Before I begin, some clarification.
Yes, that is Pauly Shore in the picture. He annoys me.
Now, on to my five most-hated sports terms.
With Brett Favre unofficially officially saying he is un-retiring to fully retire after a half dozen other retirements were un-retired in an unofficial official interview today...I wanted to list other sports-related terms that annoy me (you can assume how annoyed I am with the whole Favre issue).
I love sports more than anything, but hearing these terms makes my skin crawl (not literally, but close).
#1. The word "system"
Example: "We really like this guy; he fits into our system well..."
No other sports term annoys me like this one. Every NFL and NBA coach claims to have a "system" in place for their teams, and any player acquired must, obviously, fit into that so called "system."
The real question is: What system are you coaches talking about?
Oh, the system you have for scoring more touchdowns than the other team? The system in which you utilize the forward pass, first made popular in the 1920s? Or the system in which you give the ball to your superstar and let him drive to the hoop every possession?
Please, coaches, stop trying to make yourselves sound smarter than you actually are. You're not computer geeks, you're not NASA spacemen, you're not Microsoft technicians.
Your "systems" are not filled with computer chips and wires. They are filled with talented athletes that perform tasks that you assign them.
What you're really saying is, "Hey, you, fast superstar athlete, go deep and score on this next pass...that's our system..."
What if LeBron James doesn't fit into your "system?"
Whoops, we don't have a place for Adrian Peterson. The guy just doesn't fit our "system."
Please. Your systems are just fancy words for playbooks or coaching styles.
#2. The word "length"
Example: "This player has great length, he'll be useful to us..."
Another term that is to me what fingernails on a chalk board are to people's ears.
He is tall. Simple as that.
Stop making it sound like this player's supreme height will make your team into an instant championship contender.
First of all, there are a lot of tall players in sports, particularly the NBA, so your player with great "length" will be no different than my tall player.
A seven-footer possessing great "length" is the equivalent to my team's seven-footer, who I just refer to as a "tall player."
I agree that a player with length can disrupt opponent's offensive game plans with their ability to guard the perimeter, but just call them tall guys. What is he, a ruler? A tape measure?
He is tall. Leave it at that.
#3. The word "gritty"
Example: "He is the type of gritty player every team needs..."
Saying someone is "gritty" is saying that they are not blessed with any considerable talent.
They have to play "gritty" because they can't rely on their own tremendous amount of talent to carry them to success. Some will glorify that (fans of Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Theriot, etc.), but don't get the wrong impression of these types of guys.
If a "gritty" player strikes out with the bases loaded to end a game, should we feel sorry for him? What if a $100 million player strikes out to end the game with the bases loaded? Is he more inclined to public criticism than the scrappy, gritty player?
They both struck out and cost their team a win, but why should the "gritty" guy get the pass on criticism?
If you are "gritty"—first of all, you should shower—you are not that talented, and therefore, you are not worth half as much as my superstar athletes.
I will field a team of superstars while you field a team of "gritty" players...let me know who wins.
#4. The term "clubhouse guy"
Example: "He is such a good clubhouse guy, I don't know where our team would be without him..."
So, if he leaves the clubhouse, he's a jerk then, right? Inside the dugout, on the sidelines or bench, he's an absolute jerk.
But in the clubhouse...oh brother, where would we be without him?
He may be terrible at his sport, but if he keeps it fresh and loose, then we'll just love him?
Nick Swisher was a "clubhouse guy" for the Chicago White Sox and was benched in September during his team's run at a playoff berth. How valuable was Nick then?
Mark DeRosa was a good "clubhouse guy" for the Chicago Cubs, but his talents in the clubhouse cracking dirty jokes and playfully touching his teammates weren't enough to convince management that he should stay and not be traded.
Win me a ball game. Don't crack me up with a joke in the clubhouse.
I don't care if my team goes undefeated with a locker room full of corpses; I just want to win. If you are only known for being a good "clubhouse guy," then where and when did your career as an athlete go south?
Were you a "clubhouse guy" in high school, or did you just magically possess that trait when your athletic ability never caught up with the other professional athletes you were competing against?
#5. The term "high motor"
Example: "This kid has a high motor, he'll be disruptive..."
I didn't realize that your defensive end had a secret life as an automobile. That must be what you are referring to, right?
Humans don't have motors, and they certainly aren't "high motors." Human athletes work hard, train hard, play hard, and compete hard.
Please stop calling my favorite player a 1963 Chevy Thunderbird. These coaches and personnel love giving traits and nicknames to players when all they have to do is say, "he is fast," or "he is very aggressive."
A "high motor?"
Boats have motors. We are not on a boat (sorry T-Pain). We are on a football field, a baseball diamond, or a basketball court, where cars aren't allowed anyways.
Those five terms annoy me greatly.
And now as Pauly Shore would say:
"See ya buuuuuddddyyyyyy."