Saturday, September 30, 2006

Midday spittle

Today, while trying to shut out the outside world and actually do some homework (good god, I can't believe I'm in school again) I find myself defenceless to whatever inanity that springs up in my head. One of them being curious expressions used in hockey:

"the kid's got jam" - This is a phrase I keep hearing over and over, exclusively in hockey, and I've only heard Oilers management use the expression. The first time it popped up was last year when Kevin Lowe used it to describe Jani Rita. What is this jam they speak of? If it contains Jani Rita, I don't want any part of it. But alas, it's a phrase that has come up in a few audio interviews and from Oilers coaching staff during this year's training camp. From what I can tell, "jam" is similar to "grit," except it's used for players who are still kind of shitty and don't quite deserve to be bestowed with the mantle of "gritty." Think of it as proto-grit, or potential grit, a primordial substrate that may one day go on to form actual, true grit.

"table setter" - It might just be me, but I never really heard the expression used in hockey until last year, and then it seemed like everyone was using it, from people like Bob MacKenzie or Chris Pronger. From what I understand, in baseball the table-setter is the lead-off guy who "sets up" a run for power hitters to bring home. How this applies to hockey is still vague, except that it generally means "the guy who gets a lot of points," sort of like Chris Pronger on the Powerplay, for instance. I like neither the expression nor Chris Pronger, although I do appreciate people trying to come up with a more literate alternative to "the go-to guy".

"he's really pressing the issue" - This is an oldie but a goodie that you'll only hear from Chris Cuthbert when he's announcing a game. Visually, this phrase is utterly un-hockey, almost like someone in a meeting who's decided to be bold and interject a comment without raising his hand first. Anyway, it's not like there's a lot of wriggle room for euphemism: a hockey player' s job is to skate with the puck towards a net, and, unless the player also starts screaming "I'm skating with the puck towards the net!!" he's not truly "pressing the issue," now is he, Mister Chris Cuthbert?

I know there's more curious expressions but I can't think of them right now. Feel free to share some of your own pet phrases if you got 'em, you Oilers-lovin' clowns.

24 comments:

Doogie said...

"He made no mistake on that one." No, I guess not, if it went in, dumbass.

Lowetide said...

I used to know all of them but upon hearing Sugartits my mind is mush. What can I say?

I should have played kitty bar the door.

Matt said...

It's taken me 25 years to decide that a "long lead pass" and a "long leaf pass" are the same thing, used interchangeably depending on the broadcaster. Right? I don't want to ponder this for another 25...

allan said...

I started hearing "lights out" about two years ago. Based on context, I'm pretty sure it means "good." But why and how?

Anonymous said...

This one is reserved for a Buffalo broadcaster I particular dislike and find annoying, but "Top shelf where mother keeps the cookies".

I also dislike the term biscuit...I've heard games from Florida where I think the play by play guy never even used the word puck: "He's got the biscuit, he dishes the biscuit to the wing, the biscuit misses the net!".

hockeygirl said...

My favourite is "donnybrook" used to describe a fight.

case said...

my favorites are the pregame...

"can the oilers match up to this canuck team"

"the leafs want to win. let's see what they can do against the oilers."

these are curious hockey expressions. one's that we will STILL hear this year. over and over again.

bigleaguer said...

He failed to negotiate contact... wordy play-by-play phrase when a pass goes astray - used when Rod Phillips can't remember the Wild defenceman who now has the puck... he's been using this phrase way back when Doug Barrie or Rusty Patenaude failing to negotiate contact.

As for jam, the extremely tiresome Pierre McGuire uses it all the time, and in a tone of voice that is quite disturbing...

mudcrutch79 said...

I heard from one of my inside sources that Pierre McGuire has an odd tendency to fall in love with Don Meehan clients. Whether true or not, I can't say but there it is. Him, Healy and Kypreos (who Sportsnet has decided is a star) make me nauseous.

daniel said...

One of Rod's that I like is "A howitzer from the point!", often inserted between "back to Bergeron" and "just over the net!".

Anonymous said...

roger millions on sportsnet says "rims it" - ie) "he rims it around the boards!" or "The oilers rim it!" "rim!"

roger millions has fake hair.

- oiler fans in vancouver

"oilers - we hate calgary"

NEVER RED

Lowetide said...

"The refs are calling some ticky-tack plays" has always been one that I found silly. Grownups needs to come up with a better word. Marginal is a good word for what they're talking about and it's used often in the adult world.

Also, Don Cherry saying "everythink" is just the silliest damn thing in the world. It isn't cute, it's stupid.

Andy said...

The stupidest is this one: "Their goalie stood on his head!"

Call me silly, but I've always tried to picture a goaltender trying not to slip and fall while his mask is twisting his neck forward as he tries to keep those gloved hands flat on the ice and those heavy skates in the air. I always figured he should be taking his mask and gloves off before he stood on his head, leaving them on top of his net - but then how could that be good for his game? And how does he use his stick, can he even see over his stick? Yeah, I'm still working on that one, but I'm sure every save he makde would be scintillating.

bigleaguer said...

And when the shots are 15-2 in the 10-minute mark of the 1st period, someone like Greg Millen will say:
"What would be the score if Roloson wasn't in the nets for Edmonton tonight??"
Uhh, 15, because they wouldn't have a goalie, numbnuts.

Colby Cosh said...

Least favourite Rod-ism: "That was a GARGANTUOUS save by Braithwaite!" It's not only rotten English, it's obviously the product of a needless and embarrassingly self-conscious search for a Gallivanesque catchphrase.

uni said...

Sorta not really qualifying, but I fired up EA Sports NHL 2007 today, and it has some of the most innane and annoying play-by-play chatter there is. I advise you to turn off the commentary.

Frequently in gameplay you have golden nuggets of pure insight bordering on a life changing epiphany or revelation that only those of the highest intellect could discern.

Case in point:
"If you can score a quick pair of goals to open a game, you're hard to beat."
I was unaware that if you score the first 2 goals of a game it somehow made you harder to beat.

"If you go down by two in the first, you're in a hole."
Thanks for clearing that up, I always though that when you have more goals scored against you than you score yourself you were winning and not in a hole.

"Right now what they want to do is score the go ahead goal."
Wow, who knew teams wanted to score a game winning goal...to like I don't know, win the game?

Coluch said...

"Biscuit" is the DUMBEST term I've EVER heard in hockey. It sounds far too "let's be cool for the U.S. audience", and is the linguistic equivalent to the NHLonFOX's Battling Robots. Too contrived. I'm also not fond of "bulges the twine" for similar reasons (note these were both terms that were featured in TV ads with NHL players showcasing the game for the U.S. audience to watch - it was FOX or NBC - and Roenick was in one of them).

I like when Bob Cole calls a nice play "a dandy" though. You guys out west can hate The Bob as much as you want, but I love the guy and his big, old-time hockey heart. Other favourites include "five-hole", "roofs it", and "snowed the goalie".

In a slightly different category, I remember thinking when I was a kid that calling the Leafs the "Toronto Make Me Laughs" was golden. It still kinda is.

Karina said...

"In Forsbergian fashion..."

UGH!
I hate Sportsnet Pacific just because of this guy... whose name I seem to have blocked from my memory...

Doogie said...

That would be the estimable Don Taylor. Between that and his Dick Irvin impressions, I generally mute the late broadcast of Sportsnetnews.

Bretzky81 said...

Don Taylor drives me crazy. He's probably got beat up a ton as a kid.

Cole/Neal are terrible. sorry. Canadian icons that they are, it pains me to listen to them.

And if Maguire fires off one more 'MONSTER' I will seriously consider flying to Toronto to beat him to death with a spoon. (because it will take longer and hurt more)

Anonymous said...

Please please please do it bretzky81, I can't stand Maguire...and his stupid MONSTERS of hockey and playoff MONSTERS goddamn articles and segments. He needs a monster blow to the nuts and the back of the head...that's what he he needs.

Nick said...

How about the Cherryism "chintzy penalties"? Excuse me sir, I believe these penalties to be shoddy and cheap!

Greg Millen is fond of the "he [verbed], and I mean [verbed], Dean." construction.

Another fave is "eat (and/or suck) up minutes" as if the goal of hockey were to let time expire.

Speaking of Braithwaite, Dean Brown once used the following expression when Freddy was in his groove and had just stopped yet another breakaway: "Oh, he is UN-CONSCIOUS out there!" I prefer my 'tenders to be conscious. Maybe "lucid" is what he was after?

Also, I am a fan of the Jes Golbez innovation: "shiny wins". MY EYES!!

d-lee said...

One of my favorite hockey expressions "mucking it up in the corners"

My least favorite is that the post or crossbar is the "goalie's best friend". I'm not sure why I dislike that one so much, but I cringe every time I hear it.

sager said...

"Didn't play with enough jam" must be some kind of Western Canada thing. A midget AAA coach on my old beat in Manitoba used it all the time, and I've incorporated it into my vocabulary.