Cliches In Sports Press Conferences

It’s the same old rhetoric. “We played hard,” “We battled,” “Coach drew up a great game plan,” “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

Unfortunately, sports press conferences have become totally void of insight. Reporters ask questions like, “LeBron, why did you guys go on a run late in the third quarter” or “Did that pre-game milkshake help or hurt your jump shot from the left elbow?”

But these exchanges don’t enhance a viewer’s understanding of the game. Instead, the post-game press conference is a calculated routine where the reporter asks an obvious question, the player gives a trite answer, and the fan at home learns nothing and then writes a satirical, yet oddly profound, article about the process.

I now present the most abominable press conference cliches. Drink if you hear these postgame. Or just drink if you’re lonely.

Cliche: “We need to give 110 %”

Insight: Listen, I’m no math whiz. In fact I failed out of 8th grade trig but all I know is 110 % is not a possible percent.

What I wonder is, was the player not giving maximum effort before? Is he now gonna show up early to shootaround? Spend more time lifting weights? Low intensity, high volume workouts or high intensity, low volume?*

*I’m a low volume, low intensity guy myself

P.S- This sounds like when you were a kid and you’d lose a game of mini-basketball and then say “I wasn’t even trying.” Classic excuse.

Cliche: “I wouldn’t be anywhere without my teammates”

Insight: This canned response is meant to make a player look unselfish. But instead it comes across as disingenuous.

Hey look at me, I’m such a great guy giving all the credit to my teammates when everyone knows I’m the best player. Also I feed the hungry at halftime and house sit my best friend’s iguana Patrick, but don’t print that (actually do, need to look like a team player).

Cliche: “All credit to the other team”

Insight: Don’t be fooled. The player isn’t actually in awe of the other team. He just played really poorly and wants to deflect some blame.

*Guy misses a wide open layup down 1 at the buzzer*

Player: “They just came better prepared.”

Cliche: “We weren’t hungry tonight”

Insight: Did you try the guacamole? Word on the street is it was excellent.

Cliche: “We are taking it one game at a time”

Insight: Total hogwash. You’re telling me you’re not thinking about October baseball? I don’t buy it. If your team’s on a hot streak and you jump 4.5 games to take a lead in your division, you’re thinking about the playoffs. It’s human nature.

Maybe it’s not at the forefront of your brain, but you’re thinking a little about innings limits. Who you would start if the series goes to seven. Who would be your first bat off the bench. The smell of popcorn in the air, the roar of the crowd. So don’t waste my time saying you’re only thinking about how to win today. We saw the October 6th lineup card, Terry. You left it out on your desk.

Cliche: “How important do you think that [something really important] was?”

Insight: This reporter question creates no opportunity for the player/coach to say anything meaningful. So let’s make it better.

Bad question: “Coach, how important was that first down on fourth-and-seven, down a touchdown?”

Better question: “Why did you call a crossing pattern in that situation?”

The first question will lead to a vague answer while the second question may lead to a specific, tangible response like “we wanted to exploit their zone defense” or “because it always works in Madden.”

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