The Non-Expert

Jock Party

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we fashion a taxonomy of American athletes to help a reader get in touch with his jock-dom.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: You must know Made, [the show] on MTV where people get to live out there secret dreams? I want to be a jock. You obviously can provide very non-expert advice on how I can live out my secret dream. Thanks and keep up the good work—Rob

Answer: Before you wrote to us, the first question you should have asked yourself, Rob, is, “Why do I want to be a jock?” Etymology tells us that “jock” is a diminutive of “jockstrap,” or, the thing men put their junk in when they play sports. A jockstrap is typically made from a poly-cotton blend. I can’t really give you any advice on how to become one, but I assume the human equivalent of something that men put their junk in is referred to in the community as a “bottom” or “catamite.” If you have to look up those terms, or don’t know which community I’m referring to, then perhaps this isn’t your ideal line of work.

Generally speaking, however, jockstraps are also known as “athletic supporters,” which can include anything from cheerleaders to PTA members, some of which men also put their junk in, but usually only the easy ones.

Or, on the slight chance that I’ve misinterpreted you, you may be saying you’d like to be better at sports.

The sporting life is a fine one, and once you’ve found your niche, you’re bound to benefit from the exercise and camaraderie of your chosen playing field. There are many different kinds of jocks, however, many of which who wouldn’t dream of fraternizing with other jock groups. The following survey is by no means exhaustive but it should lead you in the right direction:

All-American Jock

Plays football, basketball, or baseball. Probably dated a cheerleader. If 80’s movies taught me anything, if guys are good at their sport they are jerks and will lose their girlfriends and the big game on the same night. However, that probably won’t bother them when drafted out of college into a multimillion-dollar contract. If they didn’t go pro, they are currently business executives (see Office Jock below), used-car salesmen, or sanitation workers, so there are clearly several different outcomes for enjoying this American dream.

Extreme Sports Jock

This subculture rose to mainstream acceptance in the past two decades, mostly because of Mountain Dew, the X Games, and the Jackass-engendered delight in watching screaming idiots wipe out on concrete. They skateboard, surf, skydive, or fellate sharks. They play Tony Hawk’s video games, have taken pictures of their junk on friends’ sleeping faces, and are wholly unconcerned with whether or not they receive the “right” or “wrong” kind of attention, which actually makes them a lot of fun to hang out with, at least when not randomly yelling “Extreme!” or “Surge!”

Math Jock

Though they don’t get out in the sun much, these guys totally trash ass when it comes to differential equations. Write only on graph paper. Have tattoos of formulae; If you’re a total math jock loser, get something obvious, like the definition of e. As their Mu Alpha Theta coach used to say, “Goldbach’s Conjecture ain’t nuthin’ to fuck wit’!” Nerdcore handle is MC Squared.

Fancypants Jock

I say, Whit, just returned from summering in Sag and, though our croquet was as it should be, I couldn’t keep the roe down my gullet when I heard that Lawrence Templeweed would be captaining the Elis instead of Horace Bluebottomsworth at the Charles this year. To the oars, mate, and no time to shirk! Rest assured there’ll be plenty of time for squash and polo once we’ve whipped the bulldogs back to Deer Island, tails between their foppish legs!

Sex Jock

You’d be a great lay if you weren’t always trying to beat your own personal best (pun!) in terms of endurance, acrobatics, and marksmanship. Be careful where you point that thing.

Soccer Jock

In the U.S., this means listening to jam bands and smoking a lot of pot off-season. In Latin America this means having killed for the love of the game and yelling, “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!”

Schoolyard Jock

Double-dutch, jacks, and H.O.R.S.E. This jock knows all the four-square jargon (bus stops, tree tops, black magic, touched-it-last, etc.) and never gets picked last for kickball. Red rover, red rover, send Rob right on over!

Scenester Jock

Though none can prove it, these “jocks” are pretty sure they’re better than everyone. While fiercely competitive over “cred,” they will always deny this. They also bike and play in shitty hardcore bands, which can be quite a workout.


You display all the outward trappings of jock-dom (upturned collar on a polo shirt, a matching gym outfit, noticeable tanning, body shaving) even though you don’t actually participate in any sport. You like Nu-metal, but not the mopey teenagers who made it popular. You offer unsolicited weight-lifting advice. You are a little too quick to attribute signs of softness to being gay, yet you always seem to prefer the company of muscle-bound men. You ruined Woodstock for our entire generation. You gave me a swirly in high school. I can’t believe Mary Blanchard lost her virginity to you after Homecoming. How drunk did you have to get her? Why aren’t you in jail?

Office Jock

Has an extensive knowledge of ESPN commentators and their opinions, which is mostly used to kiss ass at the water cooler. Practices a golf swing while talking to clients on a hands-free headset, carries a gym bag to work, and talks a lot about the “glory days” when once an All-American Jock.

Family Guilt Jock

Would it kill you to give your poor old mother a call once in a while? You know how I worry about you. Your sister calls all the time. Why can’t you be more like her? You can’t find a nice girl up there that can give me a grandchild? I won’t be around forever, you know.

Bar Jock

This is for anyone interested in the dexterity and finesse of athletic competition without all the stupid running around. They play darts, pool, foosball, quarters, beer pong, and will always buy the next round. They know the jukebox by heart, and how many Guinnesses it takes to loosen up (two), slightly impair motor function (five), start a fight (seven), win a fight due to invincibility (nine), and to forget (10). Probably don’t have jobs. They probably write, too.

Mutually Assured Destruction Jock

Most first-world militaries apply. Sacrifice everything for the team, including the team.

Anything Else Jock

All other kinds of jocks. They swim competitively, run cross-country, do martial arts or rhythmic gymnastics, or, in America, play rugby or cricket. They are true originals and defy all conformity and comparison. We get it. Quit trying so hard. Haven’t you heard of smoking?


TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan