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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2003-03-02

Jam This! 'Let's Get Ready to Rumble!'
(Michael Buffer - Jock Jams vol. 1)

By Trent Nelson, The Salt Lake Tribune

Photo by
If the message boards at SportsShooter.com are any indication, we
photographers never agree on anything.

Should I shoot Nikon or Canon?

Do Sigma lenses suck more than Tokina lenses? Is Allsport's NBA deal ethical or unethical?

Is Rick Rickman God or Satan?

Even the eternal question of Coke vs. Pepsi lands people in separate camps. We can't even get a unanimous decision that the photo vest in my closet makes me look like a dork. Can we come to a consensus on anything? Actually, I think I have found the one issue we can all agree on:

Wanted, Dead or Alive: The people in charge of the loud, awful music in sports arenas.

"Let's get it on!"(Mills Lane - Jock Rock 2000).

Photo by
In 1995 life got a lot harder for those of us who attend a lot of athletic events. That summer Tommy Boy Music released "ESPN Presents: Jock Jams, Volume 1" Faster than you could pick your nose, every schmoe working in the sound booth of any stadium or arena in America went out and bought this disc. And as soon as the next three-point basket resulted in the other team calling a timeout, every stadium was blasted with Tag Team's "Whoomp! There It Is!"

Since then it's been one crappy song after another. Out came Jock Jams volumes 2, 3, 4, and 5. Other releases included Jock Rock, Hot Jock Stadium Rock, Jock Rock Party, Jock Jams: The All-Star Jock Jams, and Jock Rock 2000. You know what the results were: insidious torture, starting with the initials "Y.M.C.A." Covering sports has become the equivalent of sitting in a room with a CD jukebox locked onto repeat play, only there are just three discs in the damn thing.

'm saying it is time to fight for our rights. Call the music director of your local stadium today and demand that they stop playing any song from any CD with the word "jock" in the title.

"It's Awesome Baby!" (Dick Vitale - Jock Jams vol. 3)

Now it's a given that you might enjoy one or two "jock" songs. That's fine. Go ahead and tap your toe when the speakers blare Republica: "I'm hot, I'm ready to go!" before the local hockey team drops the puck. I'll give you one freebie. But what about Technotronic's 1989 hit "Pump Up the Jam"? My own un-scientific survey found that as of this week I have heard that song about 10,033 times (this includes the original track as well as versions as varied as the Mega-Mix, SportsCenter Mega-Mix, and the Dick Vitale Shakes His Pimply Ass (In Your Face) Baby! Ultra-Mega-Mix). Still think the song is cool? Look how ridiculous it looks in black and white:

I want a place to stay

Get your booty on the floor tonight

Photo by
Make my day

This is not poetry, folks! And why is it being jammed into our heads at every game? You can't escape this stuff. These songs have infected television, movies, even the local roller-rink. The Jock Jams series of discs themselves are a huge hit, selling millions of copies. People buy this stuff, and fans of the series write prose like these actual listener reviews I found on Amazon:

"I never take this CD out of my player!"

"I am a dancer…this CD gets you PUMPED! It's like a Mountain Dew"

"EVERY SONG IS GREAT!!!"

"I'm into football. I listen to these tracks and I get pumped."

Photo by

"This CD is one of those ones that gets you pumped up and ready for anything especially sporting events if you are a contestant."

"It was jocking and rockin'."


"THIS CD IS GOOD IF YOU LIKE HEARING LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE OVER AND OVER- 4 STARS"

"You can also use (this music) for that Pep Ralley (sic) before the games. I discovered this when I was in the high school Pep Band. I also discovered that this is music to pump up the team. As in get them excited for the games."

Who are these people?

One thing I found out online-absolutely stay away from the albums "Jock Rock Party" and "Hot Jock Stadium Rock." (Though it sounds crazy that people would need to be warned away from such titles.) These two albums contain the usual songs, but versions that are recorded by imposters. Even dorks that dance in their room to Jock Jams volume 5 agree that when it isn't the original artist singing "Tubthumping," "Mony Mony" or "We Are the Champions" it sucks even worse.

We need to unite to put an end to this audio torture that has become part of every sporting event. I will close with the twelve most flagrant musical atrocities heard on a regular basis:

Photo by
"Who Let the Dogs Out?"- Baha Men
This already awful song can be especially grating if one of your local teams has a player who calls himself Big Dog or Mad Dog. They'll play it every time he makes a dunk. On a positive note, players with dog nicknames usually suck, so the song is rarely used (see former Jazz player Antoine "Big Dog" Carr and current LA Laker Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen).

"Jump" - Van Halen

Let's see, Eddie Van Halen, the greatest rock guitarist of his era, puts down the guitar and after his first piano lesson pounds out this awful song. (Think back to Michael Jordan playing baseball- it's the same thing.) You can just see the programmers at a basketball game thinking they are comedy geniuses playing this song when a jump ball is called. Yeah, you're very hilarious, turd boy!

"Jump" - Kris Kross

This is another one they just love to pull out when a jump ball is called. You may remember Kris Kross, aka Mac Dad and Daddy Mac. Back in 1992
Photo by
these two teenage rappers tried to start a trend of wearing pants backwards. And it makes so much sense! Taking a dump used to be so inconvenient before I made the switch to putting the zipper over my ass. Now, no matter where I am, I can simply unzip and conveniently crap!

"Cotton Eye Joe" - Rednex

This song is bad. Oh, this song is bad. When I see someone moving their lips to the words, "Where did you come from? Where did you go? Where did you come from, Cotton Eye Joe?" all I can assume is that they are under the influence of an insidious extra-terrestrial plot. Hand me my pills, please, I'm checking out.

"Whoop There It Is" - Tag Team

It's easy to do, but make sure you don't confuse this song with "Tootsee Roll" by 69 Boyz. There is no need to discuss either song further. Ever.

"We Like To Party" - Venga Boys

If (as one of the Internet reviewers claimed) the Jock Jams CD is like a Mountain Dew, this song must be the equivalent of the ingredient polycarboglutenatic acid. I can't figure out just what it is, but it probably isn't good for me.

"Son of Jock Jam" - Dick Vitale/Dan Patrick/Jock Jam All Stars

I must confess I have not heard this song. However there is significant evidence (in the song's title and names of the performers involved) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it sucks.

"I Like to Move It" - Reel to Reel

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Upper Deck photographer Thearon Henderson brings his own music to Candlestick Park when he shoots the 49ers.
The sounds and lyrics to this song make me think it's about a gravelly-voiced man sitting on a toilet trying, and succeeding, at having a bowel movement.

"Macarena" - Los Del Mar

The reason I wish they wouldn't play this song anymore is because every time I hear it, I can't resist standing up and dancing. I've missed more great photographs this way…

"Rock and Roll Part 2 (The Hey Song)" - Gary Glitter

Convicted sex offender Glitter wrote this mostly instrumental song in an attempt to capture the energy of a full crowd at Wembley Stadium. We all know the song sucks, so I'll spare the jokes on it. But what about Gary Glitter spending part of his Christmas vacation last year in a Cambodian jail for allegedly assaulting young boys? Look at the picture on his album cover. Is it Liberace, Elvis, or both?

"Zoot Suit Riot" - Cherry Poppin' Daddies

At first I had a nice relationship with this song. It would come on and I would shut it out, ignore it. But then I realized that it was being played at every event, on every station, during every halftime show, in every commercial, all over the entire world.

"Takin' Care of Business" - Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Ouch. When was this song popular? Back when marijuana and opium were legal? This is the kind of song you'd listen to while fixing up a car with doors welded shut and had a confederate flag painted on the roof.


(Trent Nelson is the chief photographer of the Salt Lake City Tribune. His observations on life and photography are featured in his frequent contributions to the Sports Shooter Newsletter. Trent will also be a faculty member for the upcoming Sports Shooter Workshop & Luau 2003.)


Related Links:
Trent Nelson's member page

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