116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The less clatter in our heads, the less clutter in our heads. Let’s remove some right now, starting with …
1. “Bingo cards”
These have to go. Why? Real tweets like these:
“The Lions sweeping the Packers, the Seahawks sweeping the Rams, and the Jags sweeping the Titans weren’t on my 2022 bingo card.”
“Brock Purdy having 2 TD passes in 6 straight games was not on my bingo card.”
“Kirk Ferentz being active in the transfer portal and Iowa having a thriving NIL collective definitely wasn’t on my Iowa football offseason bingo card.”
What did the great game of bingo ever do to deserve silly people taking such liberties with it?
2. “Running downhill”
Why, oh why, do people continue to refer to a running back that runs straight ahead as running downhill? How many football games have you witnessed that had a player who actually ran downhill?
Do you know how hard it would be to convince athletes to play defense in football if they had to do so running uphill?
Plus, you’d constantly see players on both sides rolling downhill after collisions. Some might need ski lifts to get back to their huddles.
I heard the phrase “going downhill” used by an announcer in a basketball game recently. That would be a good way to break an ankle, which announcers like to say when a ballhandler leaves a defender behind after a clever move.
Yet, I have yet to see an ankle broken on such moves, or even slightly sprained.
I read that Iowa’s men’s basketball loss to Eastern Illinois last month was historic because the Hawkeyes had been 31.5-point favorites.
Oddly, it was excluded from all major news organizations’ roundups of important events of 2022. That would seem to reduce its chances of enduring as historic.
Iowa State’s men’s basketball team beat then-No. 1 North Carolina in November, and a story about it on NCAA.com compared it to two other “historic wins” for the Cyclones.
Curiously, neither have displays at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
It happens six times out of seven, and maybe seven out of eight. A trick play happens in a football game and the TV announcers will call it “trickeration.”
No such word exists. It took one commentator to call it that in a moment of insanity, and hundreds of others latched onto it so they would sound like they were keeping up with the times.
That’s much like “It is what it is,” an expression that should be shot into the sun at warp speed.
“Trickery” is a perfectly good word that never needed a replacement. "Trickeration” takes more time to say, thus leaving you less time to spend with your family.
However, it’s never OK to say “fam” instead of “family” even though it saves two syllables and precious time. That’s because “fam” is even more annoying than “It is what it is.”
5. “We fans deserve better”
All over sports, fans of losing teams insist they deserve better. They, of course, do not.
Each game has a loser. Every season, half of the teams finish in the bottom half of the standings. Where does it say you deserve to avoid the misery of associating yourself with an abject failure?
Any satisfaction you get from a team is something you imagine yourself deserving, so savor it when you can. That’s because another crushing disappointment is headed your way.
Do you deserve that? Oddly enough, yes.
“GOAT” is a relatively new popular acronym. It stands for “Greatest of All Time.” It would have been a wonderful tribute to all who receive it had the word not already held an ages-old place in sports.
Since forever, goats have fumbled late in games. Goats have missed 3-foot putts to win golf tournaments. Goats have bricked clutch free throws, let grounders go through their legs, mistaken a snake for a garden hose.
Are actual goats noble or glorious? No! They eat grass. They bleat. Civil wars would break out if people in cities started keeping them in their yards.
You cannot change animals. Pigs will never be elegant. Sheep won’t become independent thinkers. Weasels won’t be ethical. And goats most certainly won’t be all-time greats.
Unfortunately, I did not have myself writing about goats and weasels on my career bingo card.
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