Among sportscasters, verbal tics are highly contagious: a quirk of phrasing that begins with a single person quickly spreads to the whole profession. This is usually not a good development. I particularly despise a set of phrases that have become ubiquitous in the past few years: “Oh, he’s gotta make that catch.” — or that throw, or that shot.

To which I always reply, “Evidently not.”

Or, reversing the polarity, the commentator exclaims, “He can’t make that throw in that situation” or “He just can’t miss from there.” To which I reply, “Evidently he can.”

This kind of thing is non-commentary, utterly useless verbiage, the apotheosis of linguistic emptiness. But it’s impossible to get through a sporting event without hearing something of the kind. So, commentators: You can’t use those lame locutions. You’ve just gotta do better.