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Why These Basketball Announcers’ Terrific Freakout At A Great Finish Made My Blood Curdle
Something you probably don’t know about me – well, something you definitely don’t know about me unless I know you well, and if that’s the case, hey, friend, thanks for reading – is that I have a particular distaste for the word “treat,” at least as it applies to humans. Why? Well, a few reasons (none of them, I admit, especially good). For one thing, a “treat” is what you give your dog when [s]he takes a dump where you want him/her to, which should maybe tip you off that we’re not dealing with the world’s most awesome thing here.
But it goes beyond that: “treat,” to me, functions as its own guilt trip. So often it’s used in a context like: “We’ve got a real treat for you this evening.” The subtext there, as I hear it: someone else has just gone to so much effort for you, and you better appreciate it – because really, you didn’t deserve it to begin with, but they labored long and hard so that maybe you’d be a little happier anyway. And this guilt becomes orders of magnitude worse if “special” is appended. “Special treat” makes my skin crawl like few other phrases in the English language, the “special” providing the cloying frosting on the guilt cake. (Check out that food metaphor. What up, FJM?)
Anyway. I mention all this because of the video you’re about to see below. There’s nothing wrong with the video: it shows a wild finish in a Canadian college basketball game, and the announcers’ frenzied reaction to that wild finish. We’ve posted on plenty of videos like that in our day. They’re fun. But this video has something else near the end. Something terrible. I learned of this video via Deadspin, by way of a friend of mine who messaged me, “deadspin just wrote a headline for you.” The first headline I saw was this one, and I thought, “Oh, makes sense, I’ve thought of that pun before.” But then I realized he actually meant this one:
I knew, against my better judgment, that I had to watch, just to hear the fateful line and seethe. And now, you can watch it too:
Yeah, good finish, good freakout, whatever. You know what part stuck with me – and they make you wait until the very end to drop the hammer. My reaction, captured via Gchat to a friend:
me: GOD DAMN IT
sorry, just got to the ‘treated to a treat’ part
Look: I know it’s not rational. I know the problem is more with me than with the people who use that infernal word. Still: the announcer might as well have said that while wearing a trollface mask. Two things I love – great finishes and announcers incoherently screaming in excitement – only to sully it with that? Inexcusable. You say we were “treated to a treat.” I say that once you said that, it wasn’t so much of a damn treat anymore.
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