Word on the Street

Embarrassment Call (em-bar’-uhs-ment’ kahl) noun. A foul called during a pickup basketball game in which the offensive player tries to avoid embarrassment by claiming he was fouled. This is often accompanied by either a flop or a verbal flop.

Usage example:Backwards Hat Guy got his shot cleanly blocked by Old Guy, but he tried to cover it up by making an embarrassment call.

Word irritation: When playing pickup basketball, there are few things more annoying than falling victim to an embarrassment call. In my experience, there are two circumstances in which such a call is usually made: when the offensive player has his shot blocked, or when he turns the ball over or has it stolen while being pressured by his defender. Let’s face it, nobody wants to get stuffed, and nobody wants to cough up the ball. It’s better (some would say) to save face by claiming there was some sort of incidental contact.

In most cases, the offensive player will be forced to sell the embarrassment call. At the time of the “foul,” he will probably flop, flail, grunt, yell, and/or toss out a few well-timed obscenities. He will say “Got one” (or something to that effect) with a tone of self-righteous anger, as if a great wrong has been committed against him, and he will become incredulous if anyone (usually his defender) attempts to dispute the call. Compaints are usually met with a sarcastic chuckle and a disdainful shaking of the head followed by statements such as “You hit my wrist,” “You got me on the body,” “You totally reached around,” etc.

Sad note: All the pictures I had with the word embarrassment, had Fabricio Oberto in them.

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Labels: Fabricio Oberto / Word on the Street

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