By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Don't be looking for 110 percent from this column. It's not gonna happen, I can promise you that.

What we will try to do today is take a look at sports terms that need to be put out to pasture, like, for example, being put out to pasture.

It's kill cliche day along with a few other tired remarks that, hopefully, we'll never hear or see again (Of course that won't be the case, but, as always in this space, we can hope).

Since we started by talking about livestock, let's continue (these are the top 10 that need to be forgotten).

BELL COW - TV guys, especially football TV guys, love to use this one. "That guy is the bell cow of this defense." "This team needs a bell cow out there on the field to get this group straightened out."

No, they don't. Bell cows are fat and slow. I hope my team never has a bell cow at middle linebacker. That would be bad.

HE'S STANDING ON HIS HEAD - This is one we hear during ice hockey games almost exclusively and always for goalies. It, too, needs to go.

A simple "That goalie (fill in the blank) is playing great" would work just as well.

If he were indeed standing on his head, he wouldn't be able to stop a darn thing, let alone a speeding puck.

However, it would be kind of cool to see a goalie try to stand on his head during a game. That would be kind of cool.

BALL STRIKER - This term belongs to golf and it needs to be removed.

These guys are professional golfers. They're way better than us. To say such and such is a good ball striker implies that the other such and such, who is also a professional golfer, isn't.

They can all strike the ball pretty darn good.

WALK-OFF ANYTHING - A relatively new term that needs to die a painful death.

"Walk-off homer."

"Walk-off walk."

"Walk-off single."

What was wrong with "Game-winning homer or game-winning single"? Right, there was nothing wrong with it.

Please have the walk-off walk off.

PIN THEIR EARS BACK - Didn't this one go away after sticking around for far too long? Well, yes, it did, but it somehow made a comeback as in, "This defense is just pinning their ears back and going after the quarterback."

Sounds dumb, is dumb. Most dog analogies are.

TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE - My all-time least favorite.

Who thought of this one? Where is this house they're always talking about? Here's a better idea: Let's take this one to the outhouse, bolt the door and burn it down.


What are they really trying to say? This guy's not that good? That's what it sounds like.

He's a pro athlete. He gets plenty out of his ability.

DIVA - Gaining in popularity (sadly) but still usually attached to an NFL wide receiver.

It simply means, "That guy's a jerk and his teammates can't stand him."

Wouldn't it be refreshing if Mr. TV color guy just said that instead? He would be applauded and he would be telling truth.

PRESSURE PUTT - This one is, obviously, all golf.

Is anything further from the truth?

If a guy is lining up a pressure putt, and we hear that term every Sunday afternoon, he's in contention to win.

And if he misses the pressure putt and finishes second? He still gets a really big check worth more than half your neighborhood makes in a year.

That's not much pressure.


It can't be done, it's physically, well, impossible, to give more than 100 percent.

I fear that if an athlete actually did give 110 percent, he would collapse on the field. On the plus side, that might stop spunky announcers from using the phrase again.

Regardless, out to pasture with all of them.

Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

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