Sports Language, Sportswriting: Language

Journalists are ready for the ‘Big Cliche’

March Madness kicks off in less than a week, which means that everybody’s dusting off their cliches about the Big Dance. So I’ll shake the rust off a piece I published back in 2008 on Blogger where I lamented, to no avail, the use of imprecise bromides that have far more fizzle than sizzle. I think there’s a good argument that King Lear would also rage against such language. Alas, here goes my attempt to change your mind.

(March 19, 2008): I feel like putting on my dancing shoes, baby. It’s time for the Big Dance where a Cinderella always pops up. And it’s also that time when cliches run rampant. Writers and editors especially love using the Big Dance, but they also enjoy many other cliches. Many of these cliches are overused well before the NCAA Tournament begins. Games are frequently called tilts, teams fight back when their backs are against the wall, victories are hard-fought, and players assert their will.

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college sports media

College sports writers offer solid coverage of NCAA tourney

Arizona's Daily Wildcat offered significant coverage of its team's first-round game Thursday.

Arizona’s Daily Wildcat offered significant coverage of its team’s first-round game Thursday.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat offered the most comprehensive coverage among schools whose teams played in the opening round of the NCAA basketball tournament on Thursday.  The Wildcat posted a game story, a column and a notes package while most schools offered a single game story, which was certainly a challenge for staffs covering late-night games. Several school staffs relied solely on social media for its coverage – but that’s not substantial enough for today’s multimedia fan/reader. Continue reading

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