We and Us in Sports — My BIGGEST Pet Peeve

November 18, 2009 10 Comments
By Josh Houchins

By Josh Houchins

OK, it is time to settle this once and for all. I have two major pet peeves that I try to abide by every day.

1) Be correct when using “two, to, and too.”

… and …

2) Never use “we” and/or “us” when referring to an athletic team you follow.

In the sports world, the second one drives me crazy. I do not use it in any manner. I do not use it when talking about schools/colleges I have attended. Are you part of the team? Are you shooting free throws during practice to be the go-to guy in the clutch? Are you tossing batting practice? No. You’re officially not part of the team.

My WGEM Sports cohorts, Ben Marth and Tyler Tomlinson, brought this to the forefront on Tuesday after Ben said “we” when referring to a team’s decisions as if he was part of the squad. And the argument started.

Some say that since they pay for tickets and buy jerseys marketed by his or her favorite team that that results in him or her paying part of a salary. Others say since they are fans, it automatically allows him or her to use the terms since they are ultimately part of the team.

That’s pathetic.

Sporting events are used for entertainment purposes. If I go watch a movie I do not feel I am part of the movie just because I bought a ticket or purchased a dumb toy from the movie as it was attached to a Happy Meal at McDonalds. I am not part of McDonalds either just because I purchased a product.

And to sportscasters, even if you are an alum of the school and maybe even give money back as a booster, it does not give you permission to use “we” and/or “us” at all. Unless you are receiving a check from that school or franchise are you allowed … and even then it sounds dumb.

So, fan out there, step away from the team for a minute and remember it’s all still entertainment. Say “we” and “us” when talking about your job, family, or church. Don’t use it with your sports team.

Filed in: Sports

About the Author:

The host of the only morning sports talk show in the Tri-states, Josh Houchins has been with WGEM since the Fall of 2006 and full-time host of WGEM SportsCenter shortly after. WGEM SportsCenter is dedicated in bringing local, regional, and national topics to a local audience from 7-9 on weekday mornings. * ESPN 1440 AM (also available w/ Android and iPhone app by searching WGEM ESPN 1440) * WGEM.com/sports

Comments (10)

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  1. Rodney Hart says:

    Somebody better get Bowling Writer a big donut so he doesn’t feel so grumpy.

    BTW, “WE” play tonight on ESPN2.

  2. Mike Fay says:

    Josh, you bring up several valid points. Personally, as a fan who says “we” and “us” when referencing my teams, I think it is fine two do so.

    Too be fair, I try two only do it when I’m actually at the games. It is here that I feel like I have the best chance of getting away with it. A rowdy home crowd can help a team a lot more than one might think. If people cheering for their team in their home building can essentially help their team win – aren’t they slightly a part of it?

    I also believe that if fans of any franchise have the right too say “we” it’s Green Bay Packers fans. If you still don’t agree, try telling one of the 112,120 Green Bay fans that own a combined 4.75 million shares in the team what they can a cannot say.

    I’ll agree that it sounds a bit tacky to say “us” and “we” when referring two your favorite sports teams, but I can’t lie; I’ve been guilty of it one or to times.

    BTW- since I was already on the subject of your second pet peeve, I figured I’d just go for the sweep and attack that first one as well. Cya later

  3. Double E says:

    I don’t have a big problem with fans using terms like “we” and “us” because, well, they’re fans. However, I can’t stand it when broadcasters use those terms when calling a game. The first time I call a QND game and say “we” I expect to be taken off the air before the next time-out.

  4. Jessica says:

    I couldn’t agree more, could you mention this to the guys on the sports desk over here? Cause I think they believe they are actually on the teams. They are probably mad that I just made fun of their “teams” now.

  5. DOB says:

    Agree with EE, announcers should never say “we” or “us” even if they’re a former player on that team. Not professional, unless that person is asked about their experience on that team. If Troy Aikman is asked about his time as a Cowboy by Joe Buck and goes into “we” mode, that’s fine. But if Aikman were to say “Romo better start playing better or we’re going to lose.” That doesn’t fly.

    However, I have no problem with people identifying with their high school or college as “we” or “us” when they’re in fan mode. I’ve been a part of the Galesburg and EIU communities. I have a bond with those places.

    To say “we” and “us” with pro teams is rather silly, unless you’ve played for the team before.

  6. TT says:

    I am not one who uses the term “we or “us” very often when refering to my favortie sports teams. I will admit it comes out sometimes and I don’t feel bad about it.

    Yes I pay money to go to McDonald’s to have a burger but I would never say “we” unless I work there. I do monetarily support restaurants, but a man has to eat to live. As for movies, there are no sides and teams. If there were two movies showing at once, I bet people would say , “We’re the Transformers.” Think about it.

    Also, I support a lot of things: local boys scouts, St. Jude’s Children research, my local farm bureau. That doesn’t mean that I feel I have a vested dedication to their organization.

    I follow my favorite teams with passion and vim. I feel a part of the team. I have a bond with fellow fans. I do pay to see my favorite teams and I hope the money does go to pay for the best players salary or scholarship. To say that former athletes who played on teams and had a part in their history can’t use “we” is stupid.

    There is also a dislike factor in the “we” with sports. “We” hate the Yankees. “We” don’t hate Burger King, “We” just prefer to eat somewhere else. “We” don’t hate the Eagle Scouts, they’re just not as aggressive in their popcorn selling.

    One thing though about “we” I don’t like…make sure everyone knows what team you are talking about.

  7. Motts says:

    The only time I use “we” or “us” is when I’m talking about my alma mater(s), Hooch I spent almost a hundred g’s trying to get through college but I can’t say “we better win tonight” or “I can’t understand why we signed that guy/girl/?”

    I agree with EE/DOB, broadcasters should never use “we” or “us” when describing the action, it’s downright unprofessional.

    But then again how are “we” to judge?

  8. Rodney Hart says:

    We crushed Ball State last night ….

  9. Lucas says:

    I think it’s OK to use “we” or “us” when talking about your alma mater. There is nothing wrong with that. I think it’s used as a sense of pride. If it’s used by broadcasters or if you aren’t an alumni of the college/university, then it’s unprofessional. It doesn’t make sense to use it for a professional sports team either.

  10. Kent Stegeman says:

    Once a fan begins using the “we” phrases, such as “we got to sign Holliday” or “we got hosed in the Cy Young ballots”, that’s when you are committed to that one team. It’s too late to EVER change teams after that point. I’m there and I’m proud to say so is my son. BTW, be careful driving the streets around Wrigley Field. Accidents are frequent with all those fans jumping off the band wagon!

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