For a short time, NBA “snipers” like DeShawn Stevenson would wave their hand in front of their face if they hit a bunch of shots in a row. The gesture is meant to convey, ‘I’m so hot I can’t feel my face.’
I’m not sure why success would lead to facial numbness, but maybe if I could actually hit a few shots in a row I’d find out.
Last week as I was watching Deutschland sucht den Superstar — Germany’s American Idol — I noticed one of the exiled contestants make the same gesture after being congratulated by a finalist.
‘Did she just go all “hood” on her?’ I thought. Not at all. In Germany, that’s how you express that something is crazy. It’s the same as pointing your finger to your ear and spinning it around.
Lately I’ve been bringing things up in casual conversation that are ‘crazy’ just so I can wave my hand in front of my face. I use it on the basketball court as well, but not for the same reason.