Put those basketball cliches to bed

Another year of high school and college hoops has come and gone. Between newspapers, TV and radio, there are enough cliches around to drive you nuts.

Some cliches are more annoying than others. At the end of the day? oops, another cliche? what would basketball be without them? In fact, I dare say you could broadcast an entire game using only cliches.

I wish I had a dollar every time I heard or read that a team punched its ticket to the state tournament. Really? Are schools required to punch tickets? Isn?t that an old term involving train tickets? When is the last time anyone took a train?

Here are some other worn-out cliches followed by some observations:

? ?They?ll be dancing in March.? Are we talking about basketball or the spring prom?

? ?They play an exciting brand of basketball.? If you?ve ever watched a Wisconsin basketball game, you?ll know the alternative.

? ?He can really take it to the rim.? Better yet that he puts it just over the rim.

? ?They live and die by their outside shot.? There?s nothing like exaggeration to put things out of perspective. As far as I know, no deaths have been recorded when players miss outside shots.

? ?That team is really taking the air out of the ball.? Does that lead to shooting air balls? I guess they have to do something with the excess air.

? ?He just threw up an air ball.? That one conjures up a really disgusting image.

? ?They get a lot of points in the paint.? Sounds like a good time for CSI to investigate the spatter pattern.

? ?That was an obvious make-up call by the ref.? Somebody should leave the cosmetics in the locker room and just play/call the game.

? ?They have to pound the ball inside.? Does anyone have a hammer?

? ?They?ve been on fire.? Where?s the fire department when you need it?

? ?They can really light up the scoreboard? and ?They?re shooting the lights out.? Either way, it sounds like the shots are missing the basket by quite a bit.

? ?They match up well, size-wise.? Unfortunately, they don?t match up very well talent-wise.

? ?They?re shooting well from downtown.? When talking about long-range shots, aren?t they shooting well from the suburbs?

? ?He can nail the trifecta.? It?s surprising the NCAA doesn?t put a stop to that term, considering its connection to gambling.

? ?He can really shoot the 3-ball.? The question is, can he put the 8-ball in the corner pocket?

? ?He?s been unconscious.? If so, why is he in the game?

? ?He?s money.? Is it any wonder so many student-athletes go pro after a year in college?

? ?He gives them good minutes off the bench.? Of course, he gives them far more good minutes on the bench.

? ?He can really dish the rock.? This sounds like a game out of the Flintstones cartoon. Why are we calling a ball the rock anyway?

? ?I question their shot selection.? Certainly that?s one of the many questions in life.

? ?They can?t buy a basket.? I know times are tough, but really.?

? ?They?ve been ice-cold.? This is a variation of the previous clich?, along with the well-worn ?They can?t get their shots to fall.?

? ?They?ve been throwing up bricks.? Isn?t that dangerous playing with glass backboards?

? ?There?s a lid on the basket.? That hardly seems fair if you ask me.

? ?It?s a game of runs.? Enough already with the potty talk.

? ?They need a timeout to stop the bleeding.? And I need a good excuse to say, later.

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