Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Scoring At Home: Your SportsCenter Catchphrase-O-Meter

Illustration for article titled Scoring At Home: Your emSportsCenter/em Catchphrase-O-Meter

An occasional feature in which we explain and evaluate a SportsCenter anchor's pet phrase. Today's phrase: "Winner winner chicken dinner."

Anchor: John Buccigross
Context: Andy Roddick hits a forehand winner to finish off Igor Kunitsyn in the second round at Wimbledon.
Origin: The phrase, popularized by the unwatchable movie 21, apparently derives from the rich lexicon of craps, which is full of amusingly inscrutable patter. In an e-mail, David Guzman, an author of A Guide to Craps Lingo from Snake Eyes to Muleteeth, writes: "'Winner Winner Chicken Dinner' came from alley craps back in the Depression. They used to play craps in alleys and didn't always use $$$, but if they did it use $$$ and they where winning, it meant they they could afford chicken for dinner that night." The literature on the subject is limited, however, and Guzman allows that "Winner winner chicken dinner" may have roots in Cockney rhyming slang.
Analysis: The line has become something of a crutch for Buccigross, and no one seems to like it. The San Francisco Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins cites the phrase as evidence that Buccigross is "the unquestioned king of the idiot patrol." Witless and inapt, the phrase is delivered with a thick coat of irony, as if to suggest Buccigross knows full well it is witless and inapt. That does not absolve him, however, especially now that it sounds like he's merely paying tribute to a wretched Kevin Spacey vehicle.
Humor (out of 5): 0
Aptness (out of 5): 0
Obscurity (out of 5): 3
Quality of referent (out of 5): 2
Total (out of 20): 5

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