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SLATE: How many ways can you say “lost big?”

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Let’s count the ways.

Kansas State v Baylor
That basketball? Consider it a metaphor for K-State’s entire season.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Today’s Slate features a vocabulary lesson for all the ways to describe an awful late-season performance that extends a losing streak to eight games.

Good, active verbs deliver the most punch. Here at BoTC, we opted for “dominates” in headlining “No. 2 Baylor dominates K-State, 85-66.” It’s accurate. It conveys a sense of helplessness against a superior opponent, which captures the essence of that game.

Ryan Black at the Mercury chose the more physical “batters,” as in “No. 2 Baylor batters K-State 85-66.” That headline evokes images of violence. It’s hyperbole, of course. Nothing was hurt but K-State’s pride. But sports, for better or worse, are often described in terms of senseless human brutality, and the Cats were certainly beaten up, at least in the metaphorical sense.

Kellis Robinett (or his headline writer at the Star, if McClatchy still pays such a being) chose “suffer” to focus on the victimization of K-State, writing “Kansas State Wildcats suffer lopsided defeat against No. 2 Baylor Bears.” Aw. A human touch.

WIBW made a pun on Bramlage’s “Octagon of Doom” nickname, saying “Slow start dooms Wildcats in loss to Bears.” Clever. But we’re going to deduct points because the loss was a road game, the pun was likely a happy accident, and frankly, this headline could be recycled game-to-game just by changing “Bears” to “Longhorns” or “Cyclones” or any other Big 12 foe.

KWCH went bland: “Baylor hands K-State 8th straight loss.” Hands? Hands? Well, that’s polite, I guess. But not very evocative.

No such kindness from Waco, Texas station KWKT Fox44News: “No. 2 Baylor blasts Kansas State 85-66.” Now, that’s just uncalled for and unchristian. We’re not at all surprised.

Meanwhile the AP (via the Hays Post), in its typically understated style, chose: “No. 2 Baylor rebounds with win over K-State.” Well, sure. If you want to just objectively describe what happened, I guess that gets it done. But it sure is boring. Do better, AP.

See what this basketball season has relegated us to? Vocabulary critique. Do better, Wildcats.

Head Coach Bruce Weber took no solace in the fact that Baylor is one of the nation’s best teams, telling reporters that he hopes the players are embarrassed after the ugly loss to Baylor. We’re with you, Bruce. We never want to lose to Baylor. Never.

As a respite from the men’s basketball woes, track and field athlete Kassidy Johnson penned an article about her journey to K-State, saying there is no place she would rather be.

Baseball plays at Wichita State today at 3:00, and the women’s basketball squad tries to continue its rise against Iowa State at 6:30 in Bramlage Coliseum. Maybe we’ll have something enjoyable to report tomorrow.