Not all over-used phrases in sports are necessarily stupid. That cannot be said for any of the entries on this list. We hear it before and after games, throughout all seasons: athletes either avoiding or ignoring questions by offering meaningless responses and irrelevant comments in place of some sort of actual insight.
Here I offer the top ten dumb phrases over-used by athletes:
10. A win is a win.
Yes, and an obvious statement is unnecessary. Thank you for sharing your vast wisdom.
9. At the end of the day...
The worst part of this phrase is that it is usually followed by other members of this list: At the end of the day, a win is a win. Nearly every other entry on this list has been preceded by this beaten-dead statement. Using this phrase is almost a guaranteed two-for-one of poor clichés. At the end of the day, an athlete will say something stupid starting with this phrase. Next, please.
8. We are focused on [or not looking past] the next game.
This is usually a flat-out lie. Any time a team's next game is against a cellar-dweller, and the following game is against a rival or winning team: lie. Any time a Miami Heat player has said these words during the regular season the last three years: lie. Anytime the next game is against a Chicago baseball team: lie. I believed it when anyone involved with the Blackhawks said it during the second round series against the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs this year. Aside from that: lie. This statement ranks at number eight, because whenever it is uttered, it is usually because the player or team is looking past the next game.
7. We win as a team, we lose as a team.
Yes, and a team is made up of individual people; players and staff who have an impact on the game. This is something that can be looked at separately from a team's record. Organizations even hire people specifically to evaluate this- they're called general managers. Which players helped your team win, or who contributed the most to a loss? A team may win or lose, but that is always correlated to the production, or lack thereof, from the players and coaches comprising the team. Explain what happened or do not, but please spare us of this nonsense.
6. The [other team] just wanted it more.
Really- that's the best you can come up with? If the other team "just wanted it more," than I want to be a fan of that team. This is the worst excuse any athlete can give, partly because it is never true. I don't believe that the losing team in the Super Bowl every year wanted it any less than the victors. This phrase is just a sheepish way to admit that the other team was better than yours- end of story. If they actually wanted it more, then that is disgraceful, and the team full of unmotivated losers should be disbanded.
5. It is what it is.
Wait... what is it? Where am I- what's happening? I may be going out on a limb here, but something tells me that anyone covering the team is capable of telling me what "it" is. Perhaps someone was requesting some actual insight from you, the professional athlete, as to why "it" is the way "it" is, or how "it" can be overcome. Instead of reusing a feeble saying when asked about a tough scenario, expand on "it": share your supposed expertise, or shut it.
4. Every game is important.
No foolin'? Man, they should televise those things.
3. There is a business side to [insert sport here], as a player you have to understand that.
Wrong. Every sport is a business; period. When you perform for your employer, that is your specific side of the business. Athletes are aware of this, hence another oft-repeated phrase: "It's business as usual." So, let's stop pretending there is, or should be, some all-encompassing moral code in sports that GMs tweak when they need to make a move. There is only
the business of sports, there is no other "side." Instead of offering this redundant answer when asked about potential or finalized deals, athletes need to either share something about their personal experience, or simply provide no comment.
2. Any phrase involving the term "110%."
Derrick Rose, I'm looking at you. Usually players beat this one to death after they've accomplished something ("I gave 110% out there today."), but Derrick used the phrase to answer when he would return to the court following his doctor's clearance to play last season. Recently in Spain, as part of Rose's world tour, he said he was 100% and would play in the Bulls' season-opener. But what of the other ten percent, Derrick? I thought you had to be at 110% before you could play in a real NBA game again. Obviously 110% is an arbitrary number- surely it is no different to 100% when used to describe an athlete's performance, or readiness to play. But, if athletes persist on churning that term out over and over again, let us at least hold them accountable for it. Hopefully Rose's supporters will defend him sitting on the bench until that extra, imaginary, ten percent kicks-in next season.
1. I want to thank god.
Really? So did most of the players on the team you just defeated. What did they do to anger the almighty, or is it just that god prefers your team? To think that any god would have so little going on that the silly games of mortals would matter to them is disconcerting. To believe that any god was so concerned with sports that it would actually take action to help an individual, or a specific team, is just kind of... insane, and sad. Believe in what you want, and worship any god you choose, but do not pretend that god helped you win. God did not help you today- thank your teammates, coaches and family, and go away.
If your god is concerned with sports at all, save for soccer's rising murder rates, I recommend conversion.