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Tuesday, December 31, 2013


What better day for a football rant then New Year’s Eve.  What is Cranky ranting about?  Too much football?  Too many bowl games?

Hell no, there is no such thing as too much football.

This rant is about the TV football color analysts.

Dudes…your job is to explain the game, explain each play, analyze situations, and add color and understanding for the vast audience with low testosterone. 

What do you do instead?

You use stupid confusing terminology that your audience which already knows what is happening can interpret, but confuses the audience for which you were hired to explain the game.

Por exemplum (I was forced to take Latin in high school and I will use it…dammit!) and as a public service: here is some common “Analyst” terminology, what it sounds like, and what it actually means.


“He needs to use his legs to move the sticks.”  FRIGGIN WHAT?

The quarterback should run more often to get a first down.  “The sticks” are the markers that represent the yard marker for a first down.

“He’s gotta make that catch!” Is it a penalty if he drops it?

It was a catchable ball and if they don’t make the easy catches it will be hard to win.  You are allowed to drop the ball without a penalty.

“They need to run the ball north and south.”  What, do they need a compass?

It means run the ball straight up the middle of the field…yes, some fields do run east west…

“This guy is a great down-hill runner.” Which way is down-hill; north or south?

It means he runs hard and with a lot of momentum…no it is not you, it is a stupid expression.  Oh, also runs north…north is forward, south is backward…I KNOW!

“The name of this game is 'hit'!” Why do you always call it football?

It is called football.  “The name of the game is (insert anything here)” is a stupid expression for hitting is important.  Sometimes the name of the game is block, or tackle, or control the clock…Once again…I KNOW!

“This guy is going to be great at the next level.” So, he doesn’t run down-hill?

Next level means the pro’s…He is good enough to play pro-football.

“If you give him too much time he is going to pick you apart.”  Pick you apart? Isn’t that unnecessary roughness?

He will have time to find open pass receivers and will gain ground with easy completions…yes North completions.

“You can’t just stand around.  You have to put a hat on somebody!” Hat? Like hat trick? Is this hockey or is it football…or 'hit'?

Put a hat on someone means to block someone…yes…I KNOW!

“We will be seeing him a lot on Sundays.” What? He goes to church?

They play pro-football on Sundays, so this player will make it to the next level.  Are you getting the hang of it yet?…no, hang time means kicking the ball real high…I KNOW!

“Here comes the hands team.” Don’t they all have hands?

No, some teams don’t have hands.

“I’d keep it on the ground here.”  Didn’t you say a fumble was bad?

That means he thinks they should run the ball not pass it…I KNOW!

“He needs to air it out.” Does the ball smell?

That means he thinks they should pass the ball.

“That one needed to have some extra air.”  Why don’t they pump all the balls up the same?

It means throw the ball higher…hang time is for a kick, more air is for a pass…I KNOW!

“That is two three and outs in a row.” I thought strike outs were in baseball.

You get four downs to move the ball ten yards.  If you move it ten yards you get a new set of four downs.  If you don’t get a first down after three tries…you know what, never mind, strike outs are in baseball not football.

“They’re lining up in the pistol.” WHAT?

It is kind of like the shot-gun but not quite a wildcat formation. It means the backfield takes a direct snap, but from only a few yards and it is the regular quarterback and not the wildcat player who…ah hell, I don’t know either, I don’t think anyone does.

Just turn to the discovery channel, there is a “Say Yes to the Dress” marathon all New Year’s Day!



  1. Happy New Year to you and your family too.
    Both my sons have been into Baseball. Foot ball not so much. My hubby is not into sports at all.

  2. Very well described and explained,

  3. Excellent point. The only people who can understnd the analysts' terminology are the ones who already understand the game.

    Try this if you wanna be confused: Try to learn English rugby by listening to their color analysts on TV. I understand the basics thanks to Rugby For Dummies (really!), but listening to these guys in the UK announcing who was being penalized and for what IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE no less is nearly impossible!


  4. Thanks for the explanations. I usually just let those things sail right on over the top of my head. Happy New Year.

  5. I've learned more about football in this post than I have in all the years I've avoided the game. But I do want to wish you and Mrs. Cranky a happy and prosperous new year.

  6. This blog NEEDED to be written.....hanks, Joe.....I will be sending you 127 pages of more "commentary" for you to interpret.

    I still love ya, dollink, and wish you and your family a wonderful 2014.

  7. January first is one of my favorite times of the year with all the bowl games . Thanks to a very patient fellow many years ago, I followed along quite well till you hit the "pistol" part. Huh?? Now I will be listening for that one.


  9. You mean to say they play football on New Year's Day??? Wouldn't that interfere with any hangovers?

    I had Latin in high school, too. So now I get to explain to people what "i.e." means vs. "e.g." And then people always say that it's so ironic that I'm the one who speaks English as a second language and ends up explaining stuff like that to them.

  10. Oh, yes - almost forgot: Happy New Year to you and your family!

  11. Excellent post, Cranky! Loved it.

  12. You are so right and well said, Cranky.

    That's one reason I mostly ignore the "TV football color analysts." They're just guys getting paid to yadda, yadda, yadda.

    I just yell when my favorite color gets to the goal and eat chips.

  13. Happy New Year, Cranky!! Looking forward to all your posts in 2014.

  14. just between us, i dislike sports commentators in general but play the dialog while ignoring it. the alternative would involve Queenie giving me grief followed by her playing something totally incompatible with sports on her laptop. out loud. besides, every once in a while they say something hilariously stoopid. wouldn't wanna miss that!