Monday, January 19, 2009

"First Class" = Most Irritating Phrase Ever

I'm easily irritable and usually I keep things to myself, but there's one pet peeve I can't hold in anymore. I cannot stand it when players, coaches, analysts, etc. use the phrase "First Class" when describing a certain player, coach, organization, etc.

The most recent offense I witnessed was committed by Rookie Non-Sensation Steve Stamkos when he was interviewed by FSN's Patrick O'Neal at intermission during the Kings/Lightning game. In that one interview Stamkos described the Lightning as a First Class Organization and then, just minutes later, described Rookie Phenom Drew Doughty as a First Class Player. How original! And guess what? I learned so much more about the Lightning organization and Doughty from that phrase!

Of course, Stamkos isn't the only one guilty of using the most irritating and nondescript phrase ever. I've heard plenty of people in the hockey world use it, and I would probably hear other sports figures use it too if I actually watched another sport. I realize interviewees want to appear composed, competent, and polite, but can they stop acting like they're reading verbatim from the Public Relations Master Handbook? It's like there are only a handful of phrases they're allowed to use.

In my opinion, "first class" means nothing. It's like the adjective "nice". When I went through Sorority Rush Recruitment and we had to talk about every single girl who went through Recruitment, we weren't allowed to use the adjective "nice" because it doesn't mean much and doesn't help other people who haven't met her know anything else about her. That's exactly how I feel about "first class". Every single player, coach, organization, etc. has probably at one point or another been described as First Class. Heck, I'm sure even Sean Avery has been described as a First Class Player, albeit, probably from Brett Hull, but nonetheless, it doesn't help someone unfamiliar with the situation know anything more. What does "First Class" tell you? He's....polite? nice?

I feel like "First Class" is the go-to phrase in an interview. Can't think quick enough on your feet? Just say he's a "First Class Player"! Can't put your finger on the best descriptor? Just say you play for a "First Class Organization"! I would much rather hear someone talk about how an organization will go out of their way to help rookies transition to the NHL. Or how an opponent is an outstanding player who works incredibly hard to be the best and is one of the most competitive people to play against. "First Class" does nothing for's almost as bad as describing someone as a real "stand up guy". Ugh, don't even get me started.

x-posted to Purple Crushed Velvet


Lucky13 said...

I often cringe when I see younger players being interviewed for that very reason. I feel a little embarrassed for them, especially when they are asked a ridiculous question, like "How does it feel to be the 497th draft pick overall?"

k.m.stiles said...

Hahah, great point! FSN's correspondent during Kings game, Patrick O'Neal always interviews one guy from the road team and he ALWAYS asks them what they think about the Kings and, of course, the answers are always so similar, because it's not like they're going to say that they suck and are so glad to be playing them. It's so pointless!

Kerri said...

Hocky players are as vanilla as they come, and IMO that's an issue with the NHL. No spice, no fun. And the one off-color guy who's not so vanilla happens to also be pretty crazy and now is on some type of ban from the league. What is the point of interviewing if we're going to get the same answers over and over again?

Even worse, the interviewees always ask the same questions over and over. Useless, really.