adrian is rad


synecdoche in football

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:06 pm

Something I’ve noticed about football, or people talking about football recently is that games are often talked about as, for instance, “Pittsburgh vs. Cincinatti.” In reality, of course, Pittsburgh is not playing Cincinatti; it is simply the team in that city versus the team that resides in the other city. This is a very common occurance in football (except for two team cities like New York, with the Giants and Jets), more so than other sports. I don’t remember people talking much about “Toronto playing Boston”—it was usually “the Blue Jays vs. the [Red]Sox.” People don’t call the Pirates “Pittsburgh.”

In poetry or literature they call a part representing a whole a synecdoche.

I’m wondering if this ties in to the attachment and involvement cities feel for their teams and visa versa. Pittsburgh may be a fringe example, but I know the city lives and dies with the Steelers and the team is exceptionally devoted to the fans and the city, in a way they’re not devoted to the Pirates or the Penguins. It could be that Pittsburgh is a “football” town and similar devote occurs elsewhere for other sports (Boston to the Red Sox comes to mind).

8 Responses to “synecdoche in football”

  1. Tark Says:

    Not totally relevant, but this morning I thought of my post from September:

    See #3 @

    Please, let it be true.

  2. Milkshake Says:

    I don’t think most cities with NFL teams are as involved with the team as we are with the Steelers. I take each win and loss personally as if I’m actually on the team.

    Is it crazy to think as a season ticket holder I AM part of the team? As we saw in yesterday’s game and will surely see next Sunday crowd noise can be a huge factor. It can change the outcome of games. You don’t really find that in any other sport.

  3. Soydream Says:

    And now we will have a moment of silence for Milkshake’s sense of privledged self-importance.

  4. dug Says:

    Does this make Milkshake a synec-douche? Oh, snap!

  5. Milkshake Says:

    Ok fine I’m delusional. Crowd noise isn’t a factor in games. It doesn’t draw penalties. I made up that whole 12th man concept. I’ll stop making noise at games and save my voice. Teams should stop playing for home field in the playoffs. Boy do I feel stupid – thanks for showing me the light guys!

  6. andy (not andyl) Says:

    Seriously, guys.

    Fever Pitch anyone?

  7. Milkshake Says:

    I just wanted to say you guys are awesome and I love you all

  8. Milkshake Says:


    The Colts administration sent an e-mail requesting that ticket holders keep their home dome a “sea of blue.” The Indianapolis Star reported that the message read, “We are asking those of you who have tickets but cannot attend the game to do everything possible to make sure that your tickets end up in the hands of Colts fans. Our fans are critical to our success on the field, so if you cannot be there, please make sure that someone who bleeds blue is in your seat.”

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