Cliches are a way of life. They’re unavoidable. Listen to any sports broadcast or interviews with coaches and athletes, read any sports stories or columns, and you’ll hear or read the inevitable cliche.
I tend to empathize with those in the profession, because there are only so many words in our vocabulary. In this day of 24/7 sports, why shouldn’t we be allowed to use a common phrase even if it’s stating the obvious?
In fact, I think it would be fun, for one time anyway, for a broadcaster to intentionally use every cliche possible during a game. If someone did, here’s what it might look or sound like.
“Welcome to Joel H. Wiens Stadium, home of the Tabor College Bluejays.
“Tonight, we should have an epic battle between the visitors from Friends University and the host Bluejays. This is always a tough place to play, but both teams are playing at a high level.
“Games don’t come any bigger than this. It’s a game for all the marbles.
“Today, we have an intriguing matchup. We’ve got the league’s best offense against the league’s best defense—something’s got to give. As you know, there are no easy games in this league.
“These teams don’t like each other and there’s no love lost between them.
“When Tabor and Friends get together, you can throw out their records. It’s going to be a war out there, a battle of the titans.
“This should be a game for the ages. This game is for bragging rights. Coach Gardner always gets the most out of his players.
“The Bluejays really have to take it to them. They have to play with their ears pinned back. They need to turn up the intensity. They have to step up and make plays. They have to come out of the locker room fired up. They have to go out and take care of business.
“They have to get after it. They have to rise to the occasion and leave everything on the field. They have to stay hungry.
“They can’t look past these guys. They have to avoid a big letdown after last week’s game. They have to come together as a team and believe in themselves. They have to play within themselves.
“On any given day, any team is capable of beating the other team. Tabor has to eliminate the mental mistakes. They have to dig deep. They have to step up to the next level.
“They have to capitalize on their opportunities. The Bluejays have to bend but not break.
“They have to stretch the Falcons defense. Tabor has to pull out all the stops.
“The Bluejays should just go out there and have fun. They should just go out and execute.
“Tabor has to make plays on both sides of the ball. They should go out there and play smash-mouth football. We can expect an all-out aerial attack.
“Most of all, Tabor has to stick to their game plan.
“They can’t worry about the officials. As you know, the officials could call holding on every play.
“The defense needs to be tough in the red zone. No doubt the game will be won in the trenches.
“It’s a game of field position.
“Tabor can ill afford to lose this game.
“You win as a team, you lose as a team. The intangibles will be the key.
“Statistics can be misleading, although statistics can tell the whole story. The key to the game is to take what the defense gives you.
“It’s theirs to lose. No lead is safe. They can’t afford to get lackadaisical. They need to go for the jugular. These games aren’t played on paper.
“It’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback.
“So no matter what happens, remember, at the end of the day, it is what it is.”
Hillsboro resident Joe Kleinsasser is director of news and media relations at Wichita State University. You can reached him at Joe.Kleinsasser@wichita.edu.