A Test Prep Tutor's Top 5 NFL Pet Peeves

Let's count it down from 5, shall we?

Let's count it down from 5, shall we?

In honor of the return of NFL Football, check out my Top 5 NFL Pet Peeves. Some of these pet peeves are directly related to test prep. Some are a bit more of a stretch. Either way, I think you'll find them enjoyable (or super irritating, depending on how your mind works).  

5. Pointless NFL Preseason Commentary

The 2017-2018 preseason schedule consisted of a full 65 games. Most featured mainly non-starters, mediocre play, hours of commercials, and an endless loop of commentary reminding us that we shouldn't draw any conclusions about the post season based on what we're seeing.

That warning had already become a trope by 2011, when the Onion ran this story:

If you're not an Onion subscriber, you're doing it wrong.

If you're not an Onion subscriber, you're doing it wrong.

So you're telling me that we shouldn't draw any conclusions about this year's playoff contenders based on a single game between the teams' third string players? Watching a bunch of guys struggle to clinch special teams roster spots isn't going to tell us how these teams will do down the stretch? Thanks for the ProTip! 

We're basically watching the football equivalent of Whose Line Is It Anyway? where everything's made up and the points don't matter. For the record, that's the opposite of SAT prep, where points really really do matter.

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4.  Unoriginal Fantasy Football Puns

Fantasy football managers have far less control over the fate of their seasons than they'd like to admit. One of the only things they can control is their squad's name. So why do so many managers just Google "Fantasy Football Team Names" and choose the best pun on the list? Seriously? That's essentially the same thing as auto-naming your auto-drafted team. You might as well just read box scores next March.

Here are a few puns to beat: Punny Fantasy Football Team Names

3.  The NFL's Go-To Euphemisms

When a 390-lb line man breaks his femur and gets carted off, it's not reasonable to say he got "shaken up on the play." The term shaken up makes it sound like he just witnessed a car accident. In reality, it's a lot more like he was in a major car accident himself. 

This guy was "shaken up" so badly he had to be immobilized for transport.

This guy was "shaken up" so badly he had to be immobilized for transport.

And then there's the word "chippy."

How often do you hear the word "chippy" used outside of professional sports? Who decided that the go-to descriptor of NFL shoving matches should be a word my grandmother would use to describe an unpleasant encounter in a deli? 

Even that's better than hearing the commentators describe a literal fight as "exchanging words."

Bruce Irvin and Rob Gronkowski "exchange words" near the end of Super Bowl XLIX.

Bruce Irvin and Rob Gronkowski "exchange words" near the end of Super Bowl XLIX.

Commentators, we get it. Your job is not only to describe the action but also to frame the action in a way that reflects well on the league. Still, it's irritating when we see something on the screen that you deliberately describe inaccurately. 

2. Aggression  ➞ Aggressive  ➞  Aggressiveness?!

Yes, it's technically a word. But there's an order to these things. Presumably it all began with the noun "aggression." Then we came up with the adjective "aggressive" to describe a person or thing that exhibited the properties of aggression. Then someone took a wrong turn on the way back to the noun form of the word "aggressive." Bingo! Aggressiveness was born. Exactly what use do we have for "aggressiveness" that wouldn't be served by the word "aggression?" And don't get me started on "aggressivity."

With enough "aggressiveness," one can achieve a perfectly horizontal trajectory.

With enough "aggressiveness," one can achieve a perfectly horizontal trajectory.

The same goes for word families such as "tenacity" --> "tenacious" --> "tenaciousness" that have (d)evolved along this same path.

Confused? Take a moment to download a free sample SAT workbook, here: 

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1.  Emphasizing Player Safety

Many injuries are not preventable. That's part of the game.  Even so, it's puzzling that the NFL hasn't added a second bye-week to the regular season schedule. True, the move wasn't well received when the NFL dabbled with it in 1993, but many things have changed since then -- including an alleged emphasis on player safety!

You can't really say that you're emphasizing player safety until you've taken the most obvious step toward saving joints, ligaments, and careers. How many players in the quarter century since 1993 have rushed to come back from an injury a week too soon? We can't know that number, but we can be certain that some percentage of them would have benefited from having one additional week off during the grueling season. That week of rest may have prevented the injury in the first place or at least provided an additional week to recover more fully before returning to the battlefield. For now, players are limited to a single bye-week.

Bye Weeks


BONUS PEEVE: "If you want to be successful in THIS League.

This one may be unique to me, but I detest commentators who add an unnecessary vocal inflection to the word "this" when they say, "If you want to be successful in THIS league."  First of all, it's a completely unnecessary statement. Undoubtedly, every football player who ever set foot on the field wanted to be successful.

Even more importantly, why do commentators feel the need to indicate (vaguely) that THIS is the football league they're talking about?  What's with that unnecessary article?

Is there someone at home watching the NFL Network (with its logo constantly emblazoned on the screen) who keeps shouting at the television screen, "Wait, are we talking about THIS LEAGUE?! So... not the CFL? You don't mean the Arena Football League, do you? USFL? C'mon!  Is it the XFL?! Why doesn't everyone just specify whether they're talking about THIS league?!" 

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Have you got a least favorite "nounified" adjective like aggressiveness or tenaciousness?  Post it in the comments for everyone. You'll feel better.  I promise. Might even relieve your "miserableness" or cure your "nauseousness." 

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Thanks for reading a Test Prep Tutor's Top 5 NFL Football Pet Peeves!  And don't forget to check your roster!

Matt McCorkle