Woody: How to speak football
By LARRY WOODY
It’s pigskin time in Tennessee. Players are fresh and eager, fans are in a frenzy, and coaches are waxing eloquent about their team’s prospects.
Every team is undefeated.
Every player is an All-Star.
This could be The Year.
Hello Heisman, look out Super Bowl.
“Excited” is the operative word, echoing through locker rooms form Pee Wee to high school, from colleges to the NFL. They all excited.
If you don’t believe it, check out any of the thousands of player and coach interviews between now and kickoff.
They’re excited about eating breakfast. They’re excited about tying their shoes. They’re excited about going to the bathroom.
A football player’s first word, as a toddler, was “excited.”
During this exciting time, excited coaches start excitedly talking coach-ese, a linguistic combo of Vince Lombardi and Daffy Duck, liberally sprinkled with banalities, bromides and a side order of fermented cliches.
+ “We’re going to play them one game at a time.”
+ “We need to work on our execution.”
“They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like we do.”
+ “Our guys showed up in great condition.”
+ Our offensive linemen spent a lot of time in the weight room during the off-season.”
+ “It rains on both ends of the field.”
+ “Our players have a lot of heart.”
+ “Our guys showed a lot of hustle.”
+ “We hope to keep it close going into the fourth quarter.”
+ “We’re going to give one hundred and ten percent.”
+ “We’ll leave it all on the field.”
+ “There was no quit in this team.”
+ “We’re going to try some trick plays this season.”
+ “Our quarterback’s eligibility is being evaluated.”
+ “There’s more to this game than winning.”
+ “Wait till next year.”