Clichés have always been a part of sports. Some of them, such as “we have to win one game at a time,” are tired but, at least, have elements of truth to them. After all, there is no sport in which a team plays two games at a time.

Whenever a New Orleans team is doing well, a sportscaster will inevitably say, “they’re dancing on Bourbon Street.” That may also be true, at least for those still sober enough to dance.

There's is one cliché though, spoken most often by sportscasters and analysts, that is not only worn but totally illogical. You will hear it used most often in terms of teams trying to get themselves into the post-season. Sooner later some expert will say (warning— here it comes), “they control their own destiny.”


Destiny – as defined by Merriam-Webster:

a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power ….

Simply, the word refers to something that will happen over which a person has no control. So, attention Tim Brando and others, you cannot control what cannot be controlled. Therefore, destiny cannot be controlled.

What the pundits mean to say is that a team is in a situation to influence the outcome. That outcome, however, is not destiny. If it were then teams would not have to spend big money on players since it was already destined to win or lose. Yet, as surely as two-minute warning breaks are packed with commercials, we will here this cliché uttered by professionals who should know better.

That, unfortunately, is our destiny.