Bucks Diary

Monday, January 29, 2007

Is Doucette's Dictionary accurate?



Since it is an off-day for the Bucks, I want to bring up an issue that has been bugging me.

The Milwaukee Bucks distribute a gameday program in the Courtside Club at the Bradley Center called "Tip Off". Its very cool. It is written in the mold of programs you used to be able to buy at the old Milwaukee Arena, in that it is geared entirely toward the Bucks: our players, personnel and team history. Frankly, it is a refreshing alternative to the generic "Hoop" program the NBA requires all arenas to offer as their main onsite publication.

One specific section I particularly enjoyed in "Tip Off" is "Doucette's Dictionary". As the name implies, this section provides and defines, in alphabetical order, a series of phrases allegedly coined by the original "Voice of the Bucks", the legendary Eddie Doucette.

I say "allegedly" because, while some of the phrases are obvious Doucetteisms that are cherised by every citizen of Bucks Nation -- such as "Bango!" (for successful deep jump shots, and of course, later adopted as the name of the team's mascot) "The toaster" (the lane, often used in conjunction with Sidney Moncrief) and, of course, "Sky hook" (Kareem's patented shot and my original blogger name) -- I think the magazine has given Eddie credit for phrases he did not coin, and would not claim to have coined. And, as a would-be conosseuir of all things Bucks, the issue has kind of been bugging me (which should indicate to the reader just how weirdly obsessed I am with the team).

Anyway, since this blog is a gathering spot for Bucks Nation, I put it to you to help me with my doubts. If some of these phrases credited to Doucette were actually coined by him, he has had a far more profound impact on basketball play-by-play than almost anyone, including Johnny Most and Chick Hearn. And perhaps he has. If so, I need to be schooled.

So below I list the most disputed phrases (in my mind) and their definitions as given in "Tip Off", with my own personal notes on each phrase provided in the parathensis. I ask for your comments.

Air Ball: A shot that misses the rim, board, and the net... ( Now, I'm almost positive this phrase was coined by Laker announcer Chick Hearn)

Back Door: A player goes "back door" when he drives baseline to the basket... (First, the definition is wrong. A player goes back door on a defender when he doesn't have the ball. Second, I think the term "back door" has been in general basketball use since at least the 1950's)

Boards: A term for rebounds...(This could very well be a Doucetteism, but its such an obvious term I find it hard to believe it was not in use prior to the inception of the Milwaukee Bucks)

Charity Stripe: Free throw line... (Again, this could very well be Eddie's, but its in such wide usage, I have my doubts)

D: Abbreviation for defense... (I know this wasn't a Doucette original... was it?)

Give and Go: When an offensive player gives the ball to a teammate, cuts to the basket, and then gets it back. (Once again, he may have coined it, but its so commonly used I have my doubts)

Goaltending: ('Tip Off' then gives the definition of a goaltend, as found in the NBA rulebook. Are they claiming Eddie Doucette came up with the official term? If so, what did people call the violation before he gave it a name?)

Hoop: Another word for basket... (He really came up with that?)

Shot Clock: 24 second clock... (Now this one can't be his, can it?)

There are a couple of other phrases (such as "strong side/weak side" and "the post") that I am sure were originated in the coaching ranks, but the above are the clear announcer type phrases that I am in doubt about.

In the future I'll list some classic (and undisputed) Doucetteisms contained in the article. Bucks fans will love them.

6 Comments:

At January 30, 2007 at 8:43 AM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

I agree some of those are suspect....but of the ones you listed, I do think charity stripe was definitely his.

He may also have come up with air-ball.

 
At June 3, 2009 at 1:35 PM, Blogger mmputt48 said...

Fast Eddie used all of those words in days the announcers were pretty bland. He was a breath of fresh air. He called Kareem the "King" if you recall.Took awhile to get the hang of what he spoke. He was a rock n' roll DJ on WEMP I think. Listened to him while cruising. Great guy. Wish he did the Lakers . I live in So. Cal. now.

 
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