You’re caught up in the moment. Every detail matters. Yet you cannot keep up with every one of them though you try, and what you feel matches the emotional intensity in the voices overseeing the game … until they drop a universal line that degrades the sharpness factor, broadening the field and herding this singular event into a grouping system. Once I hear these words, I’m pulled back into the generic world.
1. This is a game-changing play
Especially if said before the end of the first half. How could they possibly know? There is so much yet to come. Maybe this fumble, this tackle, this penalty, or this interception, whatever they are referring to, will not lead to points scored or points removed. When heard last night, I found myself getting into over-analyze mode and losing myself from immersion in what’s happening now. Getting technical, I started churning on thoughts like, isn’t every play changing the game, either by time on the clock, number of downs, or yards lost/gained? For the last play of last night’s game, score came down to a 2-point conversion, and I was busy wondering if they would say the same thing.
2. We’ve got a (ball) game here
Ofttimes said in the heat of the moment, but I am immediately frosted over by their words. They just made it sound like any other serious situation in football’s life. Furthermore, any win, loss, or tie is a game for both teams; it’ll go down in their stats for that season, be on their game record. When you look at those numbers, each win is as crucial as the last. I know what they are trying to say but say it differently instead of summing it up alongside all the other times they’ve said it, which is fairly numerous.
I am thankful I’ve been given fodder for another post to add to my own record as I trudge through NaBloPoMo and freely admit I am in argument with myself about doling out harsh criticism. Commentators can nail down the moment, get us geared-up, as they specifically recount what has led to this moment, what hinges on it. They also are very discouraged from allowing silence on their watch and must always find something to fill the void. I ask they focus on the details.
Also, they’ve given me a great example of why one should avoid clichés in their writing. If you want to draw your reader in, a safe bet is sticking with your story’s specifics. The reader is pulled out of the story when they come across a saying such as fit as a fiddle, as old as the hills, or in the nick of time (See Literary Devices–cliché for more examples and definition). We read past those words so quickly that they hardly registered because we’ve heard them enough, which you might have done with some of the sayings I speckled throughout my post, beyond those in boldface.
Make your own sayings for your own particular work; make it apply to the setting and history of your fictional world; make it reflect upon the mental or emotional state of the character/narrator who is describing the moment. If it hits the mark, you’ll be the author of a new cliché. Fans may start saying it in regards to their daily lives. You’ve allowed them the chance to escape more than once into your world.