When a cliche isn't a cliche
It’s fair to say that clichés often run rife around the sportsdesk here in Archant Towers.
Most of them appear in the headlines you read, and probably raise your eyebrows at.
One chap went even further last week and wrote in to complain, suggesting that if we were having a headline competition, we should drop the clichés and the puns and do ‘better’.
However, another cliché has reared its ugly head in the last few days and has been a hot topic of discussion after Norwich City’s 2-1 home defeat to Bristol City at the weekend.
There were shouts from players and pundits alike that the home side were denied a ‘stonewall’ penalty in the second half.
But what on earth is a ‘stonewall’ penalty anyway?
There could be a ‘stone cold’ penalty, but ‘stonewall’ is more an act of defiance, a blocking off if you will.
American army General Jackson was nicknamed Stonewall because of his defiance in the face of his enemies.
Batsmen who just block and block defying fast bowlers and spinners alike, can also be described as ‘stonewall’ (obviously not those currently plying their trade for England in the West Indies then. Think more of Geoffrey Boycott).
Of course, everyone uses it but, unfortunately it means absolutely nothing in terms of penalties.That won’t stop me or anybody else possibly churning it out the next time a nailed-on spot kick is refused by a referee, but let’s hope on Saturday night we’re talking about the Canaries ‘stonewall’ defence keeping out Preston and securing three valuable Coca-Cola Championship away points in their quest to stave off relegation.
posted on 11 February 2009 19:32 byJonathan Redhead