Preps Talk

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.

NBC Sports Chicago to air live coverage of the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show on October 21

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NBC Sports Chicago to air live coverage of the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show on October 21

NBC Sports Chicago to carry LIVE announcement for every first round match-up on Saturday, October 21 beginning at 8:00 PM CT; to also be streamed live on NBCSportsChicago.com & via the NBC Sports app

Bloomington, IL/Chicago, IL (October 17, 2017) -- The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football Playoff Pairing Show returns to NBC Sports Chicago for its seventh season in 2017. NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will air the show live on NBC Sports Chicago+ on Saturday, October 21 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM CT. Viewers are urged to visit NBC Sports Chicago’s “Channel Finder” page (NBCSportsChicago.com/channel-finder) for exact NBC Sports Chicago+ channel locations in their area.
The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show, which will reveal the brackets and first round match-ups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, can also be viewed via live interactive stream beginning at 8:00 PM on Saturday at NBCSportsChicago.com/IHSAPairingShow and via the NBC Sports app.

"The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show' continues to be one of the most highly-anticipated events in the state of Illinois and we couldn't be prouder to once again showcase two-straight hours of live, interactive coverage across all platforms on Saturday night," said Kevin Cross, Vice President of Content for NBC Sports Chicago. 

NBC Sports Chicago anchor Leila Rahimi hosts the show and will be joined by a panel of experts on-set, including long-time IHSA TV announcer Dave Bernhard and Illinois high school football bracketologist Steve Soucie. IHSA TV veteran Camron Smith will breakdown each class with media members from around the state, including NBC Sports Chicago prep football expert “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the show and ask questions to be answered during the program by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #IHSAbrackets.

The program will once again feature highlights, coaches interviews and media analysis from all over the state. In addition, NBC Sports Chicago will be gathering teams & fan reaction moments throughout the “Land of Lincoln” on Saturday from numerous school playoff pairing parties taking place that evening.

“This is one of the most anticipated nights of the year on the IHSA calendar,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Student-athletes, coaches and communities around the state have put their hearts into the last nine weeks, and for 256 teams, it’s an amazing chance to celebrate their accomplishments, while looking ahead to the path to the IHSA Football State Finals. We appreciate the time and effort that our partners at NBC Sports Chicago put into making this night so special.”

The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show kicks off NBC Sports Chicago’s playoff coverage of IHSA Football, which culminates with all eight state title games being televised and streamed by NBC Sports Chicago on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 24-25), live from Huskie Stadium on the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb.

No surprise as Bulls, Zach LaVine decide to wait on contract extension

No surprise as Bulls, Zach LaVine decide to wait on contract extension

Only a couple names went off the board of 2014 draftees who reached agreements on extensions with their teams, with Zach LaVine sitting on the sidelines as the midnight deadline came and went.

His debut in a Bulls uniform and contract will have to wait.

Although LaVine’s representatives and the Bulls front office remained in communication, there was never any serious talk of a deal being reached and he’ll hit restricted free agency this summer.

The Bulls will have a better picture of what type of player LaVine is post-surgery on his left knee, and LaVine will have a chance to reconstruct his market value the way he’s done to his knee—as evidenced by his casual stroll down the lane, two dribbles and two-handed dunk while running a dummy offense with the assistant coaches over the weekend at the Advocate Center.

His return isn’t imminent, as he’s still weeks away from being cleared to practice, following the track of his rehab from surgery.

Perhaps in a bit of curious timing, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was talking about LaVine, saying his future shooting guard wasn’t going through much in the way of 5-on-0 drills.

“The big focus right now is on his rehab,” Hoiberg said.

But considering how few options Hoiberg has on a team that isn’t expected to win more than 20 games, the thought of how he’ll use LaVine on the floor in this offense isn’t unrealistic.

“He's doing a lot of unpredictable movements, but a lot of that is 1-on-0 workouts. Yeah, absolutely there's things we look at and see actions that other teams might be running for their skilled players or shooters.”

Justin Holiday will be keeping the seat warm for LaVine until LaVine is completely healed from his surgery, and while the Bulls are adhering to the nine-month recovery prognosis after his February surgery, his return will be highly anticipated.

“Some of the things we're running for Justin right now I think will be very good for Zach as well,” Hoiberg said. “Then we're going to get both of those guys on the floor, it's going to give you two really good options as far as shooting and spacing and two athletic wing players.”

With the Bulls in the infancy stages of a rebuild, LaVine’s success is one they’ll be invested in above any other player on the roster considering the financial stakes.

LaVine can command a deal well over $100 million this summer and will join the likes of draftmates Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon into the always-tricky world of restricted free agency.

The Bulls have done this dance before, most recently with Jimmy Butler before Butler blossomed into an All-Star. There was a small gulf between Butler’s contract wishes and the Bulls offer before the 2014-15 season began, one that resulted in Butler receiving a max contract when Butler took the biggest single-season leap in his career.

Preserving precious salary cap space has been paramount for the Bulls, who originally signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to short-term deals with an eye on the summer of 2018, believing many teams will have overspent with the salary cap boom.

In that instance, they’re correct and are in position to have among the most cap space in the NBA next summer when Wade’s contract buyout runs off the books being close to $40 million under the cap. As of now, only Robin Lopez is guaranteed over $10 million for next season and Nikola Mirotic’s deal is a team option.

For LaVine, he began to blossom playing as a third wheel behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota before tearing his ACL. If he’s a reasonable facsimile physically, he will produce at a higher clip than scoring 18.9 points as a No. 1 option in Chicago.

As the centerpiece in the Butler trade, the Bulls have no intentions on letting him walk and LaVine is even more incentivized to perform for a potential max contract.

“I'm very excited about Zach. You can tell how much he wants to be out there with our guys. Every day he comes in and says, 'Coach, I'm ready to go out there',” Hoiberg said. “It's a process. We have to make sure he 100 percent healthy, even though he feels no symptoms right now at all. He's got no soreness in that leg. But he can't wait, his teammates can't wait and the staff obviously is very excited to get him back out there.”