The Sportscasters Club Radio Show

13 Words a Sports Broadcaster Should Not Use

February 08, 2020 Rick Schultz Episode 6
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
13 Words a Sports Broadcaster Should Not Use
Chapters
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
13 Words a Sports Broadcaster Should Not Use
Feb 08, 2020 Episode 6
Rick Schultz

Most sportscasters develop bad habits, using certain words much too often. We call these Crutch Words, and we should all stay as far away from them as possible! Let's look at the most common crutch words, so you can be aware and become a better professional communicator by NOT using them!

See our books at Amazon, in Kindle, paperback and audio format!

Much more at SportscastersClub.com and in our online, 7-hour course!

As mentioned in this episode, here is Dan Miller's 48 Days Online Radio Show. The perfect place to go to plan your perfect career!

And if you work in the sports media industry, don't forget the Barrett Sports Media Summit, coming up soon in New York City.

Also, join our free Facebook group - search for the "Sportscasters Club Community"

Happy Sportscasting!

Show Notes Transcript

Most sportscasters develop bad habits, using certain words much too often. We call these Crutch Words, and we should all stay as far away from them as possible! Let's look at the most common crutch words, so you can be aware and become a better professional communicator by NOT using them!

See our books at Amazon, in Kindle, paperback and audio format!

Much more at SportscastersClub.com and in our online, 7-hour course!

As mentioned in this episode, here is Dan Miller's 48 Days Online Radio Show. The perfect place to go to plan your perfect career!

And if you work in the sports media industry, don't forget the Barrett Sports Media Summit, coming up soon in New York City.

Also, join our free Facebook group - search for the "Sportscasters Club Community"

Happy Sportscasting!

spk_0:   0:00
If you're a sportscaster, you really need to stop using these words. Do you catch yourself? Do you hear when others say them? Are you using them constantly? Well, you need to stop.

spk_2:   0:25
Welcome to the Sportscasters Club radio show, where it's all about becoming a better sportscaster on a better sports fans. And now your host, A man who began his sports broadcasting career wave back in 1993. Rick Shults Hello and welcome to another awesome, fantastic terrific episode of The Sportscasters Club online radio show. I'm Rick Schultz. We welcome you in from radio Land. Wherever you listen to your podcasts. I call it the online radio show. I really got that from Dan Miller, if you follow him at the

spk_0:   1:09
48 days online radio show Awesome Program. He's been doing this podcast that he's recorded for about 10 years now. Check out Dan, but that's why I call it the online radio show as opposed to a podcast. And we'll get into that at some other time, because really, I mean, think about it. This is this is radio now. Radio is not so much turning on the D. A. M a or the f m in your car. It's now turning it on on demand on your phone as you plug it into your vehicle as you're walking as you're out with the dog as you're going about your daily life. Podcasts are now radio, and that's why we call it the online radio show. So today's episode really fun one and one that really hits home for me. The title of this episode. As you know, 13 crunch words, a sportscaster should stay away from what is a crutch word we're going to start there were going to define what is a crutch word, and then we're going to go through some specifics that you really want to stay away from. We're going to talk about sports. We're gonna point out all these crutch words, and I bet after this episode you're going to say, You know what? I've always heard these words when I turn on the radio, turn on the TV, but now they stick in my mind, and now you're really going to notice them. It's kind of like when you go shopping for a vehicle and then all of a sudden let's say I go looking for Ah Honda Ridgeline. And then for the next week, every car I see seems to be a Honda Ridgeline. That's the way this is gonna be with crutch, words and the words that you hear come out of sportscasters mouths as you listen to radio and TV, and I will even tell you the crutch word that I need to stop using. And I've had many over the course of my career. I started way back in as you heard 1993. I've had some different crutch words over the years, but there's one particular word that I'm battling with now and and I really am. And I'm being honest with you, and that's why we're all here to learn, right? So I will even touch on the crutch word that I need to stop using. I really will. So stay tuned for that. We're going to define crutch words and then get into the 13 that you really need to stay away from.

spk_2:   3:28
Have you ever wondered how you could start a career in sports broadcasting? We want to answer some of the questions you may have. You can download our free resource. Our free e book report called seven tips to get started in sports broadcasting Thes will answer some questions you may have and give you a road map to start your sports broadcasting career. Plus, as a bonus, there are three myths that will shock most sports fans, and you get them as well. In this report, that's our free report. Seven tips to get started in sports broadcasting Simply go to sportscasters club dot com and click on free stuff. That's boards Castor's club dot com and click on free stuff to get the free report. Seven tips to get started in sports broadcasting All right, welcome back to the Sportscasters online radio show. Rick Shults With you Here in Radio Land. What is a crutch word? Let's

spk_0:   4:31
start there a crutch. Word is a word that a broadcaster uses, sometimes mindlessly, to fill space. It's a word that just comes out without thinking. It's the vocabulary that we use automatically that gets built into our everyday language, and we all have them whether they be at home with our kids, with our spouse at work and certainly on the air. We all have crutch words that that filter their way into our broadcasts and What we need to do as a sportscaster is eliminate them, get him out of there. It's never gonna be 100% but we want to make sure to eliminate them as much as possible. And so I'm gonna touch on some specific crutch words today. But now that you know what a crutch word is, you'll be able to so listen to a broadcast and you'll be able to to hear something and say, You know what I would have? I would have said that differently. I would have eliminated that word because when you come right down to it, a crutch. Word is a word that doesn't offer too much. It's like fluff. It's like junk food for our diet. I love cheese. It's but it's like eating cheese. It's it really is because it doesn't offer you anything in the way of nutrition. Doesn't offer the listener anything, but it just kind of filled space. It bloats your broadcast. It bloats your belly. That's what a crutch word does. And so we're gonna touch on some of the crutch words you may hear on sports gas. So I'm gonna start there. I'm gonna start in the sports realm. Here are a few crutch words. I'm gonna name six of them that that you hear on broadcast right now and I'm sure you do. And it's been. These words have been in broadcast since since the microphone was first turned on. Since Marty Glickman says before Marty Glickman, way back Red Barber crutch words have been in use. So here's number one, the number one crutch word you need to stay away from now. The word now and here's where you might hear it now, right wing Anderson dribbles, right side passes back up top to Jones. Now he weaves his way to the left. Now underneath, too. Think about that. That word now, as the action is being described on radio, you hear the word now, and Marty Glickman used to sit back in his chair back, a WFUV radio When we would meet with him every week to critique our broadcasts, he would put on the broadcast. This was cassette tapes back then in the mid nineties, and then he would stop it and he would look at me and he'd say or not. Me sometimes may often times may, but not always. It might have been Spiro DDS or Tony Reality or Connell McShane or one of the other guys that were in that room and we had so much fun. But he would look at us and say, When else is it gonna be? Why do you say the word now? Of course it's now you're tuned in to listen to the game. It's happening now. You don't have to say it on every pass of the ball, So get that word out of there. And that's true. Think about it. It added nothing to the description. It did not add any contests or were richness to the descriptive terminology. So get it out of there. The word now is a crutch word you hear a lot, especially on radio but TV as well. So that's number one. Number two. The number two crutch word sportscaster should stay away from here. We've got a barn burner here at the Rose Hill Gymnasium. The Mets are locked in a 11 tie here at Citi Field. Jacob to Graham in a big situation here. Here does not add anything. Of course it's here. Where else is it gonna be? The game is taking place we're in a 11 tie at Citi Field that trims out the fat that trims out the the unneeded word of here. Of course it's here. Rutgers in Michigan tied at 62 minutes left. Fourth quarter. We're coming to you from Madison Square Garden. I didn't use the word here. If I say Rutgers in Michigan, tied at 60 here, of course it's here. If you're in the arena with me, you know where we are. If you're listening, I can tell you it's Madison Square Garden. That's more descriptive. That helps you the listener or the viewer more than the word here. So get that crutch word out of there. Here, here's one that I used to use. Number three. They want one of the ones I used to use back when I began my career as an 18 year old broadcasting minor league professional baseball. The word, Obviously, obviously, the renegades need to get a run here in the eighth inning. They trailed by five Dwight Gooden in a big spot here, tie game a week to go in the regular season. Obviously, he needs to bear down. Obviously, the Rangers need a win here because time is slipping away in their season, obviously doesn't really add much to it. It doesn't really add anything. And sometimes the points you make are so obvious. Why do you say it? Why do you say they're obvious? Why do you point that out? Unneeded, Unnecessary And sometimes, Conversely, you may throw that as I used to do in my early days, I would throw that word in there and make points that were not so obvious. So in essence, I was talking down to my listener. I would say things such as, Obviously, Joe Schmoe has made great progress this year because he's worked on that two seam fastball, worked hard before games throughout the season, and he's really come a long way with his technique and working with the pitching coach. Well, I might say that's obviously, but it's only obviously because I've been there early watching it happen. I've been been there early, talking to the player Joe Schmo and talking to the pitching coach. But to my listener, it might not be obvious at all. So if I'm elucidating and I'm giving them some great information, a great tidbit to make my broadcast stand out the word obviously doesn't add anything and sometimes can talk down to your listener if they hadn't seen it already. You don't want to make him feel stupid. You don't want to make him feel silly. So get that crutch word out of there. Obviously, here are two more that kind of go together good and great. We use those words all the time of sportscasters, and it comes down to the fact that we do not have a better, more descriptive word in our repertoire in our vocabulary. Instead of good or great, good or great Usually doesn't tell you much. Great catch by Clark on the left sideline. Yeah, that's fine. But what does a great catch look like? Great. One handed spinning catch as he fell to the ground by Clark on the left sideline. Now I can see that great effort that time by Mike Trout as he went back to the warning track. How about great leaping effort as he crashed into the fence by Mike Trout in deep right center field that I can see so good and great the Knicks have been on a good run here? Yeah, doesn't really add much and we all use them. And again, with crutch words. We're never going to completely eliminate him. But as much as possible, try to get them out of your vocabulary. So good and great usually don't mentioned much. How about this one? You know, this is kind of one that you hear all the time. It's like, Ah, um, you know, And usually you hear it on sports talk shows and usually to be quite frank, usually it's when it's an athlete that's not trained as a broadcast professional. That's when you hear a lot of the arms, Oz and you know, because as you work more and more in the field, you are able to eliminate them as much as possible into a much greater degree. But the reason they occur often times on sports talk shows, is because you just have so much time and it's not easy to talk for three hours. And so you do get those crutch words like, you know, um ah, and so you want to try to get those out of there as much as possible. So those Air six that we hear specifically on sports that you can eliminate right now to make yourself a better sportscaster. When we come back, we'll have a bunch more that you probably hear and see every day and drive me nuts.

spk_1:   13:49
If you're enjoying the show, check out our seven hour online sports broadcasting course. We cover play by play, talk show, hosting television and much more. Visit Sportscasters club dot com and click on online sportscasting glass.

spk_2:   14:14
All right, let's talk about some or crutch words we touched

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on some that are specific to sports. Now here. Obviously good, Great. And, you know, here are a bunch that we hear all the time whether you turn on the TV or the radio and you're listening to news, politics, sports, current events, pop culture, whatever it is, Number one. So when someone asks you a question and you start with so the real reason get that word out of there, why do you start your answer with the word so it's annoying? It's It's needless. Just start your answer. Throwing the word so in there doesn't add anything all it does, it's like fingernails on the chalkboard. How about this one? You're probably here. It's really coming in vogue in the past couple of years, the words essentially, when you're listening to a talking head, talk about the Super Bowl and and he goes on and on and says, Well, essentially, what the Niners need to do is to really bear down defensively and give Garoppolo a chance toe to make the most of his 10 or 15 passes a game. Essentially, you hear that word nonstop and all of these crutch words they've crept into our popular culture. They crept into our our popular diction. Think about it when you when you watch TV, you listen. You're going to see these pop up all the time now. And I'm sorry for being the one to bring him up, and they're gonna annoy you as much as they do me. So that's the 2nd 1 Essentially, I think this is the one that bugs me the most. I don't know why the word right kind of as the self affirming right that someone throws in after they are making a statement or answering. So, for example, um, you know, this is a big time of year, right? Because this is when you know the Niners have really played their best football, and this is when Garoppolo really needs to step up right, because he's gotta show that he is, Ah, premier quarterback, that he's not just a game manager, right? I mean, he when people throw it in that way, it drives me nuts. It's a crutch word that adds nothing that self affirming, right? Just make your comment and it's It's nothing more than a crutch word, but I think sometimes it makes the the person using it sound a little bit little bit obnoxious, if you ask me. And so think of that word when the next time you hear, because you will. Now here's another one. Super super, and we even use that word in one of our pro Mose. If you've noticed here in The Sportscasters Club radio show Super, this game is super tight. If you download all our books from Sportscasters Club radio show, you'll be super cool. I'll tell you what. This is a fun time of year, but it is super exciting for Mets fans because they have a great young manager. Super. It's one of the the newest flavor of the month words that people have been using almost like 100% right when people are at, and I just said, Right when people are answering questions and they say 100% that's a crutch word like If I say Oh, Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever and I answer with, Ah, 100%. He's definitely the best quarterback ever what he's done over the years and blah, blah, blah. But 100% is very much like super. It's a crutch word, and it drives me nuts because be unique. This is the whole point of it. You want as a broadcaster be unique. Stand out from the crowd. 20 years ago, maybe if he used some of these words, you would have been unique. Now your run of the mill, your average, you're just like everyone else. If you want to stand out and be unique and make a name for yourself as a sportscaster, don't use these words. All right, the next one sort of. It's like if I'm talking about the let's say, the New York Mattson and this is the way because the Mets Ah, they may have a new owner and this is sort of a time where they need toe, you know, make their identity known and this is kind of sort of a time when they might go out and spend some money. And the Mets are really excited. Met fans are excited. This is sort of a new day for them. You hear that a lot. Sort of just kind of, ah, crutch word. I think it's used most often when a broadcaster is trying to string his thoughts and her thoughts and ideas together and before one word can meet up with the next word. They throw that in there to build a little extra time, an extra second split second. So sort of is another one. And here's a big one that this was big when I was a kid. Gosh, back in the seventies, eighties nineties, really even nineties. If someone said this word all the time in every sentence, they said, you would say What a dingbat you would say. What an idiot. What a moron. This person just has no mental capacity. They're not. They're not sharp. If someone said the word like all the time, they were a teenager hanging out at the mall the time wasting away wasting their life like like the Mets need to really step up because like, they really need to have a great year. Like and Jacob Graham is a great pitcher, like and Alonzo might just be the M V P this year and, like last year, is his rookie of the year. Season was awesome and like he's, he's gotten better as a fielder, and it's been pretty cool to watch now, like they have a great manager and and, like I'm hanging out the ball with my friends and, like, I just got the new guest genes. That's another word. I like it when I'm listening to a broadcaster, and I hear that word throughout the broadcast, and I hear it on talk shows. Certain people use it a lot. It automatically, in my mind, takes their credibility level and it takes it down. 123 pegs automatically, and maybe it's not fair. But it's a crutch word they use. That in my mind makes them sound less intelligent and so like, don't include that word in your broadcasts. If you can stand it, that's one that you can really take out of there 100% and just get rid of it because it's unneeded and finally as we cap off these crutch words. The 13 crutch words of sportscaster should stay away from. This is one that I really battle with now. And as I mentioned, all broadcasters have some degree of it. Couple episodes ago, I talked about Bob Costas and how he is as close to perfect when a microphone is on, as anyone that's ever been in the profession because he hardly ever uses a crutch word, but one that I've battled with currently. If I make the admission and I'm honest with you, it's just us so I can do This is the word, really. And if you listen to this broadcast and you listen to previous episodes and go all the way to the beginning here on the Sportscasters Club online radio show, you'll hear that word sprinkled throughout the episodes because that's a crutch word that has worked its way and wormed its way into my vocabulary. Really, and I find myself sometimes using that with my kids, with my wife at home, at work, on the air. Wherever I am, it's crept its way in, and I notice it Now when I say it, as I do with a lot of these words. Hopefully, I don't say the others nearly as much as I say the word, really. But does really add anything? No, it's kind of saying, Yeah, this is extra important. This this point I'm making has, ah, higher level of importance, but it doesn't add anything. I mean, just make the statement with colorful vocabulary and terminology, and you can get rid of that word really and have a much greater impact with your words. Speaking of which, when I was in college, I had a book of vocabulary book. I still have it over behind me here in my office, on my bookshelf. It was a vocabulary book, and I would try to pick out words every day, every week that I would Sprinkle into broadcasts. And that was always a fun way to get new words into their. I learned that from Ah, Walt Clyde Frazier calling Nick games, and his vocabulary was so diverse and so eclectic, and he would work these words into a broadcast. You don't want to go too far with Walt. That's his unique thing. But I wanted to have vocabulary at my disposal that I could use that were so descriptive and best met what I was trying to convey. The idea, the thought, the word picture I was trying to convey On radio. Marty Glickman used to use the word as a description he would use phlegmatic or word of that nature where he would talk about a player in those words. And you don't always wanna use a word that people don't know, because then it could sound sort of condescending. See that I just said, Sort of It can sound very much condescending, but Marty had a great knack of being able to make it natural, and you wanted to fit your personality. So those 13 crutch words stay away from them. I know I still have a lot of work to do on the one, but we can all stay away from them and be better broadcasters when we come back. Only one question today, because that's all we got. You can send your questions to questions at sportscasters club dot com, but today's question is a good one. It is from Tameka in Santa Barbara, California She asked what she she has a pretty lengthy email, but I boil it down to where Should I go to college for sports broadcasting? That's a great question, and I will answer it next.

spk_1:   24:24
Now it's time for the best part of our show. Your questions are answers. To ask a question for the program, send an email to questions at sportscasters club dot com.

spk_0:   24:36
All right, The Sportscasters Club online radio show. Rick Shults with you. Today's question from Tameka in Santa Barbara, California Thank you for the email. Tameka. You sent that email to questions at sportscasters club dot com, and you had a great email. I really enjoyed hearing kind of your story and how you're you're starting your career and what your career goals are. Um, I think you can do it. I really do. But your question basically boiled down to Where should I go to college for sports broadcasting? This could be easily an episode in and of itself, and I am definitely biased because of my time as a student at WFUV Radio at Fordham University in New York City and then also the time I spent as the sports director at WFUV Radio at Fordham University in New York City. But I will try to answer this question as best I can. I think the simple answer is that there are some premier institutions that have some big built in advantages. But there's not a one size fits all. There's not a cookie cutter where if you go to one school, the study, communications or sports broadcasting, you're gonna have, ah, great career. And if you go to another, you won't. It's not that simple. I taught at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting for a few years as well, both in Connecticut in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, and we would get students that were in the middle of other careers that would come and build their career from attending a seminar, whether it be that I did, or many of the other outstanding instructors at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. I think Job in Ingo is one of the biggest names to come out of C. S. B. When he began his career with W F. A. A and radio in New York 20 years ago. So you can certainly do something like that. But there are. Whenever students asked me this question, I am biased towards WFUV for a lot of reasons. But I think there there are probably two of the big sports broadcasting schools that I would name, but I'm a big believer in, and people like Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey and their thought That and Anthony O'Neill that you don't have to go to a specific school and pay a boatload of money to get a degree from a specific school to to move on and pursue a specific career. Sportscasting is somewhat unique in that the value you gain from from the premier institutions is really and there I go using that crutch word. Really, it's It's based on the network of people you and grain yourself in the networking, the people you meet. So all number one, I'll say Fordham University, WFUV radio when I was sports director at Fordham that that is the case I made to prospective students when they came in and said, What's so special adult about WFUV? It's because you're in New York City and you're covering professional games, rubbing shoulders with professionals and you're doing it the in the biggest media market in the world, surrounded by top broadcasters, top media professionals, top athletes, and you're actually doing it in the real world in real life as opposed to fear rising about it. So and when my students at WFUV would work with WFTV Radio sports, they would go out and cover the Yankees, the Knicks, the Jets, the Giants. They would be at press conferences. They would be in the dugout, they would be in the locker room after games, they would be covering the teams, and so they would be getting that experience. That's priceless. And they would be making the building relationships that would build and last throughout their career. And so that was the huge and still is. I mean, WFUV radio, in my mind is, is the number one. And there's also the fact that they're calling games. It's not a student radio station. It's a 50,000 watt station. When the students broadcast a basketball game that is the Fordham broadcast. There's not a professional set of broadcasters as well. It's the Fordham guy, so that experience in that Rhea world nature of it makes WFUV unique and special. And that's why I've always been biased towards that. Not only when I was a student, but then when I was the sports director at WFUV as well. I also think right there is is certainly the Newhouse School, Syracuse University. And just look at the people that it has pumped out over the years, all the way from Marty Glickman to Bob Costas to Mike Tirico and so many others. You really just can't start. Start naming names because you'll leave out so many a fantastic place for sportscasters to go. Syracuse is kind of in the middle of nowhere. That's the drawback. So you're not covering the professional teams the way that you do at at Fordham, but specifically in the area of multi media and TV. Syracuse has done such a fine job and you really can't go wrong. And there are certainly a lot of similarities between the two. Some big differences, mainly the geography, what you're doing on a day to day basis. But those two, If you go to those two places, you're really sending a message about your career aspiration. You're really setting a great foundation. You're also gonna pay a pretty penny for it, so you've got to make that determination as well. You can go to a community college. You can go to a small school. You can go to a ah, public school and still get the base knowledge you need. The real learning with sports casting is on the job. It's getting out there and doing it, so I'd much rather have somebody who's in the middle of nowhere at a small community college. But that's working their rear end off at a for free at a local radio station, getting experience on the air calling games. That is gonna be a much better foundation than someone that goes to a huge, prestigious sportscasting school and doesn't do anything with it. Obviously, if you goto one of these great schools, if you go to Fordham, if you go to Syracuse and you put those things to work and you get out there and network and get experience and and build your your Web of of influence and make connections with people, that's only gonna help. For example, when I went to Fordham, I had already been been broadcasting and gotten to know people in the broadcasting business from work that I was doing in professional baseball. Minor league baseball made relationships, built relationships that way. Chris Carlin was a great influence on my broadcasting career. Eventually, I made the connection through him to become an Internet W F. A M radio in New York and was able to build that. And I still maintain a lot of relationships from people I interned with a W F a N back in 1998 and really part of it was because I was at Fordham right there in New York City. But part of it was because I was doing it in the summer. Is calling minor league baseball games and starting the relationship that way so you can do it Either way, there's no right or wrong, but to answer your question, that's a long winded answer. Tameka. Where should I go to college for sports Broadcasting those air. Two Great options. Mike Breen was actually the one who recommended Fordham to me way back in the early nineties, and there's not a more classy and more engaged broadcaster for young aspiring sportscasters than Mike Breen. And he is certainly much of the legacy that WFUV sports is built on. But those are two answers. No, right or wrong. You can really go anywhere. It just depends on your hunger and what you do with it for real life experience. When we come back, we're going to wrap this puppy up and say good bye to another episode of the Sportscasters Club radio show.

spk_1:   32:58
Is this the year you want to learn all you can about a sports broadcasting career? Visit our website sportscasters club dot com for articles, tips, advice and a ton of free resource is

spk_0:   33:11
Well, I hope you enjoyed today's episode. This has been a lot of fun for me. Touching on these 13 crutch words sports broadcasters should stay away from. They really, really should. Really. I hope you enjoyed hearing the crutch words. I hope you can eliminate them from your broadcasts if you haven't yet picked them up. I hope you never do. But now those 13 words I know you're going to hear them everywhere. You're going to start hearing those words Everywhere you go, you turn on the radio, the TV, you're going to hear the words now here, Obviously good, great, you know, So essentially right? Super sort of like and really, those are the words that we touched on today, so keep them out of your broadcasts, keep them out of your everyday life.

spk_1:   34:02
Who wants to hear those words just makes you

spk_0:   34:04
sound silly. Get get rid of them. If you ask me. That's

spk_2:   34:08
my opinion. We're gonna have some more great information on our next episode. Thanks for listening today. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast so it comes right to your phone. You can wake up, open it and listen to another great episode. Don't even have to think about it. That's what's best. That's what's best for me when I don't have to think about it. I can't mess it up. Thanks for listening. I'm Rick Schultz and we'll talk to you next time. Thanks for listening to The Sportscasters Club radio show at sportscasters club dot com. Don't forget to subscribe, so you will never miss an episode. And thanks for liking sharing, boasting reviews and spreading the word