Monday, March 05, 2007


On the radio this morning I heard them interviewing an athlete. And it went like, you know, every interview with a coach or athlete goes:
Well I just wanted to play my very best and give it everything I've got because we knew we were going up against a tough opponent and we've been playing well lately but we couldn't afford to slack off especially against a team like this they're a good team they've been doing well in the conference so we knew we had to be on our guard and be at the top of our game and we kept with it and I was out there and we made a team effort and kept at it until the final buzzer so now we're still alive for the playoffs.
Or something like that. It all begins to sound alike after a while, these sports interviews where the athlete or coach or waterboy or whoever sprays out a breathless stream of nonstop sports cliches like machine gun fire. Brain in neutral, 500 back-to-back words per minute.

Back in the days of the Linotype, it would've been referred to as spitting out solid ingots of lead type.

Where, pray tell, do athletes, coaches, etc. learn this auctioneer-speed style of breathlessly saying nothing, and saying it faster than any human brain can possibly keep up? Could it be, as I seem to remember hearing once years ago, that they actually offer classes in SportSpeak to college athletes? I remember almost 20 years ago, a scene in Bull Durham where a couple of the baseball players were practicing their SportSpeak. It was hilarious, because even back then I recognized this peculiar athletic mode of going 100 mph in neutral.

Honestly. There's a certain mode of employing cliches, mangling the English language, vacuity gone hypersonic, groping for a new way to say the same old thing only you end up with the same old thing in rapidfire permutation shuffle for the thousandth time. When you hear it, you know it's gotta be a sports interview. Because it's the same old same old same old SportSpeak.


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