Here's the Scoop: April 18, 2012

When is the next bus?
Baseball fans this week, especially the Red Sox faithful, are having a great time. It seems that loose-lipped new manager Bobby Valentine went on a radio show and sort of questioned the physical and emotional effort of one of the team’s longtime stars, Kevin Youkilis.

“Youk,” as he is known to serious fans, is a superb hitter. When he plays. If you’re a Fantasy Baseball manager (and who isn’t?) and have had Youk on your roster in the past few years, you might find yourself kind of agreeing with the manager’s assessment. It’s nothing personal on my part, it’s just that I enjoy winning and players sitting out with injuries don’t help a fantasy team much.

But, that’s not the point here. The fact is that his manager went public with concerns about Youk and “threw him under the bus.”

There, I wrote it. I’m not proud, though. You see, I am very tired of folks getting tossed underneath a huge, multi-people moving vehicle. The image is unsettling.

I’m not exactly sure when tossing folks under the bus became such a popular pastime, but it certainly has caught on with the masses. It’s nearly impossible to turn on the TV, radio or Internet and not hear about some unfortunate soul being sacrificed under the wheels of a lumbering diesel vehicle. This same sort of incident is being related in everyday conversation, as well.

A great term...that’s worn out
I’ll admit that being “thrown under the bus” is a nifty way to point out that someone has gotten royally screwed over. Still, I’m tired of the term. I wish it would take a one-way ticket (bus, naturally) and never be heard from again. Re”tire” it, I say.

It’s not that the “bus” term didn’t have a good ride. I’ve used it myself on a number of occasions, but that was when it new, fun and exciting. Well, as much as getting crushed under a vehicle weighing an average of more than 13 tons can be. Now that everybody is using this phrase — pretty much all the time — it’s time for something to take its place.

I’m working on some substitutions and promise to publish them here, once I’ve had them copyrighted. Unfortunately, not much is safe from being blatantly poached off the Internet and one must take precautions to protect oneself. I’d name names, but I don’t want to toss anyone under the bus.

As long as I’m on a crusade to rid the world (or at least drastically lower occurrences) of hackneyed (rolling out a 10th-grade vocabulary word here, but it seems appropriate) phrases, let’s also ditch, “I’ve got your back.” Of course you do. Let’s just hope you’re not using it for leverage to give me a shove under that approaching cruiser…
— Brian Sweeney