The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2 Saturday night to force a Game 6 in their second-round series. It also unleashed a flood of clichés by NBC analyst Pierre McGuire. He fired them off before, during and after the game in a torrent.
Instead of regaling viewers with seemingly endless tales of where each player played college, midget, bantam, and peewee, McGuire fired off clichés like he was working an old bromide machine gun. At one point, the former player, coach and scout dropped a full clip of eight in a row without even taking a breath:
The Caps had their backs against the wall, but this series has some life to it now because players are giving it one hundred ten percent – they’re stepping it up and leaving it all on the ice. It’s not over til it’s over and it comes down to which team wants it more.
Quick Thinking By Emrick
Legendary play-by-play man, Mike “Doc” Emrick was shocked at his broadcast partner’s miasma of trite phrases. He had to bite his tongue to prevent himself from lambasting McGuire, who was sitting in his usual place between the teams’ benches. From the upstairs broadcast booth, Emrick used a laser to distract McGuire, much like one uses a ball of yarn to amuse a kitten.
“Pierre was like an idiom-possessed robot,” added Emrick. “I can usually tolerate him, but tonight was, well… not one of those nights.”
McGuire’s platitude virus also infected NBC commentators Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury, and Keith Jones. The host and analysts competed to string together as many clichés as possible in order to outdo one other.
Jones’ longest string of clichés fell just short of McGuire’s, “It was do or die, gut check time, and he brought his ‘A’ game today in a must win situation in which his team answered the bell,” said Jones about Nicklas Backstrom. “He does all the little things and puts it all out there.”
Milbury, in a particularly ornery mood, jumped in with a string of typical caveman non-sequiturs, “I love Bruins. John Scott no All-Star. Where’s my shoe?”
A frightened McHugh then took a few slow steps away from Milbury, tapped his pen on the countertop several times, sending Milbury into a hypnotic sleep.
Game Six Monday
With the series now 3-2 in favor of the Penguins, Game 6 is bound to be off the charts with McGuire spewing clichés instead of his blathering details, random facts and useless commentary that deny viewers a millisecond of dead air. McGuire’s commentary often addresses the viewer as if he has the intellect of a three-toed sloth, emphasizing his comments with ‘he really does’ or ‘they really do.’
Also, it’s anyone’s guess what state Milbury will be in when he awakens.
One thing’s for sure: It promises to be a real barnburner, as both team’s competitive juices are flowing and will dig deep… deeper than they’ve ever dug before to find out who wants it more. One could feel the momentum swinging last night and the Caps are sure to use this win as a building block. However, both teams need to stay grounded and remember what got them to this point. No lead is safe. They know what it takes to win and need to make their own breaks, even if they’re just doing the little things that don’t show up in the stat column. Fans are getting their money’s worth as it doesn’t get any better than this.
Editors note: This is a work of satire, including the quotes. We hope you enjoyed it.
Jeff has been covering the NHL for over a decade for various sites. He’s been with The Hockey Writers as a lead Sabres writer three years, while also writing a satire column called “Off the Crossbar.”