Everything Language and Grammar

Posts Tagged ‘football’

Ball Security Issues

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 15, 2013

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Twice today, during two different football games, I heard an announcer say about a player who fumbles often: “He has ball-security issues.” Twice!

If you need further proof that we’ve become afraid to simply state what we mean in a simple, direct fashion, then I don’t know what to say.

I’m trying to imagine football announcers of the 1970s saying that a player who fumbles often has ball-security issues; having a hard time imagining it. Ball security issues!

Posted in grammar, language, sports | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Opening Night of Football and Football Cliches!

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 7, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt

The NFL season opens tomorrow with a special Thursday edition of Sunday night football on NBC. Or, is it a special Thursday edition of Monday night football on ESPN? Or, is it a special preview of the upcoming Thursday night football telecasts, which kicks off (nothing begins in football–it always kicks off) on week 10 on the NFL Network (meaning that most people won’t be able to watch)?

I’m not sure, but since we here at Everything Language and Grammar enjoy football, we’re glad it’s here.

Unfortunately, it’s not always a joy to listen to the announcers because of their tendency to use cliches or make grammatical mistakes. I mean, seriously, if you want a good drinking game, then take a drink every time Troy Aikman says “what” (or “watt” as he says it) when it doesn’t belong in a sentence, such as “That’s a longer pass than what he normally throws” instead of simply “That’s a longer pass than he normally throws.”

You’ll be more tipsy than Joe Namath during a Suzi Kolber interview by the middle of the second quarter.

Speaking of football cliches, here are a few of the worst 20, according to the Bleacher Report:

  • The other team just wanted it more.
  • He’s deceptively quick.
  • We have to play a full 60 minutes.
  • They have to take care of the football.
  • That guy’s a throwback.

Posted in humor, language, sports | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dropped the Ball

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 24, 2008

Despite what the Monday Night Football crew apparently thinks, dropping the ball is not the same thing as not catching the ball.

I’m saying this because the crack announcers showed a highlight reel of dropped passes by Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Braylon Edwards. The only problem is that he didn’t drop the passes shown; he just didn’t catch them. A dropped pass is not a pass that is deflected off a receiver’s fingers and falls safely to the ground—–or having the ball bounce off your head and onto the ground—–or having the ball bounce off your chest and then to the ground. In order to drop the ball, it is required that you first catch the ball—that is, you should have some sort of possession of it first.

You might say that the announcers dropped the ball on that one.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

Posted in grammar, language, sports, writing | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Dropped the Ball

Brain ISSUE? Sounds Like a PROBLEM to Me!

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 2, 2008

In the Buffalo/Jets game on Sunday, quarterback Trent Edwards took a hard tackle and was knocked to the ground, where he hit every part of his body, including his head. He didn’t leave the game, but the announcers were concerned that he might since, they informed us, Edwards had had concussion issues in the past. Concussion ISSUES? This is a perfect example of what issue does not mean and how not to use it.

The quarterback had had concussion injuries, concussion problems, or, plainly, concussions in the past. I doubt he would appreciate having his brain injury labeled an issue. An issue, as we’ve discussed before, is a topic, as in Where do the candidates stand on the issues or We have myriad issues to discuss at the meeting tonight.

Don’t refer to someone’s brain injury as an issue. It’s disrespectful——and grammatically incorrect.

Sherry

Posted in grammar, language, sports, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Brain ISSUE? Sounds Like a PROBLEM to Me!

Controlling Destiny

Posted by languageandgrammar on December 25, 2007

Bob Costas, on Sunday Night Football, made a good point about language, so I though I’d share it.

It’s common for sports announcers and fans alike to talk about how a team “controls its own destiny” when the team playoff chances rests completely on whether the team in question wins or loses. Other teams do not need to lose for the team in question to make the playoffs–their winning their own games is enough.

He made the point that “destiny” is typically thought of something that happens regardless of our own efforts, such as “I was destined to find this job.” I had no control over it; a higher power had pre-determined that I would be in the right place when the job became available. Personally, I don’t believe much in the whole destiny thing, but that’s not the point here.

Costas’ point was that teams can’t control the uncontrollable, and he’s right. If we believe destiny to be something that is pre-determined, then it makes no sense to talk about controlling it.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

Posted in language, sports | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »