Obviously this is a problem

Posted by Iannucci | 3/18/2010 | | 9 comments »
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In recent years fans of any number of sports have had unprecedented, round-the-clock coverage of sports to the point of receiving up close and personal at a near constant clip. Such is the task of the modern athlete, who probably feels they have a microphone shoved in their face every time they blink. Unfortunately this whole process of constantly seeking verbal feedback (i.e. "describe the feeling") has revealed that many athletes - like most of us - are not exactly modern-day Ciceros.

This isn't to say skilled professionals like IndyCar drivers are stupid, but rather that despite all efforts to coach the modern driver in the proper ways of conducting an interview many of them still suffer from verbal ticks manifesting themselves most often as "uhh" or "umm" or the ever-dreaded "you know". And you know who says "you know" a lot, right?

(Full disclosure: I'm not claiming to be immune to this disease. Ever notice how many times your humble host says "well", "look" or "hey"? That's not just typing - it's the way I actually speak. And actually "actually" is another one I probably overuse, but I digress.)

It's sad that it's come to this, but one IndyCar driver's problem in this area has reached a point of crisis, requiring an intervention of some sort. I'm talking about Graham Rahal and his abuse of the word "obviously", because not only did young Mr Rahal use the word "obviously" a whopping SEVENTEEN times in a teleconference with Sarah Fisher this week, but it was, in fact, the very first word out of his mouth. Here's the awful truth:

1. Obviously, it's extremely exciting for me...
2. And so obviously being that there was one race...
3. ...and obviously Dollar General for me, I just had to jump right at it.
4. Extremely excited and obviously very enthusiastic...
5. ...a lot of it has to be about the atmosphere, obviously the track.
6. ...and we're obviously going to test here at the end of this week.
7 and 8. ...it obviously looked as if we would be on the outside looking in, which it was obviously very frustrating for me.
9. And obviously for the first four months of the off‑season...
10. ...and obviously we've been in touch with various teams.
11. So for many, many years obviously known about Sarah...
12. Once we got in and we got going, obviously Dad did whatever...
13. So obviously I'm very thankful for that.
14. Well, you know, there's obviously ‑‑ there's a lot going on.
15. Because obviously, as I tell everybody, Sarah has been great...
16. ...because obviously she's already got one out of the way...
17. Obviously we want to be ‑‑ we want to be full time.

Obviously this "obviously" madness has to stop, and the best way would be for Graham to get a rubber band around his wrist so he could snap it every time he says the O-word? Here, let me finish this post by showing how this would work.

I'm obviously *snap* not mentioning this problem to pick in Graham. I'm only bringing this up because obviously *snap* he needs to overcome this issue since he's expected to be one of the faces of the league for many years. And obviously *snap* that means lots of interviews that can't be troubled with time and again inappropriately using the o-word. He's a bright young guy, so obviously *snap* I'm confident that with a little effort he can get this worked out, although it's obviously *snap* frustrating for all of us.

Please Graham, get help now. Before snarky bloggers start calling you "Captain Obvious".

UPDATE: Obviously Graham had to respond...

For those of you on my name is irl I have three words! Obviously! Obviously! Obviously! Obviously I need to learn more words just for you!
...and now, obviously, I'll have to cheer for him to win at St Pete if only for the post-race interview. I may even have to buy some GR gear now. Go Son of 'Stache!


  1. Anonymous // March 18, 2010 6:03 AM  

    Umm...you know...actually, at the end of the day - it is obvious that Graham has obviously not been taught to avoid trendy cliches. It is what it is. I'm just sayin'...

  2. Unknown // March 18, 2010 8:16 AM  

    It's just unfortunate...his mouth is just a passenger.

  3. Sean // March 18, 2010 8:16 AM  

    Hey, it's better than Rusty Wallace saying BOTH cat and hotrod in every sentence...

  4. Schrementi // March 18, 2010 8:19 AM  

    According to that picture, Graham obviously has a purse. That's shocking!

  5. Carrie // March 18, 2010 11:13 AM  

    Ya know, I hate it for Graham, but it is what it... aw, crap, Oilpressure beat me to it.

    Sidenote: Danica Patrick and Chad Knaus both drive me insane because they use "ya know" all the damn time. Which is hilarious because we're all from Illinois and I do it, too. *facepalm*

  6. Anonymous // March 18, 2010 1:42 PM  

    We all have little things about our speech, and "this is quite true!"

    Better than F-bombs, tho...

  7. Mike // March 18, 2010 2:24 PM  

    Obviously is better than, um, ya know.

    And saying "obviously" is obviously better than the goofy look on my face in the picture.


  8. Tyler Duke // March 18, 2010 2:39 PM  

    from Graham's twitter... "For those of you on my name is irl I have three words! Obviously! Obviously! Obviously! Obviously I need to learn more words just for you!"

  9. Blue Falcon // March 18, 2010 6:50 PM  

    AUGGGGGGHHHH! Nothing drives me crazy more than "you know" every other sentence. But yes, it would be nice if people avoided those types of comments, but I don't think people are ever taught out of it.