Mike Emerick's Broken Thesaurus

Picture 1I will preface this by saying there are very few play-by-play announcers who I would seek out on their own merits (Vin Scully and Bob Ufer would be two; Ufer, we used to turn down the sound on U of M TV broadcasts, in order to listen to his radio call). And there's nothing especially bad about Mike Emerick. However: every time I'm forced to listen to him, I find I am annoyed by the same three offenses:

1) he uses "knife" as a verb. e.g. "Gonchar knifes the puck down." But he's not knifing the puck down. He's knocking it down. To use knife as a verb is to suggest stabbing (which is not what's going on) or slicing (ibid). This would be annoying to have to listen to once, but you could build a drinking game around how many times he says it. Everyone is knifing everything on every play.

2) he says "recoil" when he means "regroup." This he uses when the puck has been cleared and the team regroups for another attempted offensive attack. He is I guess thinking of the fact that the team is reloading -- like a gun -- and coiling -- like a snake -- in preparation for firing or striking. Unfortunately, he's mangled his intent and is left with "recoil." Recoil once literally carried the meaning "to coil again" and it would still be useful as such, were it not for the overwhelming preference among everyone on the English-speaking planet for its primary meaning, "to shrink back, in fear, disgust, etc." Everytime he tells me that Detroit recoils, I picture them scared out of their minds, as if Chucky just leapt out.

3) he says "regather" when he's tired of "recoil." Regather. Sorry. If you ask me, it shouldn't even be a word; but if you're going to let it into the dictionary, at least have it refer to something when you use it in a sentence. Detroit regathers what? The puck, I guess. In that case, "retrieves" would be more natural. Although he could mean "gathers themselves" as in "collects themselves again," "gets their wits about them." Blegh. Regroups, goddamit.

Bonus annoyance: At least Emerick doesn't refer to the face-off circles as the f-ing "ladies' tees" like the idiot Ducks announcer.

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