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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
The Language of Al McGuire

Al McGuire had a way with words. In fact, it seemed like he had his own personal language. The New York Times called Al McGuire "the James Joyce of the airwaves" before the 1995 NCAA basketball tournament. His almost stream-of-consciousness delivery coupled with his unique phrasing made McGuire one of the most popular college basketball announcers. Here's a sampling (with translation) of McGuire-isms:

McGuire phrase Translation
go barefoot in the wet grass enjoy the moment
congratulate the temporary live for the moment
carnival gates are closed game's over
salt and pepper coach X's and O's coach
cupcakes easy opponents
white knuckler close game
French pastry a showy move
cracked sidewalks bad part of town
sand fights hard-fought games
yellow ribbons and medals success in recruiting
tailenders walk-ons or complementary players
Dunkirk an extremely poor performance
dance hall player short on talent, but long on effort
memos and pipes university administrators and professors
two loaves of bread under their arms good jobs
seashells and balloons victory and happiness
curtains game's over
tap city game's over
aircraft carrier big center
cloud piercer player who jumps well
ballerina in the sky player who jumps well

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