Finally, the SEC shows up: 1 January 2011

Whew, good to see the SEC get back to .500 with wins (big wins) in the Capital One, Outback and Gator bowls. Play of the day has to be Alabama QB Greg McElroy’s downfield block that sprung Julio Jones for one of Alabama’s 7 touchdowns.

Booth crew of the day goes to Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler (Capital One Bowl). Both were professional, entertaining and true fans of the game.

Surprise of the day: how enjoyable Jon Gruden (and Mike Tirico, for that matter) is without Ron Jaworski stealing oxygen and yapping incessantly.

Best bumper music (Rose Bowl pre-game show): “Eminence Front,” The Who. It’s a put-on.

Gripe of the day: Maybe it annoys only me, but what I’ll call “slang creep” in football commentary drives me nuts. For example, refs rarely call “Illegal Procedure” anymore; instead they say, “False start.” Of COURSE, it’s a false start. The penalty is called “illegal procedure.” What’s wrong with calling it that way? Likewise, the newest phrase that is growing more and more common is “double move.” Commentators speak of the “double move” as if it’s some mysterious trickery by the wide receivers rather than what we used to call “juking.” And the definition of “double move” changes, depending on who’s calling the game. But the worst is the bastardization of player positions. A wide receiver is often called a “wideout.” A what? A fullback (or sometimes whatever back is closest to the line of scrimmage) is called an “upback.” Whenever I hear that phrase, I think of another word for vomiting. It just doesn’t sound right.  It’s just another sign of deteriorating commentary skills.

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