Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Long tall Candace

In the past couple of years, basketball announcers have started referring to tall players as being "long" or having great "length." In recent games we must have heard ESPN's Nancy Lieberman describe 6'6" Sylvia Fowles of LSU and 6' 5" Candace Parker of Tennessee this way 100 times.
Perhaps we just needed a change from our references to "height" (or "heighth," as many of us say) and "reach." Of course we've always called players like 5'2" Shannon Bobbitt "short" as well as "small," so why shouldn't we call the others "long" as well as "tall"?

Of course Little Richard Penniman understood this when he sang, "Long tall Sally, she's built for speed, she's got everything that Uncle John need."

(Yes, and Paul McCartney swallowed this lyric in his version, singing something like "Long tall sally, she's built sweet . . . " much as George Harrison morphed Carl Perkins' lyric in "Everybody's Tryin' to Be My Baby" from "Went out last night, didn't stay late, brought her home, had a nice teen date" into what sounds like "brought her home, had a nineteenth date.")

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