Fw: Crip shot, radio man, snow bird

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Jan 27 21:23:14 UTC 2001

Strictly from memory:

In commentary on baseball many years ago, Joe Garagiola (who played in the
majors) used to speak of "shootin' cripples", in reference to a hitter being
able to get an easy hit because the pitcher's "stuff" wasn't there, that is,
the ball wasn't moving or breaking.  It was a bit of old baseball slang, I
assumed, and I further assumed it referred to the obviously non-PC concept
of how easy it would be to literally "shoot a cripple".  No surprise that
this has fallen into disuse, for any sport.

It's been a while since I've played basketball (bad knees), but I remember
an easy lay-up or wide open shot underneath the basket being called a
"bunny", and a person who stayed back and waited for a long pass for an easy
shot being called a "cherrypicker".

Al McGuire, the noted college basketball coach and TV commentator who just
died this week, popularized a lot of basketball slang, some of which I'm
sure he picked up from players.  As Barry mentioned, the ADS archives have
an Al McGuire glossary from 1980, but no "crip shot".  That glossary
mentions "French pastry" for a fancy move, but misses "shake 'n' bake" for a
fancy move that leaves the defense behind.  McGuire was a master of this
stuff, on TV for over 20 years, and he will be missed.

Frank Abate

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dick Heaberlin" <Heaberlin at swt.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2001 3:08 PM
Subject: Crip shot

> 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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