Monday, November 15, 2010

A River in Egypt?

After the loss, [Steelers Kicker Jeff] Reed called into question the quality of the turf at Heinz Field.

"I'm not one to make excuses," Reed was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'll take the credit for the miss. It was a great snap, a great hold, great protection. It's kind of hard when you plant your foot and the hole -- a piece of ground moves where the ball's under the holder. I almost missed the ball completely.

"I'm not going to make excuses. If you've played any kind of sports in your life, you realize that what we play on is not very good turf. It happens."

Seeing these quotes from Jeff Reed reminds me of why "I'm not one to make excuses" should be banned from most people's vocabularies, right along with expressions like "no offense" and "not to brag," which are inevitably followed with, well, offensiveness and braggadocio, respectively. The irony of all those disclaimers is that they not only tip the speaker's hand ahead of time, they often aggravate the very words they are intended to mitigate. Stop and think for a second about the last time someone leveled a 'no offense' at you, and you'll see what I mean.

If Jeff Reed really doesn't want to make excuses, he might consider how all the other NFL kickers are handling the 'disappearing turf' phenomenon.


C R Krieger said...

Funnily enough, there was an item in the Sunday edition of The Boston Globe on this same issue.  Erin McKean talks about these kinds of phrases in "I hate to tell you:  Phrases that announces ‘I’m lying‘".  A nice complement to your own posting.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Cliff - thanks for mentioning that. I went and checked out her column, and then her website. Great stuff, and I was glad to learn what a "but-head" is.