This is another installment of Off the Beaten Path, a way for me to talk about totally irrelevant and useless information that has nothing to do with the price of eggs. My topic this time is common NFL phrases that are either senseless, blatantly obvious or just plain stupid. Feel free to add any phrases that drive you crazy. I'm interested in hearing yours. Here we go.
Big Game, Big Win
When the adjective "big" is connected to a noun, it implies extraordinary separation from the norm. In 50 years of following the Steelers, I can honestly not recall a handful of games that weren't "big." In the NFL's 16-game schedule, all games are big; therefore, calling them big is redundant. It's like saying "wet rain." If all rain is wet, why bother with the adjective? The Cleveland Browns were 1-11 last year before their fans claimed "huge wins" to end the season and gain momentum. If a 1-11 team can win a "big game," then what game isn't big? OK, if you locked up your playoff seed, that final game(s) is not "big," but we're talking about less than one-tenth of one percent of games. Yes, some games are bigger than others. Division games are bigger than conference games which are bigger than non-conference games. Elimination games are obviously bigger than non-elimination games. But they're still all big. Folks, every Steelers game will be "big" this year. I don't need to use that adjective to remind you. We all know already. There's no point in stating the obvious, unless of course, you pray for wet rain when your grass needs watered.
One Game at a Time
Why are those five words ever strung together, ever? Has any team ever played two games at one time? How can a team not play one at a time? These guys are professionals. They play once a week. They can't think about a game two weeks from now. This is the NFL, not Ohio State and Indiana. I never understood coaches, players and fans talking about playing "one game at a time."
Should Have Won That Game
No, we shouldn't have won that game. The scoreboard said so. There is a loss for every win. Simple math says it must be 50-50. If you add up every win in the NFL, plus add the games that teams "should have won," the ratio would be something like 85-15. Can't happen. The Jets should be 8-0, the Steelers 8-0, the Ravens 8-0, etc. Even the Bills "should be" 3-5. Where are the losses? People claiming that their team "should have won" often insult the opponents. After the Steelers-Bengals game, the Bengals fan site claimed several times that "The Bengals beat the Bengals." Excuse me? Our team showed up and had a little something to do with the outcome. A wise man once said, "You are what your record says you are." You "shouldn't" be anything else. Period.
We Gave that Game Away
This is similar to the one above, but merits its own chastisement. No, we didn't give the game away. It was never ours in the first place. I don't care what the circumstances are. We cannot "give games away." They are taken from us. If we make crucial mistakes, then we don't deserve the win and therefore cannot give that "win" away.
The Bottom Line is Winning...Need to Score Touchdowns in the Red Zone
Only one word for this one. Brilliant.