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   TELEVISION SPORTS CLICHES

                   

The camera will always show some fan holding a poster that uses the network's initials to spell-out a phrase about the home team.

When ESPN is covering a college basketball game, there will be four shirtless frat boys in the stands with the letters E-S-P-N painted in sequence on their bare chests.

If the television camera locates a significant spectator -- an owner or parent/spouse of a coach/player -- you can be sure those folks will get an excess amount of camera exposure during breaks in the action.

Upon realizing they are on camera, spectators wearing fan gear will emphatically point to the team name or logo on their cap, T-shirt, or jacket.

Announcers really struggle with past, present, and future: "He'll smack that ball into the gap for a base hit." He will? Didn't we just see it? Or are you making a prediction about the next guy up?  And when analyzing an instant-replay, they never switch to the past tense: "If he makes that catch, we've got a whole new ballgame."  How about: "If he MADE that catch we'd have a whole new ballgame"?

Sportscasters rarely argue - on the contrary, they go out of their way to complement each other for saying the most mundane things. The cliche response to a broadcast partner's cliche statement is: "I couldn't agree with you more."

If an announcer is hyping-up a team in the pre-game show, for example: "The Chiefs are capable of putting a lot of points on the board", the cliche response is "Well, the Broncos might have something to say about that."

The highest expression of disbelief for an announcer is the ubiquitous "Unbelievable!", but it may soon be replaced by "Are you kiddin' me?!"

Sportscasters routinely omit the last names of star athletes. You'll simply hear "Peyton", "Eli", "Lebron", "Kobe", and "Tiger", which gives the impression they're on a first-name-basis with sports celebrities.

In a football game, the only time you'll ever see the special teams coach is if his team suffers a blocked punt or if the opponents run back a kick for a touchdown.

When the camera pans through the stands after returning from a commercial break, fans close to the camera will stand up, extend an index finger and scream: "Woooooo! We're number one!" even if their team is losing or in last place.

At the conclusion of a game (most often a baseball game), an announcer will state pedantically: "And that's your final score."   Huh?  Does the audience somehow own or have possession of the final score? Do we all have an equal share? More important, can we sell our share of the final score?

Late in a night game, viewers will get a close-up of a baby sleeping in the stands.

During a pause in a close game, a TV camera will show a closeup of the scoreboard, gradually lose focus until the image becomes a blur, then cut back to the game.

If an athlete makes a game winning play, he or she will look at the sky, kiss the fingers of both hands, and point upwards. That's worth at least one replay.

Often you'll see a slow motion replay of a coach arguing with an umpire, referee, or official. One of the announcers is guaranteed to say: "I hope the kids watching at home can't read lips!"

If a football player discovers he's on the roving sideline camera, he'll wave and say: "Hi mom!"

In between pitches of close baseball games, the program director will provide cutaway shots of tense fans in the stands. Any spectator with hands clenched together as if praying for divine intervention is a prime candidate.

After a player makes a critical error late in a game that guarantees defeat for his team, the camera will zoom-in on his face as he sits alone on the bench.

During telecasts of Seattle Seahawks football games, head coach Pete Carroll will be shown on the sidelines after every play. As if that's not enough, viewers will get slow motion replays of what he was doing during a big play like a turnover or touchdown.

Deee-FENCE!This sign was funny the first few times, but now it's shown way too often.

In Olympic medal ceremonies featuring Americans, athletes' faces are shown in extreme close-ups -- hopefully revealing tears and trembling lips.

If a team is about to lose a game that eliminates them from the playoffs, the camera will lock-on to any player sitting on the bench with his face buried in a towel.

Immediately at the conclusion of a championship football game, the winning coach will get a large container of water or sports drink dumped over his head. The TV audience will then watch slow motion replays of this event from multiple angles.

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