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From the Bird’s Nest: Five Overused Clichés on Sportstalk Radio

I’ve been hosting “Bird’s Eye View” on the radio now for over 13 years in its present format.  I love doing the show and I love interacting with listeners.  Sometimes they drive me nuts, but hey, it’s part of what makes the show so much fun.

But, there are clichés that are used, used and overused that make me scratch my head sometimes.  Mostly because they either don’t make sense, or simply aren’t true.

Here are my top five that, if you really, really care, you’ll never use when calling in.


5

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

 
 

This isn’t really just a sports cliché but rather one that is used a lot in real life. But the sports guys love it too. Let me ask you a question: Do you change the oil in your car? Why? Your car isn’t broken. Do you replace your tires when they get worn or do you wait until you’re on the side of the road trying to find your AAA card? Do you go to the doctor for annual checkups or do you wait until you feel something is wrong (which could be REALLY bad news that could have been avoided?) Get my point? This cliché is especially silly because it’s so wrong. In sports, you always try to get better. If you’re happy with the way things are, chances are someone is catching up to you.

 
4

Defense Wins Championships

 
 

As much as I appreciate and respect Michael Jordan as a basketball player, I could choke him for this statement after a Chicago Bulls championship. It has become the most overused cliché in sports. Yes, it’s important to be good defensively. And, good defense can put you in position to win championships. But sooner or later you have to make a play. Sooner or later you have to score. And, if you look at the NFL, you’ll find the cliché isn’t even true. In past Super Bowls there have been as many champions crowned that were in the top five in offense as there have been top five defensive teams. If defense is so important, why do we all have a crush on Drew Brees, anyway?

 
3

We Didn't Make Adjustments

 
 

If fans understood what I understand, they wouldn’t make this statement. What is that, you ask? Simple. The worst coach in college and professional sports knows more about that sport than I do. Many years ago, fans started using this cliché in hopes it would show others they know something about the sport. In reality, most of them wouldn’t know an adjustment if they spent all day in the chiropractor’s office. You want to criticize? Fine. You want to question moves? Fine. But please don’t try to sound smarter than you really are. Oh, and the fact you coached kids sports for the last 25 years does not make you an authority.

 
2

We Got Outcoached

 
 

Will someone please tell me what this means? Folks call in and say this all the time and I always respond, I don’t know what that means. To date, none of the callers have ever been able to enlighten me. And, the biggest problem with this cliché is, fans say it after EVERY loss. Are there times when coaches make crucial decisions and they don’t work? Sure. Do coaches sometimes take extreme risks and have it backfire, thereby outcoaching themselves? Ask Mike Smith of the Falcons. But hey, folks, coaching doesn’t cost you every game. See the guy who you say outcoached your guy? Next year when you win, their fans will say the same thing. And, more often than not, both of you will be wrong.

 
1

They Wanted It More Than We Did (Or, We Wanted It More Than They Did)

 
 

Okay, can someone please explain this one to me. I guess there are instances where one team is more motivated to win than another. But to suggest after a hard-fought game that comes down to the end that your team wanted to win more than the other team is nothing short of ludicrous. We actually had someone call into the show that said LSU wanted to win more than Alabama did. Yeah. That Saban guy doesn’t care. You can tell by looking at him. Protecting the house doesn’t mean a thing to Trent Richardson. National Championship? We have enough. Let LSU have this one. Right. Scott Prather and I have banned this cliché from being used on the show. It’s the best way for us to end a phone conversation. Use this at your own risk.

 

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