You probably know them by heart, but I thought it would be a good idea to make sure that everyone knows the phrases to avoid in any semi-serious sports discussion.
- Team X will never win a championship. Really Carnac? You've seen the future? People were saying that about the Red Sox for years, but, lo and behold, they've now won twice in 5 years. This hits home with the Jazz because people were claiming the Jazz would never win a championship after the 2 Finals appearances in '97 and '98. It's ridiculous for obvious reasons, no one knows what moves will be made or what players will get hurt.
- Your team only won because ____________. You're right, we only won because you shot 10-20 from the free throw line, we shouldn't count this game. We only won because your best player had an "off" night, so we'll forget about this game in the win column. Jazz fans should be familiar with this one after last season's playoffs. The Lakers only won because the refs kept Kobe at the free throw line. Well, he's a hell of a player and the Jazz foul a lot, it was going to happen. The Jazz certainly could have overcome it, but the Lakers were just better. THERE, I said it.
- The refs lost us the game. Anyone who still uses this line seriously needs to be hit over the head with something heavy. Even in the Chargers/Broncos game, Denver still had to score and then they went for 2! The Chargers had their chances to stop them. Granted they likely would have been able to just run out the clock had Hochuli made the right call, but it's not like the refs took points off the board or anything. Officials can't put the ball in the hoop, get the ball between the uprights, or get an RBI. Officials miss calls and even make bad calls, deal with it.
- Team/Player X would beat/is better than Team/Player Y from 25 years ago. This one makes me crazy. The '96 Bulls would have beaten the '71 Sixers, it wouldn't even be close. There is no way to calculate how stupid these claims are. How do you measure talent across generations? George Mikan dominated the game in his prime, but so did Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Jordan, Magic, Bird, O'Neal, Bryant, Williams, etc. It's like saying that Genghis Khan would have beaten Abraham Lincoln in a fist fight (flashbacks to Bill and Ted, anyone?)
- Your team sucks. The most basic of insults. I doubt any other phrase is used more often. I hear this a lot from Jazz haters out here in the Midwest, and it's usually from the less intelligent "fans." If your team is floating around .500 or better, you do not suck. You may be bad defensively or horrible free throw shooters or have no bullpen, but almost any team can win on almost any day, for example: any Jazz road game against a sub .500 team, Warriors over Mavericks, Nuggets over Sonics ('95), Dodgers over Cubs, Red Sox over Yankees ('04), Dolphins over Patriots, and maybe 25% of all games played in all sports in a given season. Your team may have a bad season, but trying reduce an entire season to, "you guys suck" is really an insult to sports in general.