Jock Culture Essay
In 1975, Robert Lipsyte wrote “Jock Culture” which was in “The Sportsmaster.” It didn’t appear in “The Nation” until 2011. Analysis will examine the credibility of the examples used by the author to stage his claims. Robert is a sportswriter and a broadcast journalist who is also known for his young adult novels. He was born in 1938 in the Bronx. Throughout his childhood, he would’ve described himself as a “puke.” He was bullied and felt like an outcast. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University at only 19 years of age. He also received his Master’s degree in journalism. When Lipsyte was a reporter and writer for The New York Times, he published more than 500 columns, & is the author to nearly 30 books. He became a sports commentator for National Public Radio, an on-air essayist for CBS and NBC, and was even the host of a public television show, The Eleventh Hour, which he won an Emmy for. To this day, Robert continues to write both nonfiction and fiction work. Basically, Robert is targeting everyone, both jocks and pukes. Judging by his descriptions of jocks, he assumes none would end up reading this article anyway, so is main focus is “puke.” Jock Culture glorifies the young, the strong and the beautiful, and Lipsyte gets the tragic implications.
Although in his article, he describes himself as a puke, it seems as if he would fit better under the jock section. Given the competitive journalism, he probably owes his success as a sports writer in some measure to his own socialization in Jock Culture or whether his socialization into success in those savage precincts renders him now more sympathetic than he would otherwise be to Jock Culture. He goes on to talk about that there are more than just these 2 categories of people or you can fall under both categories. Boys are taught to be tough, stoical, and aggressive, to play hurt, to hit hard, and to win in every aspect of their lives. Jocks could also be pukes though, they have the jock mentality, and the puke work ethic. They come to work sick, they strive to be the best. It goes to show that there can be more than just the 2 groups. Robert describes Jock Culture as a danger to the common good, and a distortion of sports. “It is fueled by greed and desperate competition.” (pg 350) Jock Culture applies the rules of competitive sports to everything. It’s to keep the fear of being known as “feminine” to the others. You want to be known, overall, as the alpha male, or masculine at least. At a young age, most kids are thrown into peewee sports and classified from then on in that point of their lives, as either a jock or puke. Which is where all the horror starts with Jock Culture.
As they grow older, it gets worse, in high school, the jocks are looked up too. As if they belong on a throne or are “godlike.” This what Robert is trying to explain basically in paragraph 7 and 10. It didn’t use to be all bad like this with Jock Culture. Sports were a way of being taught leadership, teamwork, responsibility, respect, and bravery. Now, it has become a cockpit of bullying, violence, and a commitment to the “win at all costs” attitude. Which is why Robert is pushing to show the dangers of what Jock Culture actually does to people, especially at a young age. “Pukes” get out casted but grow up and become writers or such while jocks, the “in” group, grow up to be stockbrokers or the like, because of the competitive culture the jobs come with. Overall, Jock Culture is everywhere, and very difficult to steer away from. It’s a stupid wasteful destructive madness and there’s nothing good in it. Lipsyte is right to be worried about the growing dominance seen starting earlier and earlier in young boys, but he has scarcely begun to scratch the surface of the hell of Jock Culture and the impact it makes on earth, and not only our youth, but our adult population as well.