Swiping the Midas vs. Circumcising the Mosquito

Mike mosquitoSometimes the sum is greater than the parts.

Wednesday morning, on ESPN’s Mike and Mike, radio/TV show personality Mike Greenberg kicked off the broadcast expressing his latest infatuation with two colorful phrases he believes should take their place in the American vernacular.

The first, used by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in explaining why Tony Romo wasn’t being placed on the team’s injured reserve list, said there was no point in “circumcising the mosquito” and looking for a 53rd person to replace Romo on the roster.

The other phrase intriguing Greenberg came last week from ESPN guest host Adnan Virk, who said last week while substituting for Greenberg’s longtime co-host Mike Golic, that he was only responsible for “swiping the Midas,” a phrase used to describe the show’s telestrator.

We agree with Greeny that both phrases have a nice colloquial feel to them, but we think the good people at Mike and Mike might be missing a golden opportunity here.  Instead of trying to make each of the two phrases stand on their own, they should be combined to describe making a big deal over something ultimately inconsequential.

After all, “Swiping the Midas” sounds like you’re doing something grand and of utmost importance, (even if, in fact, that responsibility falls on Mike and Mike to Mike Golic), and “Circumcising the mosquito” clearly describes something inconsequential.  So, by combining the two phrases, you’ve got a new catchphrase that can replace antiquated colloquialisms like “much ado about nothing.”

The phrase works not only in the realm of sports, but in many situations we deal with everyday where we might be inserting a little too much drama and missing the larger picture.

So, with apologies to the Bard, here are perfect examples of when you think you’re swiping the Midas when really you’re just circumcising the mosquito:

* An in-depth discussion over who should be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, or who should be the final starting pitcher in the Minnesota Twins rotation.

* Trying to convince your spouse the importance of which way coffee cups should be placed in the dishwasher.

* Bragging your child looked cuter playing “Daisy #2” in the school play than another parent’s child did in their reprisal of “Apple #3.”

* Trying to decide whether the photocopier malfunctioning or the spreadsheet being accidentally erased will be the excuse you give your boss for why you didn’t meet the deadline for a multi-million dollar sales pitch.

* Weighing the performance benefits of various fuel additives for a 1988 Chevy Geo.

* Determining which of your drinking buddies would stand a better chance in the ring with Brock Lesnar.

Greeny might be on to something here.  The phrase can work in so many situations, and once again, and with its promotion, Mike and Mike could find themselves influencing the national vernacular much like their use of the word “ridonculous” did years ago.  It could even place them in the discussion for which sports commentators have had the most significant influence on 21st Century American vocabulary.

Then again, we might just be circumcising the mosquito when we think we’re swiping the Midas.

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