Saturday, after watching our team pimp-slap another team, we had a discussion of what verbs were appropriate for headlines and which were not.
For example, could I descibe our 37-point win with “Tulane Pummels Tulsa” ?
I see no problem with that. One of my coworkers disagreed, saying that was a little harsh. I ended up going with “Dismantles,” but the point remains:
I only feel like I should be nice with my verbs when the team we play deserves pity. For example, we’re a private institution in a conference that was among the top eight in basketball. For a while, we were fifth. Since the Big East expanded and raided us, now we’re probably in the 9-12 range.
If we play a team from a conference that’s traditionally in the 15-31 range, I’m not going to say something that demoralizes them (“Demoralizes” would be a good one to use).
But this was a conference game Saturday. We’re supposed to be equals.
If you don’t want us to use vivid phrases to describe how badly we beat you, play better.
One team got upset at our volleyball PA announcer, because he’s got personality and is clever when we score. He’s also loud and has a great voice. The team loves him. The other team felt it was “a little much” and borderline unsportsman like.
To which I say “bah.” The fact remains: If you don’t like the way he says we got a kill, block us. If you don’t like the way he says we got a point, win the point.
Unsportsmanlike to me is playing click-effects like Nelson from the Simpson’s going “Ha-HA!” or something that points out the failure of others, not celebrating the accomplishment of your team.
The only time I’m ever going to get upset about a headline is if it’s inaccurate. If it’s a game that is 10 points throughout, and free throws at the end makes it a 18-point game, and you say “dominates” I’d be upset. That’s a “Cruise” not “Dominates.”
People should take offense to this type of stuff. Use it as motivation to get better, and play harder next time we meet. That’s how you improve rivalries.