If I had my druthers, Revenge is a word I’d yank from professional
sports' vocabulary. You often hear it discussed on sport’s radio, during
sports’ broadcasts, and during the analysis of sports.
in Chicago, this is what I hear from time to time: It's time for the
Blackhawks to exact revenge against the Detroit Red Wings tonight –
their hated rivals. Moving from the frozen pond to the gridiron, the
Bears, who lost to the Packers earlier this year, are out for revenge
this Sunday against the Cheeseheads from ya der hey land.
Image from http://sportsoncomputer.com
may use this term and not know its exact meaning. Revenge can be
defined as to avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or
degree. Revenge is also defined as spite, meanness or vindictiveness.
When I hear revenge used, I think of war, battle, killing and
destruction. Is it appropriate to use that word when you’re simply vying
to defeat your opponent in an upcoming game?
I’ve also heard
avenge used regularly in professional sports which means to exact for a
wrong by punishing the wrongdoer. Why is defeating someone in pro sports
create this feeling you have to avenge or punish the wrongdoer? If my
team wins, are we considered a wrongdoer by our opponent? Of course, you
want to win every game but if you can’t, why not use it as a teachable
moment, make some changes and try to do better next time. Is your only
motivator to defeat your opponent revolving around hate because they
defeated you earlier in the year?
I suggest eliminating revenge
and avenge from the vocabulary of sports writers, sports announcers and
commentators. Do we need more destructive sounding words in sports or
less? Mind you, sports is supposed to be a diversion and entertainment
from everyday life and the goings on in the world and when revenge and
avenge are used, it’s a big dose of reality and reminds me of war or
civil strife – something I’m trying to escape from by watching sports.
of revenge, may I suggest we use "making amends?" Amends is defined as
reparation or compensation for a loss, damage, or injury of any kind;
recompense. It just sounds more succinct and accurate. If your team
loses to your rival and you’re playing the rival again, are you not
trying to get reparation or compensation for the earlier loss? In other
words, you’re making amends. You don’t necessarily lose your competitive
edge by using different vocabulary, you’re still trying to get
compensation from an earlier loss, and except saying “making amends” is
succinct and not defined in such a stark and militaristic manner.
Do you see the need to slightly alter our terminology, especially during sporting events?