Athens, GA (Jan 19, 2008) - One of the biggest complaints people have about radio and television talent is when they use, or overuse, cliches. Whenever I hear University of Georgia Radio Play-By-Play/Analyst Jeff Dantzler say "he/she scores three points the old fashioned way" or "gets an old fashioned three point play", I just cringe and want to reach through the radio and slap those phrases out of his system. It is a 3-point play and there is nothing "old-fashioned" about it. A 3-point shot is something entirely different than a play. It is when viewers and and listeners hear these things that they wonder where the announcers get these cliches and pull them out of the hat. Of course, what would a Bill Raftery called game be if it is not "with a kiss"?
Well last year I got an answer while stage managing a men's college basketball game. The color analyst, a former coach, was very new in the job with little experience. Early in the game I noticed he was crossing items off a list as he talked. I looked closer and what did I see? A CLICHE LIST! I was not sure whether to laugh or cry at that point, but I knew I had to ask him the why or wherefore of the list. He said "These are all things I know I say as part of my everyday talk, and I know I will use them. So I have them all written down so I can make sure I do not say them more than once in a game." He had them organized by three-point shots, dunks, turnovers, etc. Talk about organization! He certainly had all of his ducks lined up in a row.
So listen up sports fans. There can be a method to someone's madness when they use a cliche. They are not always just "phoning it in" and "its just the nature of this business." If you feel a burning desire to build your own list of cliches that you can use and check off when trying to see if you can do a better job than the paid talent, you can always visit The Sports Cliche List web site. They have more than enough to keep you busy!