By Mick Holien
I’ll bet you know by now that I really am fond of words.
Actually I like words so well that I have been accused of making up my own. I just describe such action as poetic license and besides aren’t sportswriters or broadcasters to do such things?
Years ago I remember somebody called me out – they might even be out there somewhere critiquing me – when I began describing the quarterback changing a play at the line of scrimmage as “audibilizing.”
My reference was to the noun audible, I guess which is acceptable, and instead turning it into a verb.
See Father Paul Fitterer, S.J. – I do remember some of the things you tried to drum into me.
Eventually, and I don’t remember when, I used a more succinct description basically because often the QB is not changing the play but rather decoying.
Oops that should also be a noun I suppose.
Over the years I have also blurted out some whacko phrases that I have no idea about their origin.
I suppose one could describe them as signatures but I don’t claim proprietary right to them although I might joke when I hear someone else use them but Riley of course has my blessing lol.
For example there must be 20,000 North end zone Wackos – not crazies – who claim ownership of what seat they occupy at Washington Grizzly Stadium and you know that’s all right.
And by the way I never have described Bobcat fans as the “bad guys” and I borrowed the good guy reference from White Sox baseball radio. But I have had fun with that one.
So do you know what a pickle barrel is? Me neither.
Recently at the Football Hall of Fame in Billings TV icon Chris Byers was reliving some of my radio descriptions he enjoyed and reminded me of the South Dakota State comeback (down 38-7 in the third) when I first used “Got em right where we want em” in reference to another team’s possible overconfidence when holding a big lead.
One of my closers – Be at your best when your best is needed – is from the top of John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success and used with Coach’s personal permission.
A commentator working with my buddy Rory Bernstein of ESPN quoted the phrase during the NCAA Tournament with proper attribution and unfortunately Rory missed a chance to pass along some national props.
Come on Rory – He called radio games for Mike Montgomery at both Cal and Stanford.
I guess I have already forgotten some of those cutesy things that used to come jumping out but if I have or still might offend you remember the words of Mark Twain.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal of the shoe that crushed it.”
Just sayin’. And have a great weekend