Cliches suck. They are usually a sign of poor or lazy writing. They also suck if they make little sense, if you botch them, or if you mix multiple cliches into one statement.
My favorite botched cliche is when a team is said to be in "the shadow of their own end zone." But end zones are a flat piece of earth; they don't really cast a shadow. What the announcer/writer means to say is "shadow of its own goalpost."
So this season, I will chronicle every botched (or simply bad) cliche I read. And we begin with Don Banks. In his SI column today, he writes:
"The Steelers could have their Super Bowl aura punctured immediately and find the deflation difficult to overcome as Cincinnati and Baltimore loom in their rear-view mirror."
Now you tell me: just what the hell does that mean? We've got balloon imagery and car imagery. But why would Pittsburgh be worried about teams looming in their rear-view mirror? Shouldn't they actually worry about the teams looming ahead? If they lose to the Dolphins, wouldn't the Dolphins be the ones looming in the rearview mirror?