Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Learning More All The Time

Via Basketbawful -- and as much as it stinks sometimes to read his roasts of my Mavs, a visit to Basketbawful should be a part of every basketball fan's daily routine -- I found a website that's going to come in very handy when it comes to reading up on and listening to the game.

Like anything else in the modern world basketball has its jargon, shortcuts of phrasing, etc. Some of the fun stuff comes direct from a guy named Chick Hearn, a play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was so good that he was simulcast as both the radio and television announcer -- nuff said.

This is probably incomplete -- and if it is feel free to help me add -- but here's what I've found so far.

Chick's Greatest Hits
a thumbnail guide to Chickisms

20 Foot Layup -- named for Jamaal Wilkes, a shot from the baseline
94x50 hunk of wood -- the court
Airball -- a shot that hits nothing
Airmail special -- a strongly blocked shot, often sent far into the crowd, ref Basketbawful 'egoectomy'
Attacking 47 feet -- the front court, the offensive zone
Boo-birds -- fans who boo their own team when they play badly
Brick -- bad shot
Building a house -- player having a bad shooting night, tossing up nothing but bricks
Bunny hop -- traveling, add 'in the pea patch' for traveling in the lane
Call it with Braille -- an easy call for an official, e.g. "even a blind man could've made that call"
Can't throw a pea into the ocean -- a player/team shooting very very badly, e.g. "couldn't hit the broad side of a barn"
Caught with his hand in the cookie jar -- reach-in foul
Charity stripe -- free-throw line
Cosmetic call -- see 'makeup call'
Covered like the rug on your floor -- excellent one-on-one defense
Couldn't beat the Sisters of Mercy -- a team playing very very badly
Count if it goes . . . -- foul in the act of shooting, see 'it goes!!!'
Defense on vacation -- very bad defense
Didn't draw iron -- shot which misses the rim but hits the backboard
Dime store score -- 10 to 5
Dribble-drive -- player drives the basket while dribbling
Faked the floperoo -- a flop so obvious the refs disdain it
Finger roll -- shot where the ball rolls off the shooter's fingers
Fly-swatted -- shot blocked with force and authority, ref Basketbawful 'egoectomy'
Football score -- a score resembling one more often seen in a football game
Four point switch -- team rebounds a missed shot and scores on the fast-break
Frozen rope -- shot with a very flat trajectory, opposite of a rainbow or teardrop
Hippity-hops the dribble -- player dribbling the ball does a little hop step
Ice water in his veins -- player hits a clutch free-throw
It goes!!! -- a made shot when the shooter is fouled while shooting, an and-one situation. See 'count it if it goes'
First and ten -- multiple players are sprawled on the floor after a physical play or diving for the ball, more characteristic of football than basketball
Garbage time -- late-game play, usually with subs, when the outcome is clear-cut, ref Chuck Cooperstein's 'kids and calves'
Give and go -- player passes the ball, makes a quick cut, and receives a return pass
Good Lord and four disciples couldn't beat them tonight! -- team playing very very well
Hanging out to dry -- defender faked out of his shoes, not quite so far as the 'popcorn machine'
Heart-break! -- A shot that appears to go in, but rattles off the rim and misses
He has two chances, slim and none, and slim just left the building -- player that has no chance of success
Human after all -- hot player suddenly makes a mistake
If that goes in, I'm walking home -- when the opponent shoots a shot that is a prayer, a streak, or some amazing shot
Kamikaze steal -- player overcommits to intercept a pass
Leapin' leaner -- a shot made mid-air and off balance
Lots of referees in the building, only three getting paid -- audience heckling an unfavorable call from a ref
Makeup call -- questionable call by a ref to "even out" a previous questionable call that went in the other team's favor
Marge could have made that shot -- a missed shot that was so easy, Hearn's wife Marge could have made it
Matador defense -- poor defense, like waving a flag at a charging bull
Motorcycle in a motordrome -- Ball spins several times around the inside of the rim; can either fall through or rim out
Mustard's off the hot dog -- player makes an unnecessarily flashy play that doesn't work
My grandmother could guard him, and she can't go to her left! -- easy-to-cover player
Nailed to the floor -- defender who never moves at all
Nervous time -- final minutes of a close scoring game; crunch time, clutch time, etc.
No harm, no foul (no blood, no ambulance, no stitches) -- non-call by an official when significant contact did occur, more adjectives means the non-call was more questionable
No-look pass -- pass made to another player without looking at them first
Not a happy camper -- player upset over a call, ref Basketbawful 'Duncan face'
Not Phi Beta Kappa -- dumb play
Pick up the garbage -- player picks up a loose ball and makes an easy shot
Picks pocket -- very quick, close steal
Popcorn machine -- offensive player pump-fakes the defensive player waaaay up into the air and get a wide-open shot; defender who bounces up and down trying to block the shot
Pressure cooker -- see nervous time
On him like a postage stamp -- very tight defense
Shot from way out yonder -- loooooong three
Slam dunk! -- Hearn's most famous phrase; a powerful shot where a player shoves the ball through the hoop from above, hangs on the rim and swings as they bask in being Awesome
Spalding tattooed on his forehead -- in your face shot rejection, ref Basketbawful 'Wilsonburger'
Spending too much time refereeing -- players and coaches wasting time arguing a call
Standing there, combing his hair -- a player uninvolved with the action comes up with the ball and gets an easy shot
Takes him to the third floor and leaves him at the mezzanine -- offensive player pump-fakes a defender and draws a foul when the defensive player leaps
Tattoo dribble -- player dribbling the ball while not moving, as though tattooing the floor with the ball, as he waits for the play to develop
Telegraph a pass -- passer makes it clear which way the ball will go, making it easy to intercept or block
This game's in the refrigerator, the door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard, and the Jell-O's jigglin'! -- the game's outcome is set; opposite of 'nervous time'
Tightrope act -- saving a ball from going out-of-bounds by rising up on tiptoe and overbalancing
Thought he made it and so did I -- good looking shot that does everything but go in
Throws up a prayer -- wild shot that will need a miracle to go in
Ticky-tack -- foul called when very little contact has been made
Wallet -- player's butt, usually fallen upon
Working on his Wrigleys -- player chewing gum
Yo-yo-ing up and down -- dribbling in one place as if playing with a yo-yo on a string

Sources: http://home.hawaii.rr.com/bsideflash/chickisms.htm


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