Crip shot

Dick Heaberlin Heaberlin at SWT.EDU
Sat Jan 27 20:08:55 UTC 2001

I started playing basketball in 1945 and at that time what is now called
a lay up was called a "crip shot." I always assumed that  it was short
for "cripple" since it was supposedly the easiest shot to make. What
interests me about this is why did such a useful phrase fall into
disuse. In my web search of it I found only four examples of it being
used, one about a Kentucky game in 1925 and another about a game in
1948, one a comparison in a journalism professor's syllabus. I have
played basketball from 1945 till now, and yet I don't know when the
phrase quit being used. I don't even use it any more but the young
people I play with it don't use it either. Another term from the from
the forties was "radio man," which is the same as "snow bird." I still
hear "snow bird" occasionally. I am from the south and never understood
what a snow bird had to do with staying back on defense and waiting for
a long pass. "Radio man" made more sense as a metaphor to me. Does
anyone have any info on any of this?

Dick Heaberlin
English Department
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666

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