Will college football championship set new record for cliches?

Alabama plays Georgia for the national college football championship Monday night in Indianapolis.

I like football, but I don’t care for the playoffs.

I miss the old bowl system.

All the important bowls — Cotton, Orange, Rose, and Sugar — were played on New Year’s Day.

If a contender lost one of the early games, then the night game suddenly became more interesting.

The sports writers decided the championship, which was fine. Writers back then could study the game rather than punchout spreadsheets full of statistics and hot takes for Twitter.

We’re stuck with the playoffs.

We’re also stuck with lousy announcing. Keith Jackson is dead. Verne Lundquist is retired, and Brent Musburger only does radio for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit are scheduled to call the championship for ESPN.

Those fellows are fine, but most sports broadcasters can’t stop rapid-fire cliché. It drives me to mute.

See how many of these words and phrases you hear during the game:

Weapons to describe quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. Weapons break things and kill people. These people are playing a game, although they sometimes break themselves and others.

In the trenches. What is this, World War I? My apologies to the late John Madden, who used this phrase to excess, but if there’s a trench in this field, somebody should fire the groundskeeper.

Ground and pound. I think they’re talking about running the ball, but this sounds kind of gross.

Imposed their will. This sounds like a wizard put a whammy on somebody. Is Dr. Strange at the game?

Curb stomp. I doubt Chris or Kirk will let loose this one, but it bubbles up on sports radio. Curb stomping is the practice of forcing another person to put their head on a curb while someone else smashes their foot into the back of their skull. The result is serious injury and often death. It’s a favorite tactic of white supremacists. It should never be used in relation to sports. I could go the rest of my life without hearing that phrase.

Cinderella story. This won’t come up Monday, either. Georgia and Alabama are perennial contenders. Cincinnati was the Cinderella story. I’m not one to body shame, but not one player on that team would’ve fit that glass slipper, not even the punter.

That’s one the quarterback is going to want to have back after an interception. He might regret it, too, which is a lot fewer words.

No love lost between these two teams, they hate each other, revenge game, rivalry game. Someone should tell them they’re playing a game that has no significance to most of the country and get them into therapy.

Playing their best football, throws the football well, runs the football well. Why do they keep saying football? Do they think we’ll forget what kind of game is being played?

Control the narrative, flip the script. Is this a football game or an English class?

Putting on a clinic. Clinic, as in medical clinic? Oh, no. Let’s not start a vaccine debate. Just say they’re playing well.

Supporting cast, putting on a show. Wait, maybe the game is a theatrical performance.

Not their first rodeo. OK, I give up. I don’t know what the hell we’re watching.


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
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HOT SHEET: Football, Busch Light, ranch dressing and other pointless s***

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The Iowa Beef Industry Council selected selected its best burger Iowa. It’s the Who Gives A Shit Just Eat Wherever You Like And Stop Being Such A Goddamn Follower served everywhere. It’s served with Busch Light and ranch dressing because Iowans really like these exceptionally dull things with a pointless fanaticism.

ITEM TWO: The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was pen pals with the director of the Des Moines Metro Opera, reports WHO-TV. As a nation mourns a pioneer for gender equity under the law and one of the most respected jurists of her time, we must also mourn the loss of the loss of the last active pen pals in the nation. Toast their special friendship with a Busch Light and dip something in ranch.

ITEM THREE: Hot Sheet predicts a 4-4 Big Ten season for the Iowa Hawkeyes with losses to Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin. The typist also predicts Hawkeye fans will drink lots of Busch Light and dip lots of things in ranch dressing.

ITEM FOUR: Unavailable due to coronavirus quarantine.

ITEM FIVE: Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos moaned about the tough draw the Cornhuskers received in the Big Ten schedule, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The Bugeaters play five preseason AP Top 25 teams. Ohio State plays one. Nebraska’s schedule is undeniably tough, but if they it can’t all be Busch Light and ranch dressing.

ITEM LAST: Players at 71 courts in Estonia made 114,357 free throws in 8 hours to set a Guinness Book of World Records mark and honor basketball’s 100th anniversary in the nation, the UPI reports. No word on how much Busch Light and ranch dressing was consumed in celebration.

OK. Let’s close the book on this one. Please donate if you can and, as always, behave and be kind. Especially be kind.

Daniel P. Finney shaved Monday and nobody noticed.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: Media makes 9-11 anniversary grief porn, the tyranny of consumer ratings, West Des Moines school overwhelmed by COVID-19, and the University of Georgia’s terribly worded sex advice for students

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Precinct Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The typist seldom celebrates his exile from corporate journalism more than on the anniversary of 9-11. Hot Sheet concedes the relatively recent national tragedy deserves remembrance. One might assume a fairly broad line between respectful observation and a blatant exploitation as part of a desperate grab for eyeballs on screens. Alas, the trade is so lost it reflexively pimps suffering. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker still slung sentences at the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and was asked to call the half dozen or so Iowa families who lost loved ones in the attacks. What he was supposed to ask them, the typist did not know. Certainly they felt their grief, some more acutely than others. But after 10 years, some people had made their peace with the loss — only to be hassled about it by the media again because the anniversary had a zero or five at the end. One shudders to ponder the positively pornographic display of grief exploitation the Fourth Estate will put on for the 20th anniversary. The typist can only thank God that he not have to beg the bereaved for another quote.

ITEM TWO: A final 9-11 note: Ask yourselves, fellow media consumers, how many reports so brazenly replaying the World Trade Center collapsing made mention of the fact that the United States is still at war in Afghanistan — and will likely have a troop presence in that country with no end in sight? “Never forget” is the hashtag cry of 9-11, but the typist thinks most Americans have indeed forgotten their warrior class locked in a forever war.

ITEM THREE: Are you sick of being asked to rate every service or phone call you make? The typist called the cable company because of an internet outage. We got not one but two automated calls asking me to review the customer service performance. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker ordered some food delivered by a local restaurant. The delivery company asked us to rate both the delivery driver and the restaurant’s food. Hot Sheet bought a product off an online website and was asked to write a review. Companies? Just stop it already. The typist reviews society only in these columns and suspects most humans have better things to do than give ratings to every damn thing they buy. Dear business owner, you will know if the consumer enjoyed your product and service by whether they order again.

ITEM FOUR: A third of Crossroads Elementary School faculty have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine, multiple local news outlets reported. The West Des Moines school district has requested to move to online instruction. The typist wonders if this outbreak could have been prevented or curtailed if Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature had practice a modicum of flexibility on the matter of in-person instruction. Ah, but what is the suffering of teachers against the raw thrill of flexing political power?

ITEM FIVE: Hot Sheet offers its annual admonition against unnecessarily aggressive babble from TV football commentators. Weapons break things and people. Football players run, throw and catch exceptionally well. Football players are humans. Stop calling them weapons because you are not creative enough to describe the game and its great players without cliche.

ITEM LAST: Tyler Blint-Welsh of the Wall Street Journal’s Notes on the News column offers the following tidbit: “The University of Georgia posted guidelines suggesting students wear masks during intimacy, or to prioritize positions that limit face-to-face contact.” This typist has no further comment.

I guess we can close the book on this one. Go forth dear readers. Behave and be kind.

Artist’s rendition of Daniel P. Finney. He is presumed heavily opinionated and annoying. Do not attempt to approach.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way poking fun at the passing parade.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.