Cliché Alert — College Football Season Looms Just Ahead

By Mark S. McDonald Sr., undocumented railbird

Pre-season football magazines will be out soon. While following the UTEP Miners like a reputation, I try to get my college football fix every weekend. Any fewer than six games makes my hands shake in withdrawal. Any more than 12 gets to be sensory overload.

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Voice of the Miners, Jon Teicher

Before I explain why we officially open the gates on the Grumble Department, let’s have a quick salute to Jon Teicher. As radio “Voice of the Miners,” the task of drumming up public interest in UTEP athletics falls, in part, on Jon.

During this current dry spell in both football and men’s basketball, no announcer in UTEP history — perhaps in all of D-1 college sports — has had to chop through the jungle with  a duller machete. Live radio (or TV) is tougher than your ex-wife.

I did a call-in show for KRLD radio, the megaphone in Dallas, and there’s a reason I’m no longer on the air. It works like a job, and pays like a hobby — and I stunk.

So, here’s to you Jon. Stay the course, amigo. Your cause is just.


Today’s grumble: The weary expression “Good job of” … oof, that was painful to write.

Nobody asked this old grouch, but sign here if you’re tired of sports pundits limping on the same old crutch? “Good job of running” … “Good job of hitting fairways” … “Good job of spitting tobacco juice” … “Good job of jobbing the opponent.”

To my foggy recollection, the lame phrase was first used about 25 years ago and, rather than an instant classic, it is a constant cliché. “Good job of” … it can lead to anything, or more often, to nothing at all. It’s a mental bus stop, a place for the brain to catch up with the mouth, as in “you know.” You get the idea.

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Mike Golic

Mike Golic certainly did during the 2018 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. While Wisconsin was crushing Miami — my least favorite college football team — 35-3, Golic watched a screen pass go nowhere, and uttered a phrase you will never find chiseled into the cornerstone of a building: “Wisconsin linemen did (what else?) a good job of … (pause, wait for it) … doing their jobs.”

A good job, of doing their jobs. Golic (at Notre Dame and Philly) was a good lineman, and I generally enjoy his work, but “good job of doing their jobs”? Seriously, fella?


Maybe you have your own version of fingernails scratching on a chalkboard, yes? While you do extra sit-ups to prep for UTEP’s Aug. 31 home opener vs. Houston Baptist University, know that the Grumble Express is on-track and right on schedule.

Here’s what my ears hear vs. my translation:

“Super star” – Fixture or regular in the lineup

“Great” – Average, lukewarm, every-day wash

“Awesome” – Slightly above average

“Epic” – Slightly above awesome

“Beast” – Should be in prison

“Spectacular” – Better than routine

“Legend” – To the announcer, only

“Unbelievable” – Brace yourself, hard sell coming


{Author and publisher McDonald is a UTEP journalism grad, a two-year starter in football and a grumpy old mossback. His most recent book, “Beyond The Big Shootout – 50 Years of Football’s Life Lessons” (343 pages, hardback, photos, cartoons: $29 + S&H = $35), is not on the New York Times bestseller list. Even so, it is available at <BeyondTheShootout.com>.}

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