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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    AvengerRamblings (Vol. III): "Injury-Prone, and Other Silly Terms Fans Use"

    How many times have you heard (or read) a fan or sportswriter using the term “injury prone.” It’s so common, I’d submit, that the term is generally accepted as a legitimate characteristic to assign to a player. But what does the term really mean?

    The most basic definition would be a player who possesses a tendency to become injured. Makes sense, right? But this is football! It could be validly argued that the only players who don’t have a tendency to become injured are those who never leave the bench (and even they often get injured in practice).

    Nonetheless, fans and sportswriters continue to use this term as if it is a meaningful way to describe players. Perhaps they know something I don’t. Maybe they have access to medical records that demonstrate that certain players have a bone density deficiency that renders them more susceptible to fractures. Maybe they are able to discern from a player’s history just how tensile his ligaments are, or whether he has inflexible cartilage.

    A better explanation is pure analytical laziness. If a player has been injured often, he must be more susceptible to injury, right? Of course, by that logic, if a bird craps on your shoulder, that means you are “bird crap prone.”

    This is just one of the many silly terms fans use. Terms that are commonly used, but have little or no true meaning. Here are some others:

    “Bust.” We all know what this term is supposed to mean – a player who comes into the league with great expectations that are unfulfilled. The reason why the term is silly is because its used in absurd contexts. I’ve actually heard fans call players “a bust” before their first preseason is completed. I’ve heard fans call players “a bust” when they are injured before they have a chance to prove themselves. I’ve heard fans call players “a bust” because, as first round draft choices, they fail to make the Pro Bowl (for a fun project, count the number of first round draft choices there are in the league and compare it to the number of players who make the Pro Bowl – imagine that! The can’t all make it each year!).

    “Possession receiver.” What makes a receiver a “possession receiver”? The number of catches per game? The number of first downs per game? Average yards per catch? The percentage of catches as compared to drops? No, I don’t think any of these stats are considered when this term is used. Rather, the term seems to be reserved for receivers who are slow (and, in most cases, lacking a certain amount of melanin), or old.

    “Shut-down cornerback.” The truth is, no cornerback can consistently “shut down” opposing WRs (particularly not with today’s illegal contact rules). Nonetheless, when fans or sportswriters wish to describe a top notch CB, the term “shutdown” if often used. Funny thing is, usually the CBs who get the most accolades are the ones with a lot of interceptions. But if a CB is truly great in coverage, the ball is rarely thrown his way, so he might have few or even no interceptions.

    “High motor player.” Some players aren’t very big, aren’t very fast, don’t seem to have extraordinary strength, but are always around the ball. I think players like that frighten the analysts. They challenge the very notion that with a tape measure, a scale and a stopwatch, you can learn everything you need to know about a player. So, rather than admit that they are not very good at rating prospects, they make up a term: “he’s got a great motor!” They might as well say “this player is really good and I can’t explain why.”

    The list goes on and on. Sometimes, I think sports fans could challenge politicians in a cliché competition. But you… my faithful readers, are different. You will avoid such hackneyed phrases in favor of quality analysis. You will challenge those who fall back on these terms when they have nothing to say, but can’t bear not to hear the sound of their own voices. You will never suggest that a shut-down cornerback who was a bust because he is too injury prone should switch to offense and become a possession receiver because he’s got a really good motor.

    Last edited by AvengerRam; -10-18-2011 at 05:07 PM.

  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. III): "Injury-Prone, and Other Silly Terms Fans Use"

    Of course, we are different Avenger. We aren't simple, silly fans here

  3. #3
    Fortuninerhater's Avatar
    Fortuninerhater is offline Registered User
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    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. III): "Injury-Prone, and Other Silly Terms Fans Use"

    I don't think the "terms" are silly, I think they all have a specific meaning. I agree that they can certainly be misused at times.

  4. #4
    RinderPest Guest

    Re: AvengerRamblings (Vol. III): "Injury-Prone, and Other Silly Terms Fans Use"

    Whats funny about the "injury prone" label, is how some players who have been injury prone can shed that label by being tough.

    For instance. Jeremy Newberry has been hurt constantly with chronic knee problems for the past several years. But the year before that he played through a torn ligament in his ankle that the doctors said would be too painfull to play through. Pro Bowl.

    Anyway, Newberry is not known for being "injury prone", he is a known to be a a warrior, and a competetor, and a tough guy. And yet he has provided almost nothing for the niners for the past several years with his constant bought of injuries.

    The term "injury prone" might be best to describe players who refuse to play through injuries claiming their career is at stake.... instead of having the desire to get on the field and help their team if at all humanly possible.

    In my opinion the great players who are on the bench are the ones who are TOLD to sit, not the ones who decide to sit.....


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