Posted on: July 7, 2010 6:48 am

Broadcasters Have Demeaned the word “Great.”

If you look in the dictionary at the word “great” you will see:

Impressively large

Bigger than others

Much: extreme or more than usual

Lasting long time

Important: very significant

Exceptional talent or achievements

Being a good example

Emphasizing exceptional qualities one possesses

Every time I listen to a broadcast, sportscast, or reading another analysis I am always looking and listening for the word “great”. As someone that has hosted a sports radio show, written articles, and seen sporting events for over 50 years, we and I include myself have overused the word “Great” to the point that almost every athlete and play is great.

Now I try extremely hard not to use the word unless I really mean it. I may categorize it by saying, that was a great play” but not make the athlete great. After all in pro sports they all got there because of exceptional talent and possessing qualities that others did not have. Still once at that level great has to take on much more.

One way I would choose to define great is that it must possess almost all the attributes assigned to greatness.

Does it:

Stand out large over everything else in the game or the event?

Is it bigger than others I have already seen? The caveat might be to say something like. “He played a great game tonight.” The greatness stands for one night only and doesn’t make the athlete great.

Go outside the envelope? Was it a new move? Maybe that athlete has a signature move that no one else can do. That has to be a great move but when others can do it, well how great is it?

Will the performance stand the test of time. This goes to points one and two in that I might withdraw the word “great” in defining a player one night when I have seen them perform at a much higher level and others as well.

Did the play or performance make a significant change to the outcome?

Also has this achievement been accomplished by several others. Can everyone be great. The HOF is supposed to help us define greatness with a combination of several criteria. Perhaps if broadcasters applied the same principle to defining a play, a game, a performance, a season we would know what is truly great.

Being a good example. Is that on the field or off the field? Should we caveat by saying, “Pete Rose was a great baseball hitter.” He certainly wasn’t the best baseball player at any position and his gambling exploits would hardly make him a shining example off the field. I use Pete as an example because I believe he did great things in baseball and is deserving of the HOF but if we understood the criteria perhaps we wouldn’t need to be still arguing this point. There were many in the HOF that were not of great morale character.

Again doe the athlete have exceptional qualities that define greatness? I believe this is something that reveals itself over time. A high school athlete my have exceptional talent against his or her peers but when they move to the next level the word great needs to be removed until such time the performances measure head and shoulders again above the peers on the field, court or whatever.


Category: World Sports
Posted on: July 5, 2010 9:24 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 9:39 pm

How Do You Determine A True Fan?

I have been listening lately to a lot of discussion on how to really determine a true fan? Some of the discussion centered around can you like another team and still be a true fan? There have been a lot of good answers, "A true fan is never wavering. They root for the same team win or lose. " Here is another, "A true fan never roots for another team even if it is the same conference against a team from another conference." Both of these answers would have me saying to myself I am not a true fan. However I believe I am a true fan and a true fan like the majority of sports fans. What I would like to find out is am I right or am I wrong?

First of all I must give you some background on my “Fanmanship”. I decided while looking at my profile this was something deserving of hearing so you would know how I have listed those favorite teams, etc. It also would give you fodder for expressing more opinions allowing you to comment on my “fanmanship” and yours.

So first let me begin by commenting on my “fanmanship”. I grew up in Tennessee and watched the NY Yankees on TV. I simply loved Mickey Mantle. He was the best. On radio I listened to Waite Hoyt and the broadcasts of the Cincinnati Reds. In the process I became a fan of Frank Robinson and dad took me to my first baseball game at Crosley Field. My allegiance shifted from the NY Yankees to the Reds and the 1961 World Series sealed the deal when I could root for Mickey and still be a solid Red‘s baseball team. Thus the beginning of double allegiances.

Football was Cleveland and the best running back in the game, Jim Brown. Then Cincinnati got a football team. My allegiance shifted again. On the college front Mom taught at Vanderbilt and got her secondary degree from there so we were Vanderbilt fans. Basketball was great but football left a lot to be desired. When the decision came to where I would go, I chose Cincinnati because Dad and my sister went there and because Vandy did not recruit me. I had a bad Achilles tendon my senior year so I guess honorable mention was not enough. Thus I became a fan of everything Cincinnati, the Royals in pro basketball, the Cincinnati Swords in hockey. I previously had rooted in hockey for the Nashville Dixie Flyers.

Football would end for me after my freshman year and I did some color for the radio station at UC before joining the Navy. That is when I began rooting for the Vols since no one hardly ever heard of Vandy. I was still a Cincy fan in pro football but we lost our hockey and our basketball. I was rooting for our state and the SEC. Cincy had been an Independent and we were not very good under coach Callahan.

As fate would have it Houston moved to Tennessee. I did not root for the Titans initially. I offered a prayer that Cincy go to Tennessee but my hated rival the Houston Oilers went instead. I only began rooting for Tennessee when they were put in different divisions. This meant unless they met in the playoffs I could have double allegiance. So I root for Vandy and I root fort he Bearcats. I root for the Titans and the Bengals. I root for teams my children went to and even schools where I also did my graduate work. So there you have it, am I a true fan?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com