It has become common practice for media members to interview coaches and players after the game and ask them about plays, strategies, and perspectives on the game. The challenge with this activity is that some athletes are not the most gifted orators. In addition, both players and coaches know that their words may appear in a wide variety of media outlets. Therefore, they must be careful about what they say. Otherwise, they may find themselves being criticized for their comments. Some coaches and players use war or combat references when they talk about the game. While this may be an innocent attempt to create an analogy for what is going on during the game, it can be a trifle inappropriate at times. Here is why this may not be the best practice.
Lack of originality
One problem with war references is that they aren’t terribly original. Granted, the coach or player may have a limited set of comments to work with, particularly if they do not necessarily want to reveal a great deal of information to probing media members. The use of war or combat references may be generally common practice, but it doesn’t make it interesting or original. Rather, it falls into the category of cliche, which is unfortunately common amongst sports personalities.
Disrespecting those who serve
War is a very serious business, and those that serve in the military are literally putting their lives at risk in order to defend a country or an ideology. Therefore, to compare sports to a military engagement could be construed as disrespectful to those who have put their lives in harms way. Granted, sports figures are not necessarily going out of their way to insult members of the military. In some cases, players or coaches may have actually served. However, using military references may be a poor comparison to something that is nowhere near the horrors of war.
It is just a game
In general, war and combat references aren’t always appropriate because sports is still just a game. Granted, for some people sports is their livelihood, and it is understandable that they take it seriously. However, this does not change the fact that sports is based around games that are also played by children. This is why some professional athletes will sometimes comment that they cannot believe that they are paid to play a game. Therefore, references to winning the battle, overcoming the enemy, taking down the opposition, fighting in the trenches, and enduring some casualties may be best left to real military briefings. Analogies may be one way to describe an experience, but people should always be careful that they are talking about something that actually relates to their particular situation.