Coaches don't always say just what they mean
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The world of sports is full of cliches with hidden meanings.
Here are some recent quotes from coaches followed up by what I believe they were really trying to say.
• “He's been struggling with academics since he arrived on campus.”
Translation: The only book he has opened since he got here was the phone book to order a pizza.
• “Lately, every game has been a challenge.”
Translation: These guys are challenged by the simplest of things — getting dressed, wearing matching socks, brushing their teeth daily. You name it, they're challenged by it.
• “I'm glad we'll get to play rather than having to wait a week.”
Translation: Haven't our fans suffered enough? Let's get this season over with.
• “He's got a good glove. He's a great defensive player.”
Translation: He couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.
• “We've been playing it one game at a time.”
Translation: I'd like to be the first coach to say that we've been playing it three games at a time but my record isn't good enough to give any zany, yet humorous, quotes.
• “If we give 100 percent total effort and play a mistake-free game, we have a chance.”
Translation: We need the other team to come down with the chicken pox.
• “We have a lot of different personalities on this team.”
Translation: These guys pretty much hate each other. I can't even let them alone in the locker room for fear of a street rumble.
• “They're not unbeatable.”
Translation: Yeah, they can be beat. Just not by us.
• “He's just a freshman. He's going to make mistakes. Give him time.”
Translation: The way I see it, the kid is only 18 and, if things don't change, he's got a good shot to be 21 in three years.
• “We have to get back to the basics.”
Translation: These guys need a flow chart to tie their shoes.
The only thing they know about good defense is they can't play it. They can't dribble with their left hand and they can't shoot with their right.
Their best two-handed technique is the double-dribble. It's going to be a long season.
• “He's having trouble with the location of his pitches.”
Translation: Many of his pitches have been located-deep in the center field seats.
• “He doesn't have the right mind-set for a good running back.”
Translation: Every time he gains three yards, he does a dance and wants a pay raise.
There you have it — a beginner's guide to coach-speak.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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