Sports Additions To The English Language

I want to begin today with my quadrennial exhortation to go out and vote today.  Voting is a responsibility of citizenship.  When a significant fraction of the electorate does not vote, it is impossible to know if the outcome of an election truly represents the will of the majority.

I will not tell you for whom I am voting; that is none of your business.  I will not suggest to you for whom you should vote; that is none of my business.  But I do urge you to go and vote even if you – like many others according to polls – do not really like any of the available candidates.

Here is an item that Bob Molinaro had in his column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot all the way back on 4 March of this year regarding the Presidential campaigns as they all existed then.  It was prescient:

“In passing: My polling place is at the Norfolk Zoo. Considering this election year atmosphere, that seems fitting to me.”

And now, back to your regularly schedule rant …

There is word not to be found in a dictionary that expresses the condition where a highly ranked team inexplicably – and inexcusably – loses a game to an inferior opponent for no discernible reason.  That word is “Clemsoning” and its derivation is rather obvious.  There is a team that has tended to do that frequently enough that some have come to anticipate it at least once every other year.  As you may imagine, Clemson coach, Dabo Swinney, does not like to hear the word “Clemsoning” even a little bit.  He has “gone off” on folks who have asked him about it.

I have no reason to poke Dabo Swinney with a stick; I do not know the man; I have no ties with nor animus toward Clemson.  However, I do think there is linguistic gold to be mined from the concept underlying the word “Clemsoning”.  If we were to expand the concept to other folks or other teams or other entities, we would have a wonderful set of opportunities for linguistic shorthand that would accurately describe behaviors or situations.  Consider:


“Harbaughing”:  In honor of Jim Harbaugh and his sideline “demeanor”, this word could come to mean behaving in such a way as to send one’s blood pressure to 215/190.

“Goodelling”:  In honor of Roger Goodell, this word could come to mean botching a disciplinary decision or process.

“FIFAing”:  In honor of FIFA, this word could come to mean shamelessly taking bribery money.

“IOCing”:  In honor of the IOC, this word would be synonymous with “FIFAing”.

“Lochteing”:  In honor of Ryan Lochte, this word could come to mean just making up sh*t.

“Soloing”:  In honor of Hope Solo, this word could come to mean running off at the mouth in a most insulting manner.

Clippersing”:  In honor of the LA Clippers, this word could come to mean finding new ways to disappoint the few fans they still have.

“Kaepernicking”:  In honor of Colin Kaepernick, this word could come to mean drawing attention to oneself when one’s performance is insufficient to do so.

“NCAAing”:  In honor of the NCAA, this word could come to mean behaving in such a way as to make hypocrites everywhere blush.

“Peytoning”:  In honor of Peyton Manning this word could come to mean cashing in on EVERY endorsement opportunity in the Western World.  Cha-ching!!


See how much fun this is?  See the potential for expanding the vocabulary and bringing a richness of expression to the English language?  We could start a movement here.  Come to think of it, “Ex-Laxing” could come to mean starting a movement – and it might have particular symbolic meaning whenever a politician says that he or she is involved in one.

Last week, as the Cubs were moving toward winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years, an ESPN writer for ESPN who is obviously a massive Cubs’ fan postponed his open-heart surgery because he did not want to miss any of potentially historic series.  He had an aortic aneurysm; had it burst, he would have died.  He chose to postpone the surgery until 7 November.  Interestingly, he got the diagnosis of his aortic aneurysm from a cardiologist in a Cleveland hospital.  Here is a link to a report about this.

The latest story about Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf is that he will play in something called the Hero World Challenge in December.  There have been so many “Tiger Rumors” recently, that there are now proposition bets on him and his golf game.


Will Woods withdraw from the Hero World Challenge before it starts?

Yes:  +275       No: minus-350

Will Woods win the Hero World Challenge?

Yes:  +250       No:  minus-300

Will Tiger Woods win another tournament before the end of his career?

Yes:  minus-120          No:  Even money

Will Tiger Woods win all four majors in 2017?

Yes:  +50,000              No:  minus-75,000


Finally, if Tiger Woods were to withdraw from the Hero World Challenge – as he did from the last tournament he said he would play in – how close would that bring him to “Kaepernicking”?  Just wondering…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

4 thoughts on “Sports Additions To The English Language”

  1. Tiger Woods mystifies me with the continued teasing (although he IS from Stanford) because I do not see how this can profit him in any way. I don’t see new endorsements, nor tournament winnings, nor participation fees (or not many) which would provide the extra income above what he already had, so why bother making a fool of himself?

    1. rugger9:

      MAYBE, Woods got so used to the constant fawning attention he received that he misses that. MAYBE, all of this translates into “Hey, look at me over here…” Possible?

      1. I would agree to a point (after all, he IS from Stanford), however sooner or later either it has to make money or people will tire of the schtick and ignore him.

      2. I have to agree with the Curmudge here. He’s an attention whore of the highest caliber (and that’s saying something these days).

Comments are closed.