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October 10, 2015

Things I Hate About TV: "At the end of the day..."

by Jay Black, posted Jan 3rd 2007 9:02AM
As a red-blooded American male who has trouble relating to his father, I watch a lot of sports. That means I also watch a lot of sports related television. PTI, Around the Horn, Inside the NFL, The Sports Reporters, NFL Live, NFL Prime Time, Sportscenter, and even Jim Rome is Burning (but only when my wife is out of earshot - for some reason the sound of Rome's voice makes my wife very angry. She doesn't follow sports; I think it's just a gut reaction to smugness.) Thanks to TiVo, I watch them all, fast-forwarding past all the topics that don't interest me.

I'll be the first to admit that it's pretty dumb to watch this much sports-related television. I feel especially stupid if I'm watching the Rome/Around the Horn/PTI block in real time and all three shows are covering the same thing I watched six times on Sportscenter. By the time Tony and Michael get to discussing it, I feel like I could write a dissertation on "me-first wide receivers" or "Mike Tyson related crime". As stupid as I feel, though, I keep watching. I can't stop watching. Honestly, I think ESPN is putting something in the water.

So, maybe it's a little disingenuous for me to be complaining about these shows, but seeing as ESPN is keeping my brain a hostage, I might as well sound off on the one thing I can't stand about all of them...


I understand that sports are where a lot of our clichés come from and I even like a lot of sports clichés (I get happy during every single "bad-team-gets-it-together-in-training-montage.") I just want the people who comment about my sports to be able to do so without repeating the same four or five phrases again and again and again.

With the exception of Michael Irvin (and his enormous tie-knot) these are professional broadcasters, for goodness sake! They have writers and producers! Can't one of them get through a segment without saying the same trite and useless statement that every other announcer has used?

The worst example of sports cliché is the title of this blog entry. "At the end of the day..." Listen the next time you watch these shows and you'll hear the phrase approximately nine hundred times an hour: "I like what Jeff Garcia has done with this offense, but at the end of the day you need a legitimate starter in there"; "the Colts have an amazing offense, but at the end of the day, it's defense that wins you championships"; "the sun is an amazing giver of life and light, but at the end of the day, it abandons us, just like mommy did."

It drives me nuts.

There's something to be said for the immediacy of understanding that a cliché brings to the table, but at the end of the day, originality needs to win out!

What's your annoying sports cliché?

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If I hear "At the end of the day" again, I'm going to SCREAAMMMMMMMM!!!!! Don't these sports hosts have anything else to say? You have to keep it interesting, articulate and watchable to the viewer. At least Stuart Scott has enough hip-hop jargon to keep Sportscenter from becoming boring. And this tiresome "At the end of the day" makes me long for the days of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann in their '90s peak on ESPN's sportcenter. They never reduced themselves to slush--they always came up with new things to say each day. Stuart Scott is the same way too and that why these three are still around on the network. Jim Rome was better off on Fox Sports Net than ESPN. I liked him on The Last Word and its hanging with the guys approach. Don't like his Rome is Burning too much--he inserts too much of his popular radio show in it.

February 19 2007 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sportscasters have an amazing need to compare anything and everything to anything and everything. The problem is they only have limited ways of doing that.

The old " He is as ____(add superlative adjective) a ---(add noun ) I (we)have seen" is used constantly,means nothing and drives me nuts. Example:" He is as good a linebacker as I have seen."

Think about it for a sec. It is a noncommittal, non sentence and it used ALL THE TIME.

ah. I feel better.

January 05 2007 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i can only watch pti and baseball on espn. sportscenter is overly long, overproduced with all the graphics and there's usually not even anything meaningful to report! they make a story out of everything, which is the biggest cliche i've found. espn is so self-important it's ridiculous. a large scale back would be much appreciated.

i usually just need highlights and scores, so i watch espnews. it's a lifesaver.

January 03 2007 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When talking about ESPN the first thing that jumps to mind is everyone, no matter how much personality they have or don't have, has to have some kinda catchphrase that's usually lame. Those are the worst cliches.

Then there's Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith who are all "personality" and no substance other than to say things loudly to get a reaction. They're basically a walking cliche with their constant over the top delivery.

And finally there's the star driven highlights. Coming from Cleveland I find it really amazing when I watch a Cavs game and watch someone other than Lebron James take over in the 4th quarter, and then on ESPN the highlights are a dunk James had in the first quarter and then the stat sheet. I also found it entertaining a few years ago when Lebron missed a game that was being broadcast by ESPN and the commentators literally had nothing to talk about for the entire game. That's why anytime Hubie Brown is assigned to a game I have to tune in because he's the only person employed by the ABC/ESPN empire that actually knows all the players on both teams.

January 03 2007 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate Jim Rome with a passion.

January 03 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about the idiot stuart scott who says, "cooler than the other side of the pillow" and "boo yah!" 900 times during an hour broadcast? i stopped watching sportscenter b/c of that alone. the first 500 times chris burman said "back back back back..." before a homerun or ""he-could-go-all-the-way" was funny but i can't take it anymore. every anchor on espn thinks they're doing their own comedy show. it's not funny. it's nauseating.

i love PTI. it's the only thing i can watch on PTI and i tivo it every day. it has brief topics that i can go through and get all of the info i need in less than 30 minutes. around the horn is similar but i don't feel like listening to 4 reporters yelling back and forth.

January 03 2007 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There's a great scene in "Bull Durham" where Kevin Costner teaches a rookie the necessary lines for every locker room interview:

"I'm just taking it one day at a time ..."
"I don't look at my stat's - I just want what's best for the team ..."
"And, God willing, ..."

January 03 2007 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That team "came to play." What, as opposed to the other team who came to...

January 03 2007 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about cliches from athletes like, "At this point we're just taking it one game at a time." What is the alternative? I'd love to hear a coach sometime say, "At this point we're pretty sure we're going win our next three games so we're not even worrying about them. They're in the bag"

January 03 2007 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This may not technically be a cliche, but I hate when they list players as though they are plural... The Michael Jordans, The Carl Malones, etc. I realize that they are trying to give examples, but they never list generic players. I mean seriously...how many MJs will there EVER be? Makes me batshit!

January 03 2007 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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