Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Freaks In Uniforms

January 31, 2010

I have a confession to make and I’ll just come right out with it- I was a high school football player and damn proud of it. Not quite as heavy a admitting to having been a junkie or having spent time in prison but sill a significant revelation considering the unwritten rule that punks and jocks go together like whores and church. But that's the thing about unwritten rules they’re unenforceable and in reality no one really knows who came up with them in the first place-so that makes them that much easier to cast aside. our popular mythology would have everybody believe that a real punk would never play organized mainstream sports(too much rules regulations and uniforms) and anyone who played sports and listened to Punk was just a meathead co-opting an righteous underground movement and forever tainting it with Gatorade and sweat. While there is always some essence of truth in all myth Im calling bullshit on ours. Contrary to what John Hughes films would have you believe jocks and Punks are not mutually exclusive no ones gonna revoke your membership into our club for having thrown around a football or sacking a quarterback-in fact it just might give you a little more cred.
I always loved sports as a kid and played AYSO soccer and Little League Baseball. The trouble was I wasn’t very coordinated and there fore not very athletic. In soccer I was the equivalent of a hockey goon not a lot of skills but maybe i could take you out. When it came to little league I had a lot of hustle and a lot of heart but the biggest problem was that I didn’t whine and I wasn’t a blood relative of the coach. And don’t get me started on the politics. So after a while my interest in playing organized sports waned and by middle school I focused on cooler pursuits like reading about history and listening to KROQ -you know that little radio station in Pasadena that played weird music once upon a time. However I still loved watching football-especially the Raiders and Howie Long.

Now by the time I got to high school I loved Punk rock and alternative music, rode a skateboard and read Tom Clancy novels -yeah I know he’s kind of right wing but since I'm being honest here I gotta own it plus this was 1989 and there was still that nagging threat of Soviet domination. Sorry for the digression. Anyway these three facts made me a prime candidate for the type of kid that according to popular culture should get picked on zealously by the jocks and cool kids or so you’d think. So I turned things on their head and joined the football team. I had three main reasons. #1- if I was part of the team then the guys most likely to kick my ass and make fun of me would have to embrace me as one of their own-sort of #2 I might get to date a cheerleader-c’mon who among us hasn’t had the dream of being the outsider who gets the popular girl  and #3 I really did like playing football-a sport where its encouraged to run around and smack people. Well as luck would have it my  most dominant physical traits are absurdly long arms, a hard head and the uncanny ability to absorb obscene amounts of punishment. Oh yeah and the ability to run incredibly slow for a skinny kid. Not exactly the portrait of an all American athlete but it didn’t matter because the football team at my high school to put it bluntly sucked. Also the football team was made up of gangsters, hoods, metal heads assorted screw ups and yes a few bona fide pretty boy jocks. The great thing was the older and much bigger guys took me under their wing and looked out for me-nobody would fuck with me in there presence. Despite my awkwardness I busted my ass on the field and never backed down from anyone despite almost always being over matched and that earned respect out of guys that otherwise would have thrown me in a trash can or just plain ignored me. Yeah they still made fun of me and one of my best friends on the team asked me if I was gay because I liked that you know gay music. But I loved it I took some poundings and even dished a few out and I played varsity for three years. I even got a letterman jacket that I proudly wore with a mohawk-even though we never won a game. No one really thinks about me as an athlete but they do know I was a football player. Playing football didn't make me into an asshole jock but it did expose me to new people and helped develop my personal strength and character. playing team sports might be one of the most Punk rock things any of could do. As for uniforms I'm sure nobody else owns a leather jacket, Ramones t shirt, or studded belts right?



-Daniel N-


Read more from Punk Rock Academy Fight Song HERE