Top 15 Dumbest Sports Cliches

Why bother interviewing (most) athletes? They obviously don’t enjoy it and there’s rarely anything interesting said. The answers have to be boring and safe otherwise someone out there gets offended and a retraction has to follow. There’s already a ridiculous amount of coverage, so do we really need to hear a few predictable quotes? They’re paid very well to be the top athletes in the world, not to be well-spoken. Get the reporters out of the locker room and let these guys enjoy some peace after a hard fought contest. The players can do their talking in the game.

 But of course that won’t happen. Around the clock, 24-hour sports networks are starving for anything new to report. Intense markets cover every practice, hoping for anything slightly different from the regular routine to provide the semblance of an article.

It’s not just the athletes spewing out cliches, but the sports broadcasters/journalists providing CNN-like coverage.

Football has to be the worst. With a week or more between games, there’s far too much time to fill. Analysts go down the rabbithole to bring out obscure and specific facts relating to the upcoming game. “As you can see, Oakland has a 23% chance of winning on Tuesdays when the humidity is at least 80%, but if there’s a Republican president, that number could double!”

Sports personalities have been over-interviewed to death yet are not allowed to say anything controversial for fear of blowing up the internet. This has resulted in a sports vocabulary devolved into a few catch phrases that every fan has heard a few thousand times too many.

Who is gaining from this? It’s not entertaining for the listener, and the speaker definitely seems to consider it ‘work’. Only the media outlets that have something to fill the time and the advertisers showing commercials in between the coverage.

It’s time to loosen up on what these poor guys and gals can say, or just cut it out altogether. Our culture as a whole needs to stop thinking we have the right to instantly be offended and/or judge every single thing people say. We demand instant information and opinion but only want to see what makes us happy at that moment. The power of being an anonymous commenter does not make it ok to viciously lash out.

Let’s change the world, one cliche at a time!

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17 Honorable Mentions:

16 Sleeper

via thejoesweeney.com

We all understand what it means but the word makes little actual sense. Is the player or team asleep and then wakes up at the last second to win? That doesn’t sound like an underdog to me. In fact, it sounds more like they had so much skill they could sleep the majority of the way through before pulling off the “sleeper” win!

Does it mean the opposition was “asleep” to the threat of the sleeper? Like those 3-4 spiders we swallow every year while we sleep actually killing us?

This word has lost all real meaning and has just become a part of sports vocabulary.

Physical Specimen

15 We’re gonna take it one game at a time

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Sure you are. You should also bring in a special sports hypnotist to make the players think every game is the last while you’re at it. Sports seasons are usually too long. Baseball, hockey, and basketball are especially tedious. We know the players have a sag point just like we do, there’s no need to lie about it.

Also, no team has ever managed to play two games at a time.

14 Bread and Butter

via wikimedia.org

Have you ever seen anyone eat just bread and butter? You must have since bread and butter is really the bread and butter of… Don’t people hate carbs and bread now? Isn’t the craze to use coconut oil spread on a dehydrated piece of kale instead?

The allure of this phrase is the alliteration. Bread and butter is as smooth as butter on bread. It will never die.

13 Pull out all the stops

via brainlesstales.com

What is this describing exactly? Is it the perfect bus route? Not perfect if you’re the guy with the stop at the end and this awful driver is pulling out alllllll the stops. This phrase has been uttered so many times that the individual words no longer have meaning. It might as well become just one word.

Any broadcaster using this is definitely not 'pullingoutallthestops' when it comes to being creative.

12 Workhorse

via cnbc.com

The population of cities continues to grow. Children grow up with an ipad in their hands never seeing an actual horse, let alone one doing any kind of work. The rate of animals becoming extinct and our wonderful impact on the planet means we’ll probably find a way to kill off the horses within 20 years anyway. Unless we run out of fossil fuel first, and then those old workhorses will start looking PRETTY nice.

11 Go-to guy

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is actually pretty useful, if you happen to be teaching a child to read. Team needs guy, guy on team, go to guy. You’d think years of school and experience as a professional broadcaster in the art of communication could advance past see spot run.

This is yet another case of alliteration addiction. They’ll never give this one up, it’s their go-to.

10 Threw him under the bus

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I’d love to know the origins of this one. Could it date back to an urban legend that in 1923 when coach Dickie Clydesdale of the Newport Gents threw his star player under a bus after a bad performance? The bus driver unknowingly crushed the player to death in front of the whole team. Coach Clydesdale just stared at the shocked players and said “Maybe next time it’s YOU who get’s thrown under the bus!”. A sad day for some, but a GREAT day for the future of sports journalism!

9 On the same page

via brainlesstales.com

Don’t you hate it when you’re sharing a book with someone and you’re not on the same page? Of course you don’t because that’s never happened. Of course we get the metaphor, but it’s been overused to death and it needs to go. Instead of being on the same page, why not the whole book, or even an entire series of novella. Would it make a team run more smoothly if they were both into the Twilight series at the same time? Or would the dressing room be divided into vampire and werewolf fans?

8 Buying-in

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Of course we all know that this means the players or fans agree with the philosophy of the coach/team. But can we ditch the “buying” word? It makes the coach sound like he’s selling time-share condos. I want to think of my team’s coach as a wise and guiding hand, not a silver-tongued huckster pulling a fast one on his roster.

If the players all buy in and they still lose does that make it a ponzi scheme?

7 Down the stretch

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

How does the last section of a season get called a stretch? I assume it’s from horse racing or some other depression-era pastime. Did they use to stretch out the final portion to increase excitement? Is it because the fans stretch their necks to check out the final climax? ‘Down the stretch’ has taken a firm grip as no easy substitution exists. We don’t need another LeBron or Tiger, we need an athlete who can transcend ‘down the (bloody) stretch!’

6 On top of his game

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Not AT the top of their game, but on top of it. Like it’s a misbehaved child or pet that you need to keep your eye on, lest it get away. Players are not babysitters or prison guards. Do their games go astray, get tattooed and join gangs? If one player is not on top of his game can that influence another’s game to get out from under them? Who knows, because this line makes no sense.

5 Matchup

via twittter.com/espn

We’ve heard this word countless times, yet describing it is impossible. There is no match-down. They are having a match, and then we stick the word ‘up’ in for good measure. We wouldn't say, "I'm having a dinner matchup with my wife" or "I'm having a matchup of hide and seek with my kid". Why do sports seem to feel they have to throw in 'up'? I can see two teams ‘stacking up’ the same way I might literally stack my DVD collection next to yours, but match……

4 Coming-out party

via urpride.ca

I love this one. Nothing like crowning a player with this harmless phrase. Sports fans don’t look at this one twice when they see it. They’ve seen it a million times and universally understand it as a player’s first high-level season/game. Of course that’s not how non-sports fans see it. Think of a front-page claiming “Things get hot in Miami as LeBron James finally has his coming-out party”. Although if LeBron did have that kind of a coming-out, it would accelerate the topic of homosexuals in professional sports by tenfold.

3 Hot seat

via imageingeconomics.com

 Where in the world did this come from? Did they use to motivate decision making by setting your chair on fire?

How I would react to a hot seat really depends on the situation. Living in Canada, a hot seat in the winter would be welcomed. Hockey parents freezing their rear-ends off sitting in cold ice-rinks for early morning practices would pay great money for a hot seat.

A hot seat in a gentlemen's club sounds like the best seat in the house, although it's most likely behind a curtain and quite expensive. About the only time a hot seat sounds unpleasant is perhaps driving in a car on a hot summer day with leather seats and no air conditioning

2 Best of both worlds

via wikimedia.org

If we could find a planet with the atmosphere of Earth and the built-in jokes of Uranus then we'd really have the best of both worlds. How did world become such a thrown around term? It's a WORLD! It's everything. Sure some get to space walk, but they eventually come back to the world they were born in (and will be buried in).

I suppose a short basketball player with unreal hops combines the size and orbital speed of Mercury with the low-gravity of Mars, truly the best of both worlds. (actually in this case Mercury is the owner of both, but as TheSportster is 'the most entertaining sports site in the world', I truly have the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS)

1 Find ways to win


Has anyone seen our way to win? We've been looking everywhere for it. I could have swore we had it just a minute ago, it's the strangest thing. Have you looked under that rock? Well where could it be? It's not like the way to win just grew legs and walked off now is it.

This phrase doesn't bestow confidence now does it. I want my team to KNOW how to win, not be out in the middle of the night with a flashlight searching for it. What's next, put a poster on a telephone pole saying LOST: A Way to Win?

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