The superlatives fly

FOOTBALL'S getting even bigger, harder, faster, and stronger. It's also running out of superlatives to describe itself as the AFL juggernaut occasionally moves towards hyperbole. Rohan Connolly – who tries not to get too excited himself when broadcasting for SEN – has compiled his A-Z of football commentating buzzwords that are sure to wear out their welcome with fans by September.


As good as it gets. A superlative of choice for several commentators. Has become somewhat devalued of late by being used every 10 minutes.


Boy, oh boy. Something of note has happened in the game but we couldn't be bothered explaining how or why, preferring a meaningless, brief exclamation in the vain hope someone will put it on a banner next week and we can spend another five minutes talking about ourselves.


Candy (as in sells). Previously known as baulk or dummy this is the modern interpretation of a dipping of lid to US culture, which apparently automatically confers increased cool.


Dukes (as in hands). (See Candy).


Elite. This means player X has achieved a lofty status in the competition. Common usage has, however, also lent unintentional irony given, it seems, most AFL players have been handed the label.


Football Club. Used to lend a statement concerning a team particular gravitas, usually completely inappropriately; eg. "Geelong Football Club has missed a few chances today in its 154-point thrashing of Gold Coast".


Gut running. To push oneself to maximum physical limits, despite the fact feet, legs and lungs are all being impacted on more than the stomach.


High half-forward. Same nominal forward who has crept further afield to the wing or beyond for the past 30 years, but who would have made us look less cutting-edge if we couldn't find a new phrase for the same role. Not to be confused with “low half-back”, “deep pocket” or “buried far beneath the Earth's core” interchange.


Inboard. As in "looks inboard", "kicks inboard", "goes inboard". Formerly known merely as a centre, or until even recent times, inside. Latest terminology to make a footy field sound like a boat.


Jagged. As in scored, but again, it seems more hip.


1. KPI 2. KPP 3. KFC. 1. (Kick, mark or handball) 2. (Tall player) 3. (Annoying intrusion into TV broadcast).


Love the way he goes about it. Enjoy watching player A, but am worried simplicity of that statement alone won't wash with slightly younger, macho FM radio demographic we're pitching at.


MRP. Acronym for match review panel, or consistently inconsistent judicial lucky dip, regularly contradicting umpires after the fact, and the tribunal before. Alternately known as More Ridiculous Penalties.


NFI. (see MRP)


Obviously. Update on "yeah, nah", sentence-filling padding, ironically used often when situation being described is far from obvious. To wit: "That stampede of wild elephants on to the ground midway through the third quarter was obviously a good test for the boys ..."


Plus one. Previously known as spare man, this recent reclassification has achieved little other than to allow club supporters the chance to also classify their favourite "whipping boy" as a minus one.


Quality individual. Good bloke. Close relation of "love the way he goes about it", save for use primarily when said quality individual either can't get a touch, or has been sprung having a bender.


Run and spread. Contemporary version of "run", the addition of breakfast condiment metaphor apparently adding increased credibility while overlooking inconvenient truth that to run is to spread, well, unless it's up and down on the one spot.

S Structure up. Simply to play in the position or positions intended by the coach, but at the same time giving the impression of being a whole lot more scientific about it. Grammar-defying use of structure as a verb is a winner with many players.


Transitioning. Moving the ball from defence to attack, but with added confidence of having wrested a verb out of a noun.


Up and about. Cooler sounding version of playing well (see "Love the way he goes about it").


Vacuous. Best defined by tuning into "half-time show" to see either an interview with Player X's WAG, Player X showing us his home, a thinly veiled cross-promotion for another network show or (most likely) all of the above.


Wowee. (See Boy, oh boy).


X-factor. Capacity to serve up the unpredictable, matched only by the predictability of the tag in modern era being applied to anyone who can score a goal with an over-the-shoulder snap.


As in Generation Y. Phrase inevitably used in discussion about older coach relating to younger players, along with group's supposed greater sensitivity to criticism.


Zone off/zone out. First example an update on creating the loose man in defence. Second example fruitless attempt by viewer to shut out TV commentary in order to preserve sanity.


15 months out of the sport, Germany's Adrian Sutil did no harm to his chances of snaring the vacant Force India seat, clocking eighth fastest at Barcelona testing in Thursday's session.

2nd place in the annual Australian Grand Prix media go-kart challenge to none other than CEO of the race, Andrew Westacott. Look out Sutil.

65 was a course-record equalling round for New Zealander Nick Gillespie in the first round of the Victorian Open at 13th Beach on Thursday, but he was disqualified for forgetting to sign his scorecard.


... is really get the AFL to shake things up on field. Now we've got used to three-way footy in the NAB Cup, lets see the AFL move the competition to a four-way contest. Just imagine four teams on the ground at one time, with two kicking east-west and the other two kicking north-south. Imagine the opportunities for excitement and confusion! Imagine the gate! Imagine the number of new rules the AFL could invent! It's a winner, go to it Mr Demetriou! - Robert Frost (Doggies fan, of course)

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This story Pssst first appeared on WA Today.