It turns out NASCAR has been encouraging TV commentators to use the term "Double File Restart: Shootout-style." The overuse of "shootout style" is the latest in a long line of phrases that TV commentators need to retire. This message is addressed to all of the NASCAR TV commentators out there. "Do not pass go, don’t collect 200 bucks … just stop repeating these oft-used phrases."
1. "Things are really crazy in (insert driver’s) pit box."
No, things aren’t crazy. They’re putting gas in the car and changing a few tires. This phrase should be reserved for really crazy situations like "Aliens have attacked Jimmie Johnson‘s jack man with a laser gun" or "Chad Knaus just revealed he had a sex change operation and now has a body like Halle Berry’s."
Battles describe things like Gettysburg, fighting robots or Stormtroopers vs. Ewoks on Endor. When I think of Reed Sorenson passing A.J. Allmendinger in the back of the pack, the word "battle" doesn’t come to mind. Did Sorenson jettison spikes from his wheel well or launch a cauldron of oil into Allmendinger’s path? If there is no gladiator equipment involved, retire the phrase.
3. Any phrase referencing the "Hollywood Hotel"
FOX has a knack for silly names ("Hollywood Hotel," "Crank It Up," "Gopher-Cam," etc.) Its mobile broadcasting unit is not in Hollywood, nor is it a hotel. Are there bikini-clad models wandering around pool cabanas? If no, then it’s not a Hollywood hotel. In real life, it’s an RV packed with sweaty men trapped in a metal box.
This is not an indictment of the commentators, but a plea to Goodyear. The race last year at The Brickyard was horrible to watch. Here’s to hoping for long runs and clean racing this weekend.
When Benny Parsons started this phrase back in 2003, he never thought it would be turned into a marketing campaign. Everybody needs sponsors, but do we really need this much sponsorship? If racing nicknames are getting co-opted, how far are we from changing the most famous words in motorsports to "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh-what-a-relief-it-is to start your Alka-Seltzer engines!"