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HomeSportsHart AttackHARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (One cliché at a time) Aug. 11th, 2023...

HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (One cliché at a time) Aug. 11th, 2023 EDITION 953

With August here and the summer dwindling quickly, you may not have noticed that
Sports Cliché Week passed us by recently.

So to refresh your memory and for a cheap laugh or groan today’s Hart Attack column will be “for all the marbles.”

The bad news, depending on how one wants to look at it, is this doesn’t mean we won’t hear them again until the summer of 2024.

On the contrary, sports enthusiasts have been accustomed to hearing clichés for many years, and they are solidly embedded in the fabric of sports culture regardless of the day, month or year.

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After all, “there is no tomorrow”.

According to a poll (1618 respondents) on the six most overused clichés are:

–We’re taking it one game at a time (39 %).
–We have to give 110 per cent (24 %).
–We have to stay focused (19 %).
–We have to go out and execute (7 %).
–We have to take it to the next level (7 %).
–We have to play with intensity (4 %).

Next time you watch a game take notice if it’s a real “pressure cooker” that goes “down to the wire”. Of course, it is inevitable that each team “will control its own destiny”.

Keep in mind that when a team is winning “they can’t afford to get “lackadaisical”
“because no lead is safe” even if they’re “hitting on all cylinders”.

On the other hand, when a team is losing they look “out of sync”. However, as long as they “maintain their composure”, and keep that “never say die” attitude, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”, especially since “stranger things have happened”.

After the game, the winners are “tickled to death” because “they came to play” and “brought their “A-game” to prove they were the better team. In other words, “they knew what they had to do” and went out and did it, although “it wasn’t pretty”.

Of course, the losers are the first to say that “the final score is the only statistic that matters”, and “it’s a bitter pill to swallow”. Naturally, “nobody is going to point fingers”  it’s just “they wanted it more than we did”.

Once playoffs start, most teams will “face a must-win situation”, especially if they have been “behind the eight ball”. Yes, “they may be down, but they’re not out” as they try to “stave off” elimination.

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“At the end of the day” the top 10 sports clichés of all time are arguably:

  • You can’t stop him; you can only hope to contain him.
  • They have to take it one game at a time.
  • Records are made to be broken.
  • He’s really been in the zone.
  • This team must rise to the occasion.
  • They have to stay focused.
  • He thrives under pressure.
  • This team has overcome a lot of adversity.
  • They control their own destiny.
  • This team sent a message today.

No question about it. I will be the last one to make excuses about the pros and cons of sports clichés.

It’s time to move on. I just hope my comments were not taken out of context.

If you insist on wanting more we’re not going to rest on our laurels so you can click here or order a book here.


Taking Note:



The Canadian team had an unexpectedly early exit from Soccer’s Women’s World Cup. Does that make them at least honorary Toronto Maple Leafs?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

The Washington Commanders are contemplating another name change—they’ve seen what’s happened to the Edmonton Elks.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

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A 61-year-old Brit planned to televise himself getting buried alive on British TV. Here in Canada, we simply watch the Edmonton Elks.

*Comedy writer RJ Currie of Winnipeg

(Editors note: The Elks blew a 22-0 second-quarter lead and fell 38-29 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Thursday night to extend their North American major sports leagues record home losing streak to 22 games, dating back nearly four years to Oct. 12th, 2019)

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. After growing up in Winnipeg, he has lived in Prince George for the last 44 years and completed his 10th season as the radio colour commentator on the Prince George Cougars home games. Hartley is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).



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