Can We Talk About Jock Jams?

I attend every BYU Men’s Volleyball game in Provo (I also “watch” every away game on live stats). Now that I know all the players and love them like my favorite fictional (and nonfictional) heroes, watching them play volleyball is like watching Batman beat the crap out of the taunting Joker, or William Wallace destroy the over-numbered English army, or Maximus Meridius dominate Commodus in the gladiator arena.* Watching these volleyball heroes (this includes my 6′ 0″ husband, who is like the classic underdog against the 6’4″-6′ 8″ players) win on the court in front of a roaring crowd gives me wordless gratification.

The last home game was about two weeks ago, against UCLA. We beat the living spirits out of those villains.

During that game (in which I sat on the floor directly behind the servers’ butts, directly in front of the camera, winking), you could say I was easily caught up in this grandiose world of good conquering evil.

At least, you could say, I almost was.

There I was, watching those warriors with all my heart, body, soul, and imagination, when suddenly, out of the heavens above, came this:

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUMBLEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET RE-RE-RE-READY TO RU-RUMBLEEEEE-JOCK JAMS!!!!!! You all ready for this? Whoooop, there it is–Pump up the jam, ya pump it up, ya pump it up, BE AGGRESSIVE, BE BE AGGRESSIVE! You all ready for this??”

And then, the worst part of the Jock Jams medley, the pervert gargling from the back of his throat:


Whenever I hear any of the Jock Jams collection, I think of my little  brother, Grant, when he was four, in his black, red, blue, and white gymnastics** warm-ups (those swishy pants and jackets) spinning around on his head, getting up and sprinting back and forth in our living room, jumping on the couch on his head again, then jumping onto the ground and doing jumping jacks, twisting his face and arms and sticking out his butt and tongue.

That is what I think of when I hear any “Jock Jam”: Annoying dancing in shiny swishy pants.***

Even if Grant’s dancing never existed, even if my memory of it never existed, that image of him twisting all his limbs as fast as he could is the image of the Jock Jams.

So you can understand the dissonance between what I am watching, volleyball gladiators, and what I am hearing: child dancing gymnasts. Add on top of that the BYU students all around the volleyball gym who decide unanimously to sing along and start bopping their heads forward (instead of backward like true soulful folk) and you’ve got me very, very mixed up inside: Whoa, whoa, whoa, where am I? Why is everyone singing and bopping around like uncoordinated hurdlers? Why in the hell is this music from hell playing? I thought we were winning….





*I am actually not a violent person.

**Grant did gymnastics once. He was State Champion and took 3rd at Regionals when he was like 7 or 8, I can’t remember. Anyway, we always make fun of him because he was so good at such a “leotard” sport. He eventually grew up and chose to play basketball. Started on varsity as a freshman. We stopped making fun of him then.

***It was not annoying at the time (or now). I have always loved Grant and he has always made me laugh.


5 Replies to “Can We Talk About Jock Jams?”

  1. I love that image of Grant. How close are the swishy pants to Aladdin pants? Funny that the impish grin that Grant carries is the same today as 15 years ago. Does he still have some swishy pants too?

  2. Is it weird that I knew the exact tune when I started reading the words to the song and started imagining myself warming up for basketball and playing in my backyard against myself, playing every player and talking to myself??? I may have been just as weird as Grant I believe

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