Friday, April 27, 2007

Peter King's mock draft: a festival of cliches and bizarre references

When the title and subtitle of Peter King's 2007 mock draft contain worn-out metaphors, you know it's time to bring back the chronicle of cliches.

Here's the title: "Trade winds blowing in mock draft"
Here's the subtitle: "Lions are lynchpin in what could be chaotic first round"

We'll keep in mind that sometimes editors write the headlines and subtitles. On to the article.

On Cleveland selecting Brady Quinn: "Women of Cleveland, rejoice. You've got your matinee idol. Men of Cleveland, have hope." Isn't that just sort of weird? Are the women in Cleveland going to start swooning because Brady Quinn is in town? Are there no female football fans who can hope Quinn could help the team? Just sort of an odd one.

On Atlanta taking Adrian Peterson: "If not here, Peterson could sink like Big Pussy's body after it was thrown overboard off the Jersey coast." If you've seen The Sopranos, obviously you know the reference. If you haven't, how do you interpret this? Are you just staring at that saying "How did SI allow 'pussy' into a column?" Are you wondering exactly what "big pussy" could mean, and why it would be sinking in the ocean? I like the reference, but I just hope some people are reading that out of context wondering what the hell is going on.

On San Francisco selecting Alan Branch: "but all Mike Nolan knows is this: I need a horse for the middle of my defensive line long-term, and this is the Best Horse Available." Hmmm. How would a horse play football? According to The Simpsons, a horse isn't allowed to play in the NFL. Oh well.

On Green Bay selecting Ted Ginn, Jr.: "Makes lots of sense, though the drumbeat still sounds for Randy Moss making a leap to Lambeau." I love it when a writer can work two cliches into a single sentence: the sound of a metaphoric drum and a reference to the Lambeau leap. Creative writing indeed.

On Cincinnati selecting Aaron Ross: "The first question everyone's asking is: Is Ross an Eagle Scout?" Let's just pretend we don't know what that means and move on.

On Tennessee selecting Robert Meachem: "Vince Young and Meachem will make beautiful music together for the next year five or six years." Gorgeous. Would King have used this cliche if the Titans didn't play in "Music City"? Doubtful.

On Denver selecting Jon Beason: "and Beason is the kind of rush 'backer the Broncos think they can use from sideline to sideline." "Sideline to sideline" is a sports cliche used to refer to versatility and (mostly) speed. I actually like this cliche, though, because it is shorthand and easily understood. Concise language is usually the clearest language, and "Sideline to sideline" is more easily understood than "He's a versatile, fast linebacker who will be able to cover a lot of the field." I just wanted to throw this in there to mention that not all cliches are useless.

On Philadelphia selecting Brandon Meriweather: "Eagles are pretty good at sniffing out the bad apples." Here's an interesting use of a worn-out metaphor: this is potentially a mixed metaphor. Do people usually "sniff" to find the "bad apples"? People "sniff out" problems, and there are "bad apples," and people try to find the "bad apples," but I've never seen anybody in the supermarket produce section sniffing the apples.

On New Orleans selecting Reggie Nelson: "Nelson will give the secondary a shot of adrenalin and aggression that was sorely lacking in the NFC title game loss to Chicago." King gives the Cliches archive a shot of adrenalin.

On Indianapolis selecting Joe Staley: "Meat-and-potatoes pick by the Colts..." A meat-and-potatoes cliche for Peter King.

Enjoy the draft, people.

No comments:

Post a Comment