses with money to burn on marketing and advertising to the huge metro population. That amount of money ends up on their baseball diamond. So it is not an athletic competition. That means that Brain Cashman is a human ATM, not a great general manager. A million other baseball guys could achieve the same success in that situation.

7. "There aren’t too may plays in the playbook for 3rd and 18." On first down, the quarterback overthrew a go route. How about that play? Doesn’t every single route package have some guy going deep? I’ve never seen an NFL receiver incapable of running deep, except for Keyshawn Johnson. Maybe the deep routes are harder to hit because the linebackers play deeper in coverage, allowing underneath routes short of the first down and eliminating the space between linebackers and safeties. Of course, that’s harder to say than "Not many plays for this." Just sayin’….

At any rate, I still enjoy football and sports, but please stop using these phrases. What phrases are you tired of hearing?