Unbelievable....

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ssteve

Unbelievable....

#1 Post by ssteve » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:09 am

That word is SO overused in sportscasting it has really gotten irritating to me. You can't watch a game anymore without it being used to describe something. Are THAT many things that happen really impossible to believe? The Angels just turned a double play on the Yankees with two baserunners trying to steal and the color commentator (David Wells) for TBS just called it "unbelieveable". It was not an unbelieveable play by any stretch. In the literal sense of the word, very, very few things are unbelieveable to me and I wish that word was only used when somehing that just took place truly was impossible to believe.
Last edited by ssteve on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

ktomasch
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Re: Unbelieveable....

#2 Post by ktomasch » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:00 pm

Yep, I'm with you.

There are game-winning touchdown passes in the last minute of NFL games a few times a year. Teams come back from five or six runs down in the bottom of the ninth a couple times a year. These things usually get an "unbelievable" from the lazy announcers involved.

It's not unbelievable. You just saw it happen, right? It's reality, correct? And you've seen it before? This is sports. Athletes do amazing things. Amazing, fine. You're amazed. You're stunned. You didn't think what just happened would happen today, even though it has happened before, with other humans playing the same sport.

But it's not "unbelievable." Believe it. You just saw it happen. It actually happened.

It's lazy.
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Re: Unbelieveable....

#3 Post by ATowne » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:13 pm

Can you talk about how you feel on the topic?

I don't think "unbelievable" should be completely wiped from broadcasts, but it is overused. It should be reserved for plays that will be remembered for a while, and probably plays that are instantly recognizable by saying who made it. For example, 'the Buehrle play.' You probably all know what I'm talking about just from those three words - the one that was on SC Top 10 for most of the season a couple years ago. Other words like "incredible" or "fantastic" could (and should) easily replace "unbelievable" in most cases.
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Re: Unbelieveable....

#4 Post by xavier02 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:26 pm

Why is this overused? I thought you are supposed to call a game like you see it? Don't we need sponatiousnity?

ssteve

Re: Unbelieveable....

#5 Post by ssteve » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:05 pm

xavier02 wrote:Why is this overused? I thought you are supposed to call a game like you see it? Don't we need sponatiousnity?
We need spontenaety AND accuracy. Most things said to be "unbelieveable" really aren't. It should be reserved for things like Kirk Gibson's home run in the 88 series and the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. Not a diving stop by a second baseman that we see every day...

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#6 Post by Paul Van Scott » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:39 pm

ssteve wrote:
xavier02 wrote:Why is this overused? I thought you are supposed to call a game like you see it? Don't we need sponatiousnity?
We need spontenaety AND accuracy. Most things said to be "unbelieveable" really aren't. It should be reserved for things like Kirk Gibson's home run in the 88 series and the 1980 US Olympic hockey team. ...
Well Ken says
But it's not "unbelievable." Believe it. You just saw it happen. It actually happened.
If we used those parameters nothing we ever saw could be or should be called unbelievable.

I rarely, if ever use this word. (semi proof:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIDlWNwB ... playnext=1). I do think it is over used but is has also evolved beyond its intended meaning. The dictionary lists synonyms as "incredible" and "extraordinary", I think this is how most guys mean it.

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#7 Post by Tyler Bouldin » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:50 pm

While I agree that the word "unbelievable" is repeated more than it should be, in my opinion, I think some guys say unbelievable because that's what it feels like in that moment. Broadcasters are supposed to describe the action while simultaneously putting their own spin on the contest. If they think it's unbelievable, then we have to take their word for it.

I rarely hear the word "extraordinary." I love that word!

ssteve

Re: Unbelieveable....

#8 Post by ssteve » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:38 pm

I rarely, if ever use this word. (semi proof:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIDlWNwB ... playnext=1). I do think it is over used but is has also evolved beyond its intended meaning. The dictionary lists synonyms as "incredible" and "extraordinary", I think this is how most guys mean it.


Paul, that is good suff you posted! And it's funny all those big plays and I was expecting an "unbelieveable", and as you said, none!

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#9 Post by ktomasch » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:47 pm

Paul Van Scott wrote: Well Ken says
But it's not "unbelievable." Believe it. You just saw it happen. It actually happened.
If we used those parameters nothing we ever saw could be or should be called unbelievable.
And I'll stand by that, given you knew exactly what the hell I meant, but I'll amend it to say this: If you've either seen it happen before or know that it can happen, it can't, by definition, be beyond belief, can it?

If someone throws a bowling ball into the air and it stays in the air, you know that can't happen on this planet, right? So you can't possibly believe that happened. A man in a blue suit and red cape leaps in the air and disappears into the sky, you know that can't happen on this planet, right? Humans can't do that? So that would be unbelievable. As someone once said, "Let me see a guy eat a dozen apples and s*** a fruit salad." THAT would be unbelievable.

If you see a magician saw a woman in half, you know that can't really happen, so, by definition, it can't be believed...but you know it's not possible. You can marvel at the magician's powers of illusion, but you know it can't be true.

Given - like I said - we see last-minute comebacks, walk-off grand slams, 20-strikeout performances, perfect games, five-goal games and people shooting 59 - they can't be unbelievable. They happen.

My problem with "unbelievable" as used (too often, which is why it's overused) almost all of the time is that it's lazy. If we're going to paint word pictures, let's expand our vocabularies, okay?
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Re: Unbelieveable....

#10 Post by Paul Van Scott » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:04 am

ktomasch wrote:
Paul Van Scott wrote: Well Ken says
But it's not "unbelievable." Believe it. You just saw it happen. It actually happened.
If we used those parameters nothing we ever saw could be or should be called unbelievable.
And I'll stand by that, given you knew exactly what the hell I meant.....
Ha ha ha. Yes I did, I was just trying to get your goat. My point was broadcastres shouldn't throw out the term just because they think the term literally means 'impossible to believe'. Like the guy on here that said he hated to hear players say "I'm anxious to get back from injury'. He thought that the word anxious literally meant 'full of angst' and was supposed to mean bad things. It may have started that way but it has been used in such a way by everyone that the meaning has changed and every dictionary reflects that change to mean 'great anticipation'. When something super dynamic happens guys say 'unbelievable', 'holy cow', 'wowie'. 'boom goes the dynamite' and lots more. What do they mean? A lot mean nothing but are just ways to express excitement and emotion. Heck one time a guy tied an NCAA record for 3-pointers made in a row and I said "Are You kidding me?" (proof: http://youtu.be/dZITULJTmMg). Who the $%#%& was I asking? No one, I think any listener would have realized that.

I agree with Ken, any time you use the same phrase or term over and over you are going to be in trouble. No matter what that term or phrase may be.

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#11 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:36 am

My "word" pet peeve is Hollywood related, instead of sports. Still, I'll post it here so I can get it off my chest. It drives me nuts how Hollywood actors and actresses refer to everyone they have ever worked with as "amazing." It might be some C-list actor but ... ho my gosh... he/she is soooo amazing!"

With so many amazing actors out there, how did we ever get Gigli and Showgirls?

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#12 Post by pbpisfun » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:00 am

On the other hand, I don't think 'unbelievable' is necessarily the same as impossible or never in a million years. It simply means something we didn't believe would happen ended up happening. Simply saying a diving catch at second base is unbelievable doesn't necessarily mean the announcer made a mistake or sensationalized the play. Maybe the announcer simply believed when the ball flew off the bat that there would be no way the second baseman would get to the ball in time to make the catch. The announcer literally did not believe the second baseman would make that play. Out of no where the 2B flies in to make the catch. If the announcer truly didn't believe the guy was going to make the play, then it LITERALLY was unbelievable to him when the 2B did it. Even if the announcer has seen 1000 diving catches and knows it is possible that 2B can make a diving catch, he didn't believe that time on that play that the 2B was going to get it. So, when the guy got it, it was unbelievable to that announcer.

In addition, just because something happens or has happened before doesn't mean it should forever be declared believable. Cy Young won 511 games. In my opinion, it is unbelievable that anyone will surpass that mark. I don't care if it has happened before. It is unbelievable now. Hack Wilson drove in 190 runs in one season. It happened. I personally don't believe we will ever see it again. So, to me, it would be unbelievable for anyone to get to 190 RBI in a season. So, if I don't believe it will happen again, and it eventually does happen again, then to me, what just happened was unbelievable. Simple as that.

Now, that said, I agree that laziness creeps in if all you hear from an announcer is this was unbelievable and that was unbelievable. Go get a thesaurus.

And, as long as we're listing pet peeves, and I believe this has been discussed on here, but my current pet peeve is hearing an announcer yell "Are you kiddin' me?" after anything remotely exciting. That phrase seems to be getting more used every year.

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#13 Post by Bob Rotruck » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:43 am

Yeah, I'm less concerned about a literal definition and more bothered by over-use I think. "Unbelievable" happens. I think I broke it out once last hockey season...on the best save of the year that was truly impressive and drew a standing ovation. So that's okay, right? Or it should just never be used at all? Think that's a bit excessive.

Agree with Jon that "amazing" is pretty over-used and it's silly. I know I've used it more than unbelievable though. Uh-oh. Think I'm guilty.


In other exciting news...the latest "unbelievable" moment comes to us from the CFL. It was a nice return here and was good for his third TD of the game. I don't think I would use "unbelievable" in that spot but I also don't think it ruins a pretty good call or anything like that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... SkK3hcw60o
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Re: Unbelieveable....

#14 Post by johnmeissner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:27 pm

Bob Rotruck wrote:In other exciting news...the latest "unbelievable" moment comes to us from the CFL. It was a nice return here and was good for his third TD of the game. I don't think I would use "unbelievable" in that spot but I also don't think it ruins a pretty good call or anything like that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... SkK3hcw60o
I'll see your hi-lite and raise you one even longer, from last Saturday's BC at Saskatchewan game(Call by Rider radio voice Rod Pedersen):

http://t.co/4K2wjdgV

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Re: Unbelieveable....

#15 Post by RCAnderson » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:25 am

It's all in the eye of the person making the call to determine if that word needs to be used. With that being said, it's still no excuse to USE it all the time on any spectacular play. There would be times when I'm on the air when I'll see something that was that word which I will not use. I'd just simply just find an apporpriate word to use instead of that one (phenomonal, outstanding, etc...).

It seems based on the messages I've read that the average sportscaster just rather use that word over and over instead of keeping the content and vocabulary fresh.
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