Ambrose Bierce’s ever-popular Devil’s Dictionary (responsible for witticisms like “lawyer: n, One skilled in circumvention of the law”) could use a good update, and the people at Grantland have stepped in for a potential sportswriting section. For example,
courage (n.) — in sportswriting, two kinds of athletes are courageous: those who play hurt and those who play soon after the death of a loved one.
durability (n.) — a football player’s knack for surviving a sport everyone agrees is too violent.
heart (n.) — an elusive quality associated with a player or team. See “identity.”
identity (n.) — When a talented team plays badly, a sportswriter goes looking for qualities it might lack. “Heart” is usually the first of these. But a team like the 2012-13 Lakers — which has a mishmash of coaches and lineups — is said to lack an “identity.”
instant classic (n.) — a close game a sportswriter happened to watch live.
project (n.) — the opposite of a “sure thing.”
The only thing we’d add is,
Controversy (n.) — when commentators take differing positions by way of ignorance for the sake of ratings.