Friday, March 28, 2008
I gotta say, this is one of my favorite times of the year.
This is the season of pick-up basketball in all its forms. Ward ball tournaments are raging forward with a full head of steam, city leagues are thriving and (for those who are still playing in them) BYU intramural leagues are more intense than ever.
In addition, it's getting warm outside and fenced and caged courts everywhere are full of has-beens and never-will-bes, all having a sweaty good time.
I hate to say it, but I'm definitely one of those guys that's all about chatter. It's bad when I'm on the court, but it's even worse when I'm sitting on the bench. My teammates are nice enough to never say how really annoyed they are, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of the disgust in their faces.
I don't blame them. Truthfully, sometimes I annoy myself.
But I thought it might be funny to let you, the reader, in on my world of chatter. I've decided, therefore, to publish my most popular quips and define them. That way if you happen to see me at a game, you'll know what the heck I'm talking about.
By the way, it should be noted that I didn't come up with these sayings, necessarily, but they are my definitions. If I'm using a phrase incorrectly, please let me know.
"Good take" - I figured I'd start with a classic. Generally, this is said when a player drives and hits a short jumper or lays it in. Usually accompanied with a running five as we transition to defense.
"Good hit"/"Nice hit" - Similar to "good take," but different in that it doesn't usually involve a drive. Mainly used for longer jump shots, and no five necessary.
"Good find" - I think I may have coined this phrase, but I'm not sure. I say it when someone makes a really good pass to an open person under the basket. I like to congratulate guards who make the extra pass and find the open guys. Assists deserve credit too.
"Body up!" - Usually said while on the bench, this is used to inspire toughness and physicality to get rebounds. It literally means get in front of the other team, get your butt into them, and get a rebound. Sadly, it doesn't inspire players as effectively as you might think.
"NO!," or "Wooo!" - I usually scream this when the guy I'm supposed to guard spots up and shoots (usually a three pointer). Often I'm too lazy to actually get out and defend the shot, but "Wooo!" is a surprisingly effective substitute.
"Don't call it if you don't see it." - I don't really verbalize a lot of smack to referees - I usually leave my complaints to non-verbal communication like rolling the eyes and smashing down the ball, with the occasional "Come on!" sprinkled in there - but this phrase has crept into my basketball vocabulary lately. I like to remind the refs that you don't have to call a foul because you anticipate a foul; call it when you actually see one. Warning: This may seem like harmless chatter, but I did receive a technical foul once for saying it, so be careful.
"We've got horses" - I thought this was a pretty common expression, but I'm not sure the guys on my ward ball team quite understood me when I yelled it while on the bench the other night. Simply put, it just means that there are plenty of guys on the bench who can offer relief to tired players on the court. It's usually paired with a "hustle"-type comment, e.g. "Play hard! We've got horses!"
"Get in the hole!" - I stole this phrase from golf, but I've found it translates well in the world of basketball. Said in a frustrated tone, I use this phrase when I miss a shot I should have made, or when a shot is bouncing around the rim and in question. Variations include "You better get in the hole," which is said after an easy shot barely rattles in. A stern warning to the basketball, implying negative consequences if it bounces out.
That's pretty much it. I'd say those phrases make up about 95% of my basketball chatter. The other 5% is usually reserved for smarty pants wisecracks and witty observations.
Now please feel free to share your favorite chatter, or give me suggestions. I'm always willing to improve my game.