MEMPHIS, TENN. | Plays, formations, coaches and players come and go in sports.
So do words. Slang words, code words, words that used to mean something else, words probably never intended for use as they are in sports ... sometimes it's tough to keep up and there's no evolving on-line dictionary to help.
Here are some of my favorite words and their usage in college basketball this season:
Connected: Mostly use to describe a team that plays well together. Such as, "our defense was very connected tonight." It only gives me a visual of everyone being tied together with a string.
Long: There are tall teams and then there are "long teams," meaning a combination of height and long arms.
Energy: I always thought you had to expend energy to do anything, such as get off the recliner for another beer. In this case, it refers to teams that play "with energy," or hustle, passion or determination. See also, "energy plays" and "energy points." And, "high-energy" players or teams.
Old: Teams with a lot of junior and senior experience are "old." Florida is an "old" team. I've got underwear older than any player on that "old" team.
Culture: Teams don't have a program any more, it's "a culture," or simply a coach's way of doing things. When a new coach takes over, one of his first orders of business is to "change the culture." At one time, that meant cleaning up the mess the former guy left behind.
Challenge: Everything is a "challenge" these days. A challenge to win, play defense, making free throws, put your uniform on, etc. You can also be "challenged." Back in the day, that just meant your coach told you to start busting your behind or find a seat on the bench.