We Know It’s Football

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Participants and broadcasters never seem to tire of evoking the sport’s name in their comments.

It’s December, which means that I have reached the saturation point with the word “football.” Actually, I’d reached it by the end of September. No, I’m not talking about the game of football, of which I am as big a fan as anyone. Rather, I am talking about the use of the word “football” in every phrase of every sentence of every interview of virtually every coach and player in the country, as in: “That was a good football game, and the other team is a good football team, and we did a good job of moving the football, and made some great football plays, and it bodes well for our ability to win more football games.” What is it about football that causes its participants and many of its commentators to remind you constantly of the name of the sport being played?

Imagine if it were like this in other sports. Could you picture Derek Jeter saying of his game-winning hit in his last game at Yankee Stadium: “Well, I knew he was a good baseball pitcher, so I just tried to make contact with the baseball. It’s been a great baseball career here at Yankee Stadium and I thank all the baseball fans.” Similarly, I have never heard Rafael Nadal say: “Well, that was a great tennis match. I hit the tennis ball well today. Novak was also swinging his tennis racket well and making good contact with the tennis ball, and I hope all the tennis fans here today enjoyed the tennis.”

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