In “The B-Straw and Pauly G Bracket”, Paul Gallant and Brien Straw create tournaments – in the world of sports and beyond – where only one can prevail. They accept listener and reader nominations every week, announcing the topic every Monday at 9 PM CT on “B-Straw and Pauly G”.

This week’s topic was inspired by a listener:

Fantastic idea Jacob. From the mouths of broadcasters – looking at you Spencer “Smoke Through a Keyhole” Tillman – to coaches and players, nothing earns a an eyeroll like a good old fashioned sports cliché.

Which ones are the worst?

1. “You Play To Win The Game”

Wait a minute . . . the purpose of competition . . . is for one person to out-compete the other? No way man! In other news:

When I say “no way man” I mean “No sh*t, Herm.” Who are you explaining this for, hoss? Yourself? Maybe you should have heeded that advice a little more, Mr.  54 and 74.

This cliché works me into a tizzy. It’s not just because of Herm’s mediocrity as a coach. It’s more because he WROTE A BOOK WITH THAT TITLE.

Other Titles Considered

  • You Play To Get A Participation Trophy
  • You Play Because The Xbox Broke
  • You Play In An Attempt To Impress An Attractive Person
  • You Play So Your Dad Won’t Be Ashamed Of You


Milk your 15 minutes of fame more, bro.

Speaking of which, remember the time Ozzie Guillen swore at me? That was awesome.

Wait a minute . . .

2. No, you are not a Soldier, bro

Oh, so you say it’s “war” out there? That you battled? Interesting . . . I guess you just forgot to bring weapons . . . kill people . . . etc.

My favorite part of this rant: Kellen went out of his way to stop swearing at least 3 times, then wrapped it up with that.

3. Mathematic Impossibilities

Fun fact: it is impossible to give anything more than 100%. Hell, it’s probably not even possible to REACH 100%. Yet we hear guys saying that they gave that exact amount . . . or more . . . time and time again. And when they don’t reach 147%? Well, it’s because the other team “wanted it more”.

4. Unintelligible Intangible Talk

When a commentator says “THIS GUY has all the intangibles”, he’s basically saying “THIS GUY has a lot of things that I cannot actually explain.” Which really means “Wow, I’m surprised that this guy is good at the sports.”

Don’t let a commentator’s follow up explanation – “he does the little things” or “he’s a natural born winner/leader” – fool you. That guy’s stereotyping.

Key and Peele hit the nail on the head with the video above. But my favorite example? The white slot receiver. Nine times out of ten, the description is this “He’s a heady, sure handed receiver with deceptive speed.”

5. The Brutally Obvious

We’re just going to list these.

For Athletes/Coaches:

  • “A win is a win”
  • “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”
  • “I was just doing my job.”


For Commentators

  • “He’s just a pro’s pro.”
  • “They don’t play these games on paper”
  • “They have to treat this just like any other game.”



6. Really bad Repercussions

Far too often, we see commentators, coaches, and players describe [playoff] elimination scenarios as such:

“It’s do or die for [us/them]. [We’ve/They’ve] got [our/their] backs against the wall, and are in a must win situation!”

But sorry, there’s only one sports team in the world that faces “do or die” scenarios.

Thoughts and prayers, North Korean soccer team.

7.Anything Involving “The World”

Football and baseball are played in one country. By default, NFL and MLB champs CAN’T be “World” champions. As such – and barring this – a sporting event never “Shocks the World”

8. The Bill Belichick School Of “F*ck You”

“It is what it is. We’re just taking it one game at a time, and we’re on to ___”

Listener and reader nominations will be accepted until Thursday at midnight. Friday at 9 PM CT on “B-Straw and Pauly G”, a bracket will be created, and a “Championship” will be won.

Paul Gallant co-hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – weeknights 7-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or at his facebook page: Paul Gallant: SportsRadio610.

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Brien Straw also co-hosts “B-Straw and Pauly G” – weeknights 7-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. Get in touch with Brien via email.

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