I imagine being a football commentator for a nationally televised game is challenging. Not only do you have to, you know, pay attention to the game, but you must also provide Derrida-level analysis for the whole multi-hour duration. There can be no “dead-air” (that’s what we in the biz call “awkward silence”) and no swearing or off-color jokes. Have you ever tried to watch a football game without yelling an obscenity? It’s goddamn near impossible!
All that said, the difficulty of on-air improvisation does not excuse a lack of intelligence. Simply because a job is hard does not mean that shirking guidelines such as “comprehensibility” and “the English language” is okay. Announcers, I know your job is thankless, but please, please, stop saying…
“Escapability” is not a word. It hasn’t been a word and won’t be a word. The OED isn’t going to add it anytime soon. Maybe American Heritage will, but that’s a crap dictionary for mouth-breathing simpletons and everyone knows it. “Elusiveness”, on the other hand, is a word. “Evasiveness” is also a word! Wow! So next time you need to incorporate a term into your (always bordering on racially insensitive) assessment of how a black quarterback plays, at least pick a word that exists within our Sprache. Weren’t all you ex-players-turned-talking-heads communications majors, anyway?
2) A Player is “Tough”
You mean a guy, braces on each knee and cognitive faculties fuzzy with post-concussion symptoms, playing a vicious collision-based sport that will leave his body so riddled with trauma that he’ll be rendered an invalid by age fifty, is tough? Thanks. I could not have deduced that on my own.
3) A Team’s Offense is “Gimmicky”
I think the term you’re looking for is “strategically superior,” Mr. I’m-Still-Bitter-That-Helmets-Aren’t-Made-of-Leather-Anymore. We get it, back in your day teams played “real” football—predictably running the ball up the middle on three consecutive downs in a demonstration of which coach cared less about their players’ future vertebrae functionality. Well guess what, also back in “your day“ the United States was still segregated and the Internet was non-existent, so why the hell are you so nostalgic? (Interestingly enough, considering the last two points, this brand “real” of football is still revered in the SEC. I’m pretty sure most people down there think “WiFi hotspot” is one of dem dancin’ places for the dagnab ho-mo-sectsuals and less-beins).
4) “I Don’t Believe in Momentum”
What you’re trying to say: “While passion and excitement may seem to influence the outcome of the game, ultimately tactical coaching decisions and on-field talent will be the deciding factors in determining the victor.”
What it sounds like you’re saying: “Isaac Newton was goddamn necromancer.”
(What would be awesome if you were saying: “Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformations really impact our understanding of classical physics, don’t they Kirk Herbstreit?”)
5) “Or-ee-gone” or “Ory-gun”
Not knowing how to pronounce the name of a state that’s been a part of this great country for over 150 freakin’ years is plain inexcusable. We filled your childhood with the best dysentery and cholera based computer game of all time and this is how you repay us?? Rude! Though the uniforms may change from game to game, the pronunciation is consistent. I’m pretty sure that’s how language works. Folks, it’s “Or-uh-ginn.” Say it with me: “Or” as in…”or,” “uh” as in “Uh, do you, uh, notice my speech, uh, fillers at, uh, all?” and “ginn” as in “Gee, Ted Ginn Jr. was great for Ohio State. Do you remember how fast he was?” It ain’t rocket science.
(Speaking of rockets, do you think a Muslim player born with the name Raghib Ramadian Ismail could be nicknamed “Rocket” in current American society? Because I’m guessing that would not fly in our post-9/11, overly politically correct world).
Note: This post originally appeared on my girlfriend’s blog: Hot Diggity Daffodil. You should all go check it out because…because I say so.