There's sort of a weird dynamic in the world of sports commentary where red-blooded sports-watching men have to tiptoe around certain subjects as delicately as Victorian gentlemen. You can't bring up race, you can't call someone a jerk and unless you're a pundit or columnist, you can't straight out say someone sucks, even if his suckage is so blatant that pre-verbal children are pointing it out.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Instead, you end up using these euphemistic code words that are in some ways almost worse than just dissing people straight out. Like:__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Real meaning: A mediocre player who will never be asked for his autograph.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Sometimes a player will get subbed into a game and the commentator's first thought is, Wow, what a complete non-entity. But because it's unprofessional for some reason to call a spade a spade, they'll instead point out that he's a "role-player" or perhaps a "hard worker," which is as condescending as someone telling you that your handwriting is very good when you ask them what they thought of your story.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Via Keith Allison
__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__Nazr Mohammed, literal live action role-player.
In basketball, you might call someone a "banger" if they are willing to get under the basket and take a lot of tough physical contact from other players. Which seems like a compliment until you notice that nobody who can actually, you know, shoot, ever gets called a "banger" no matter how much pushing they do in the paint.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Via Keith Allison
__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__Dirk Nowitzki -- proof that Neanderthals mated with modern humans? Perhaps. Banger? No.
Basically they're evading the implied question of, "Is he a good player?" by answering, "Well, uh, he works really hard and is OK with getting hit a lot."__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Occasionally, you get someone trying to throw role-players a bone by saying they "can be stars in their own way" or are an Important Part of the Team, really! Which I would think is worse than being ignored.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
When an announcer says: "With a seventh-round pick, they'll probably be picking up a role-player."
__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__He means: "Apparently all that's left in the seventh round this year is a bunch of useless players nobody cares about."
When an announcer says: "A journeyman center acquired last year in the [star's name] trade."
__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__He means: "I guess this guy must have been attached to that package in that big trade last year along with the players I've actually heard of."
Real meaning: Small, probably white.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Sports are full of unusually large specimens of humanity, so it's only natural to do a double-take when you see a player much shorter than his teammates, and only natural to want to point it out. The problem is that you usually want to point it out after he's done something impressive, effectively saying, "Even though Wes Welker is so tiny you can fit him in a teacup, he was somehow able to jump up and catch the ball. Oh, good for him!"__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Via Official Star Wars Blog
__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__Sometimes news outlets will mistakenly run a photo of Warwick Davis alongside a Wes Welker story.
So you have to go about it in a roundabout way. You use words like "scrappy"or "feisty" or say he's "a real sparkplug" -- words that are ostensibly about someone's energy and enthusiasm, but would clearly never be used for a large or average-sized person. So you can pretend you're talking about how he caught the ball because he's got so much energy and enthusiasm, and not saying he caught it despite the fact that he is an adorable munchkin.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
But it's kind of depressing to compare someone like Wes Welker, who is actually an average American male at 5'9", to this:__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Via GeekCast Radio__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
To be fair, size is pretty important in a lot of sports and affects a lot of what a player can do. But why do you need to mention that a hockey player is 5'8" (and "feisty") in order to point out that he's good at avoiding penalties? He doesn't do it by ducking under them.__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
And is being 5'7" really some kind of Lifetime Channel handicap you have to overcome to succeed in baseball? Really?__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__
Would you really want your MVP celebration to be commemorated with phrases like, "the little shortstop stood tall?" Did you just win the championship of Major League Baseball or the Little League World Series?__new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line____new_line__