Came back around to this post I’ve been meaning to riff with the TSG community for a while when I was going through our “Glossary” today.
That section of TSG could truly use an update.
Anyway, threw out a few on Twitter and lo and behold a pretty big audience had some of their own ear bleeders that came back our way. The next list is in no particular order and I’ll note now that some entries below are just poor jargon, less clichés. (If I missed your name for attribution, send us a note.)
• “Plies their trade”
My all time favorite cliche when talking about soccer players and carpenters. It’s almost like it’s mandatory to use this term specifically for American players (cough) playing in European leagues.
I think I used this expression in the 1st post ever on TSG and then one and only after it. I still cry when I look back.
• “Burst onto the scene”
This is not soccer-specific, but again here it appears mandatory that if someone–usually it’s describing Charlie Davies trajectory or something–is bursting, just about the only place they burst is “onto the scene.” Um, okay.
How come the only other way I’ve ever heard of a player getting to the scene is by “arriving.” You either “burst” to get there or “arrive” apparently.
• Blankety blank blank is a “beast”
Really? When I think of the imagery of a “beast” I think of a enormous figure who’s wrecking everything in their path with little regard for where it lands or who gets hurt.
You know what? Most soccer players don’t play that way or most likely they’d get a foul called on them or worse get a yellow.
Emile Heskey, he plays like a beast. Jozy Altidore? Sometimes. John Terry, sure, I think…not even positive there.
Juan Agudelo, nope. Jermaine Defoe? Never. Get my drift.
Peter Crouch, Jeff Cunningham, Fernando Torres, David Villa …none of these players ever make their mark on the game in a “beast-like” way
• “The two goal lead is the most dangerous lead” in soccer
First from TSG photog Matt Mathai:
Finally (for now) stop repeating the canard that a two-goal lead is the “most dangerous lead in soccer.” Bullshit. The only team that wouldn’t wish for a two-goal lead is the one that already has a three-goal lead. This is another bit of ‘punditry’ that makes you sound foolish. Enough, already
Couldn’t agree more Matt. Let’s see if you gave me a choice of A) “having a two goal lead and being worried about it” or B) “being down two goals but somehow being content, nay, excited that the other team thought were dangerous,” I’d go with A….every time.
• “Poisoned chalice”
First, unless you’re British, you have no right being even near this cliche. And frankly, name a time other than watching Indiana Jones you specifically considered those two words, “poisoned” and “chalice” next to one another.
• “Transfer War Chest”
A good one from @Brookhattan on Twitter. Love it.
Right now, this publication is being sifted over by three low-level workers at the FBI because of the phrase “War Chest.”
• “Opened their account”
I’m continuing to cringe at these. And anyway, when you open an account don’t you usually “deposit” value with the right and expectation to at some point take it out.
This one doesn’t make sense anyway.
• “World Class”
Note, this should mean that you are one of 11. At the most generous, this means that you are in contention for being the best in the world at your position.
Over the past year, I’ve heard about 17,346 players deemed “world class.” How is that possible?
• “Pace” or “Pacey”
Guilty as charged. I use this one and I hate it.
Okay, let’s not dwell on this one. Next!
• “A great work rate” or “industrious”
You know what, this doesn’t mean what it says above in the bullet. This specifically means, “Someone who has average skill at best who just made a (tackle, pass, interception, etc.) because he was actually playing the game hard…how everyone should.”
Okay….putting this up and will update the column from the comments section.
By the way, I try not use the expression “boots” to describe “cleats” all that often. How do you play soccer in boots?