1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

"Obviously...blah blah....blah blah."

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by urgrad04, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. urgrad04

    urgrad04 Member

    I've noticed a growing trend recently for tv and radio play by play, color commentators, sideline reporters and coaches to use the word "obviously" superflously. It's getting out of control to the point where the word is uttered three to four times in a 30 second span -- and that's when they're being humble.

    Reporter: "Coach Shanahan obviously you didn't want to give the ball back to Peyton Manning with so much time on the clock, so that obviously had to enter through your thought process in calling the play on third down?"

    Shanahan: "Your right -- obviously we wanted to run some more time off with the offense they have and that factored into it -- but obviously we just didn't execute the play."

    Then once the interview ended, five seconds later, "The Colts move on to face New England next week where obviously they will enter the game 7-0."

    No joke that was actually said. The word especially with the tone it's used by broadcasters and people who think they are important is so arrogant and condescending. It's no surprise it's used just as frequently in the same context by political reporters and the people they cover.

    It's not as if the people who say it know so much more than anyone else, it's that they have to add it to make it seem like they know what they're talking about. Mayor Bloomberg said it about 12 times at his news conference after the Corey Lidle tragedy and I wanted to throw the remote at the tv.

    When the word is used so excessively I just tune out everything else the person is saying because I can't stand the way it's being delivered. It's like everything in between should be substitued with "Obviously the high position I'm in gives me the right to obviously make it seem that everything I'm telling you is just so obvious."

    Has anyone else noticed this? If not listen closely the next time the Aikman-Buck crew does a game.
  2. espnguy

    espnguy Member

    "Obviously" is a weak crutch word -- something that gets us between point A and point C, but isn't necessary, either. It's become the "ya know" of the 21st century, obviously <pun intended>.
  3. e4

    e4 Member

    I'm not old enough to say this with any authority, but I'll throw out my best guess... or at least my thoughts, because these sort of things irritate the hell out of me to the point where I often mute games... I'll keep my premise simple and see what people think... (obviously this is not an earth shattering epiphany, either)

    It seems that over time the average sports fan's knowledge has increased exponentially. He or she is able to understand and break down the intricacies and nuances of the game with a very discerning eye, typically without the help of the play-by-play or color guy.

    At the same time, the guys in the booth haven't stayed out in front of the fans' knowledge, they are more obsolete than cutting edge. Most of these booth guys may have been a catalyst for the fan's education or interest some years ago, experts who could break down games and offer "ah-ha" types of insight, even during live broadcasts, but no more.

    I do not know if it was caused by a lack of effort or a lack of access, but they now struggle to offer information that the average fan isn't already clued in on. So, when they spout "obviously this..." or "obviously that..." I feel like he's really saying, "You at home probably already know this, I know it -- I'm not the idiot... plus I've said it during every telecast the past 12 years -- but I don't know what else to say..."

    The other way of looking at it, I guess, is that the broadcaster no longer knows who he/she is speaking to... maybe?.... but I do think they are speaking to a LCD they aren't giving enough credit to.

    EDIT: the last tv analyst i found entirely engaging was al leiter when he first took up a microphone in the booth. he was able to explain the game, its execution -- and a pitcher's strategy -- in a way that was entirely refreshing and not just an athlete speaking for the sake of being an athlete in the booth.
  4. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    My problem is I ALWAYS say obviously in the questions I ask now. It drives me crazy, and I try to train myself not to do it. But in my lead-in sentence, I say 'obviously.'

    Kills me.
  5. loveyabye

    loveyabye Guest

    I agree this sounds so condescending when coaches say it. When asking a question, though, sometimes I feel it's good to use if your coach is apt to cut you off halfway through. If you say 'obviously' within the question, "Coach obviously your team did not shoot well last year..." maybe they'll hang on for another second to listen to the rest of the question before answering with whatever they feel like saying.
  6. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Just do what Vin Scully does: Offer me a story or anecdote from the past that illustrates the player's character. Give me something I don't know. I mean, these guys get sit-down time with the athletes and coaches well before the broadcast, ask about something other than the game.

    Scully and the two SF Giants broadcasters (forget their names) for FSN are the best in the biz. Scully because he tells stories that I find remarkable. And the other two because they are ENTERTAINING. It's like listening in on a VERY interesting conversation. Honestly, I watch Giants games because they are sometimes more interesting than the game.
  7. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    good points, e4. this also speaks to the quality of broadcasters out there. as sosueme notes, there's more to good broadcasting than telling us what's happening in front of because [obviously!] we already know that the colts are going to the dime package right now or the third baseman is guarding the line or whatever.
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe sports reporters have just gotten smarter.
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Better "obviously" than the far more pernicious "needless to say..."

    I frigging hate that one.
  10. Beer_Baron

    Beer_Baron Member

    I'd rather hear a million "obviouslys" as lead-ins to questions than one "Talk about..."
  11. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Well-Known Member

    The thing that kills me about TV announcers is when they misuse (or overuse) the word "the".

    Too many play-by-play guys resort to lines like, "Jones with THE rainbow jumper."

    It obviously annoys me.
  12. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Any interview with Dirk Nowitzki will inlcude the word ``obviously'' about 700 times.

    Of course, he has an excuse. English isn't his first language. Obviously.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page