Da Real HMIC
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: It's a SO CAL Thang!!!!
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The particular phrases that Chick used during his broadcasts were labeled "Chickisms". Many are staples of basketball. When a book of his memoirs was published in 2004, it included an audio CD with the calls as well as a Chick Hearn Rap-Around rap song created with the samples.
* 20 foot lay-up: A jump shot by Jamaal Wilkes.
* Air-ball: An errant shot that fails to touch either the rim or the backboard.
* (He sent that one back) Air-mail Special!: A strongly-blocked shot, often sent high into the stands.
* Bloooows the layup! : Missed a very easy layup.
* Boo-birds: Fans who boo their own team when they play badly.
* (He did the) bunny hop in the pea patch: He was called for traveling.
* (You could) call it with Braille: An easy call for an official, e.g. a blatant foul.
* (He got) caught with his hand in the cookie jar: A reaching foul.
* (The) Charity Stripe: The free-throw line.
* (He's got 'em) covered like the rug on your floor: Really good one-on-one defense.
* (They) couldn't beat the Sisters of Mercy: The team is getting beat badly.
* (They) couldn't throw a pea into the ocean: The team's shooting is really awful.
* (It'll) count if it goes ...: A player that is fouled in the act of shooting. It go-o-o-oes!: The shot is successful.
* (That shot) didn't draw iron: A shot which misses the rim, but hits the backboard. Sometimes he would add but it drew a lot of flies.
* Dime store score: A 10 to 5 score.
* Dribble-drive: A player drives the basket while dribbling.
* Finger roll: A shot where the ball rolls off the shooter's fingers.
* (He) fly-swatted (that one): A shot blocked with force and authority.
* Football score: A score resembling one often seen in a football game (e.g., 21 to 14).
* (He threw up a) frozen rope: A shot with a very flat trajectory.
* (We're) high above the western sideline: Chick's perch at the Forum, from which he called his word's eye views of the game.
* Hippity-hops the dribble: A player dribbling the ball does a little hop step.
* I'll bet you an ice-cream: Hearn and Keith Erickson (his one-time color commentator) often bet ice creams on the outcome of a shot or game.
* (He's got) ice-water in his veins: When a player hits a clutch free-throw.
* (It's) First and ten: Multiple players are sprawled on the floor after a physical play or diving for the ball.
* (It's) garbage time: The (often sloppily-played) remainder of the game (after it’s in the refrigerator).
* Give and Go: A player passes the ball, makes a quick cut, and receives a return pass.
* (In & out,) heart-brrrreak!: A shot that appears to go in, but rattles off the rim and misses. Sometimes it went in so far you could read the Commissioner's name from below.
* He has two chances, slim and none, and slim just left the building: The player has no chance of success with this play.
* If that goes in, I'm walking home: Similar to a prayer, when the opponent shoots a shot that is a prayer, a streak, or some amazing shot. (Usually on the road)
* Leapin' Lena: A shot made while the player is in the air and off balance.
* Marge could have made that shot: A missed shot that was so easy, Hearn's wife Marge could have made it. Marge was often referred to when a player messed up something that was easy.
* (There are) lots of referees in the building, only three getting paid: The entire crowd acts as though they are the officials by disagreeing with a call.
* (Like a) motorcycle in a motordrome: Ball spins several times around the inside of the rim, then drops through or goes "in & out".
* The mustard's off the hot dog: A player attempts an unnecessarily showy, flashy play which ends up in a turnover or is otherwise unsuccessful.
* My grandmother could guard him, and she can't go to her left!: Said of a slow, out of shape, or hurt player.
* Nervous time: When the final moments of a game are pressure-packed.
* 94-by-50 hunk of wood: The basketball court, based on the floor's dimensions. (Attacking 47 feet: The front court.)
* No harm, no foul (no blood, no ambulance, no stitches): A non-call by an official when varying degrees of contact have occurred. (More adjectives means the non-call was more questionable.)
* Not Phi Beta Kappa: Not a smart play.
* ...Since Hector was a pup A very long time (e.g., the Lakers haven't had the lead since Hector was a pup.)
* He's in the Popcorn Machine (with butter and salt all over him): Meaning that a defensive player got faked into the air (and out of play) by an offensive player's pump fake. ("Popcorn Machine" is a reference to an actual popcorn machine in the old Los Angeles Sports Arena, which was near the basket, but far away from the court. Thus, if the player went far out of play, he was in the "popcorn machine.") When Hearn guest starred as a mouse in the Garfield and Friends episode Basket Brawl, Odie literally runs into a popcorn machine.
* (He's) on him like a postage stamp: Very tight defense.
* Slam dunk!: Hearn's most famous phrase; a powerful shot where a player forces the ball through the rim with one or both hands.
* (He was) standing there, combing his hair: When a player uninvolved with the action comes up with the ball and gets an easy shot.
* (He) takes him to the third floor and leaves him at the mezzanine: A move where an offensive player pump-fakes a defender and draws a foul from the leaping player.
* Tattoo dribble: A player dribbling the ball while not moving, as though tattooing the floor with the ball, as he waits for the play to develop.
* 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; only the final score is in question. Chick's variation on "the game's on ice."
* Throws up a brick: When a player tosses up a particularly errant shot.
* Throws up a prayer (... it's (or isn't) answered!!!): A wild shot that will need a miracle to score (and does or doesn't).
* Ticky-tack: A foul called when very little contact has been made.
* Triple-double: A player gets 10 or more (i.e. double digits) in three statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots.
* (On his) wallet: A player fell on his rear end.
* Words-eye view: What listeners received while listening to Hearn call the game on the radio.
* (He's) working on his Wrigleys. A player is chewing gum.
* (He's) yo-yo-ing up and down: A player dribbles in one place as if he were playing with a yo-yo on a string.
* (He's dribbling) left to right (or right to left) across your dial: To let people who were listening to radio know which direction the ball was going up the court.
* (He's) alone, he sets, he fires, he gets!: Player not defended who stops, sets and shoots.