The Haymaker at Haymaker Hills

One of the most amazing things about the Brawl was the media's insistence on referring to Jermaine O'Neal's punch as a "haymaker," as if this rarely-used term were the only possible way to describe O'Neal's rep-bending act. In the immediate aftermath, it was understandable: need for colorful rhetoric, lack of imagination, group think, price of tulips rising, etc. Apparently, though, this has become the official nomenclature, as revealed by today's Florida Today. Three months after the fact and they have to say "haymaker." Did anyone ever use the word before that fateful day? How long till O'Neal is christened "The Big Haymaker?" Are we seeing the English language take form before our very eyes, like the way the OED was built around usage? Doesn't Stephen Jackson seem like that night's honorary maker-of-hay, not the panicky O'Neal?

I owe this and so much else to Inside Hoops, which every day saves me the trouble of reading local papers that take forever to load. They deliver the NBA news, so I can make fun of it.


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