Adventures in Verbal Dementia

Been a while since I posted something on the site.

This is a guide to state-of-the-craft football commentary jargon as it stood mid-season, and mid-year, 2014. It was published in my regular Saturday column in the sport section of The Age newspaper.


DEVIL’S ADVOCATE 7th June 2014

As can be definitively determined from broadcast match commentary, the jargon of football has never been more scientific than it is in AFL Season 2014.

All of the following FootySpeak has been uttered during commentary on TV or radio this year. Attempts at providing definitions pretty much come down to guesswork. Who knows whether even the pundit who uttered it could provide a workable explanation if you asked them five minutes later.


A gastro-intestinal consideration. You probably should have been more selective where you bought your take-away meal..


(1) Fairly handy summary of the raw content of roughly 85 per cent of the movies playing at the nearest megaplex.

(2) If the football-specific reference is to kicking after running, that’s pretty much how it works for every other passage of play every week.


(1) Applying a thin coating of margarine to the outside of the bread prior to using an electric sandwich maker.

(2) In a football context, meaningless, but the terrible fear is that the term implies there is more than one kind of “spread”, and thus multiple versions will be discussed. This is similar to the fear that gripped the community when it was realised that the term “central corridor” implied that David Parkin could see more than one invisible corridor on-field.


Apparently “buttering up” wasn’t technical enough. This sounds like a term ideally formulated to describe the background farmyard animals in the early Porky Pig cartoons.


Complex, high-level strategic concept in which someone runs out in front so the player with the ball has someone to kick to.


The teammate who runs out in front so the player with the ball has someone to kick it to.


See “Spot-Up Target”


What you have to do at a barbecue if food falls off a plate and there are pets around.


Why male child sopranos have to consider a change of showbiz career path after puberty.





One thought on “Adventures in Verbal Dementia

  1. Hits his teammate on the chest lace out.

    How amazing is that? A player, sprinting towards the forward line receives the ball, spots a teammate sprinting towards him and is able to calculate how hard he needs to kick the ball in order for it to rotate for the precise amount of times it needs to in order for it to hit his leading teammate on the chest lace out.

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