May 10, 2011

"I've always said that sports is at the forefront of what 'real men' (read: macho men) would wear."

"There's a very simple reason... men will do or wear anything to win a game. They will shave off all their body hair, they will wear skintight lycra bodysuits, they will wear shorts that look like skirts if they think it will help them win or fit in with the team."

So... then does that mean that if those shorts that look like skirts don't help a guy play basketball then he's unmanly... even more unmanly than the usual guy in shorts... that look like skirts?

Do those skirt-like shorts help? What if those old-style short-short basketball shorts help? Wear them and you're more manly?

I'm just testing the theory!

ADDED: I'm noticing how The Sartolialist has hedged his theory: "if they think it will help them win or fit in with the team." And now it seems incoherent. Doing what it takes to win does seem manly, but doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things. What's manly about that? And wanting to fit in? Now you're getting downright girly!

64 comments:

Coketown said...

Maybe real men understand the difference between utility and fashion?

And maybe a guy who makes his living photographing mostly female fashion isn't the best arbiter of masculinity?

Trooper York said...

The fact of the matter is that long shorts are only the fashion because of Michael Jordan. He started wearing them and everyone followed suit because they wanted to "be like Mike."

If you look at photo's of Dr J or Willis Reed or Wilt or the Big O you will see them all wearing short shorts.

It is a fashion statement. When the next all time superstar comes along and does something different you will see everyone follow suit.

Mark O said...

I call OBSESSION.

Steve said...

I'm just impressed that the Sartorialist knows who Greg Pruitt is.

Hate to disagree with Coketown but I have played sports before and there is absolutely no benefit to shorts below the knee. They are a bit of a hindrance actually.

Trooper York said...

It is the same deal with the completely shaven head. Jordan was going bald so he decided to shave his noggin and made it cool for every other douchenozzle to do the same. Previously the only three bald guys you could name were Yul Brenner, Telly Savalas and Mr. Clean.

Triangle Man said...

. Doing what it takes to win does seem manly, but doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things. What's manly about that? And wanting to fit in? Now you're getting downright girly!

Belief can be part of what it takes to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. Look at the superstitions of some fishermen, athletes, and warriors. Fitting in is part of being on a team or part of a unit. Think Sparta.

Trooper York said...

Well except for Slick Watts. He shaved his head and wore a headband. That look never caught on.

Scott M said...

Now you're getting downright girly!

You're going to have to expand on that, AA. Feeling or submitting to peer pressure is girly? But being strong and independently minded is manly?

Aren't you undercutting the basic premise of feminism?

t-man said...

Well, I give one point to Sartorialist. In that second picture, it's true that the bulky sneakers really "sport up" that sequined cardigan over concave chest look.

Steve said...

Basketball shorts are getting shorter. Two or three years ago you would see pantaloons on the court. They have receded to culottes then knickers and are now approaching Bermuda length.

Just like women's skirt length it rises and falls with fashion, but no apparent link to the economy.

Patrick said...

I've always thought that basketball players look ridiculous in those oversized shorts. The only thing more ridiculous is men who wear them while NOT playing basketball. This is part of Prof. Althouse's "no shorts" rule with which I completely agree.

Trooper York said...

The only trend that Jordan didn't start in sports was having your father stop off by the side of the road to take a snooze.

Steve Koch said...

This kid is going to try out for the New York Knickerbockers. He thinks that it will help his chances to practice in knickerbockers before his try out.

edutcher said...

Hell, I've seen guys shoot hoops in sweat pants. Loose shorts make it easier to move and stretch.

For some guys, it's an edge.

At least the guy in the pic had the waistband where it was supposed to be and not around his crotch.

Synova said...

I was trying to find a image of the "futuristic" sports uniforms from the original Battlestar Galactica but I don't know how.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That was a guy in the second picture?

Titus said...

You would be proud of me Althouse.

I never wear shorts.

rhhardin said...

Just speaking of manliness, crocs are the way to go with shorts.

Crocs without holes if the lawn is wet.

They don't work on uneven or rocky ground though.

k*thy said...

Doing what it takes to win does seem manly, but doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things.

The latter falls into the former, all the time. Hey, if you think not washing your socks is doing if for you, not washing your socks is doing it for you (paraphrasing Paul Molitor).

Lance said...

"Shocking report from the fashion world today: noted blogger Sartorialist discovers that form follows function. News at 11."

traditionalguy said...

If they made those shorts out of a Scottish clan plaids, could bagpipe music at Basketball games be far behind.

Lance said...

Hate to disagree with Coketown but I have played sports before and there is absolutely no benefit to shorts below the knee. They are a bit of a hindrance actually.

Look at how NBA players actually wear their shorts: they mostly hit above the knees.

It's the teenagers and fanboys (who are generally much, much shorter than NBA players) who wear their shorts below the knees.

(But I agree, there's no competitive advantage to long or short basketball shorts.)

chickelit said...

blogfather said: Previously the only three bald guys you could name were Yul Brenner, Telly Savalas and Mr. Clean.

What about Uncle Fester?

Shouting Thomas said...

Trooper,

As soon as she found out that I'd bought a mountain bike, my girlfriend bought me a pair of spandex riding pants.

Does this mean that I need to buy a tube of K-Y Jelly? Should I change my name to Ben Dover?

Michael K said...

Doing what it takes to win does seem manly, but doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things.

Some years ago, in the Chicago Mac Race, the crew of one boat desperate for some wind, sacrificed their beef loin dinner to the wind gods. They threw it overboard. I never heard how well it worked.

AST said...

Don't mistake "manly men" with drunken louts.

Phil 3:14 said...

I miss basketball players with short shorts, knee socks and large 'fro's

Oh yeah, and red, white and blue balls.

Methadras said...

Sartorialist commentariat never disappoint in the art of brown nosing sycophantic sucking up.

For the record, I've never like Jordan's long shorts. They do nothing and look lame. However, the tighter shorts of the 70's basketball era are not where it's at for me.

Scott M said...

However, the tighter shorts of the 70's basketball era are not where it's at for me.

Oh, come on! Short-shorts with matching colored-strip tube socks pulled all the way up over the calves, complete with a starched-up collared shirt...preferably with a little alligator or polo rider on it.

Mark O said...

MJ didn't even start the trend of having the mob kill your dad over gambling debts.

I think now that I am the greatest player in the history of basketball, I want to play AAA baseball (wink, wink)

tim maguire said...

"doing things because you believe it will help covers all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things.

Does it? From Bull Durham:

"If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you ARE!"

Robert said...

It's clear from the tone of the comments that practitioners of the manly arts are few and far between in these parts, so note well:

When you defend in basketball, you focus not on the head, hands, or ball, but rather on the opponent's lower torso and thighs, because they tell you the direction your opponent is headed with the ball. Every other body part can fake direction, but the area roughly covered by the shorts cannot. Hips don't lie, in other words.

By hiding their thighs with baggy shorts, basketball players conceal tiny clues about their exact body position, thereby giving themselves a slight advantage over their defenders. But in sports like basketball or boxing, a hundredth of a second in reaction time is significant.

Manly boxers and basketball players know this, but the smart people around here don't.

Shouting Thomas said...

MJ didn't even start the trend of having the mob kill your dad over gambling debts.

This is a horrible and disgusting misstatement of the facts of the murder of Jordan's father.

James Jordan had simply pulled over into a rest area to take a nap when two thugs targeted him for robbery and murdered him.

Read this article for the true story.

Scott M said...

Manly boxers and basketball players know this, but the smart people around here don't.

Ah, yes. Because boxers and basketball players are so much smarter than football players and fencers.

Women play basketball too. Manly need not be a part of the b-ball ingredient.

Unemployment said...

"then does that mean that if those shorts that look like skirts don't help a guy play basketball that he's unmanly"
check you grammar

Bob Ellison said...

The male human is not as vain as the female. Hence male clothes tend to be more functional than female clothes, on average, in the aggregate, for the most part.

Robert said...

Ah, yes. Because boxers and basketball players are so much smarter than football players and fencers.

I take it you're unfamiliar with Le Sportif. In football, loose clothing makes a ball carrier far easier to grab and tackle. In fencing, loose clothing presents a much larger target for a touch. Touché!

ironrailsironweights said...

We always could do like the ancient Greek athletes and play sports in their birthday suits.

Peter

Ralph L said...

really "sport up" that sequined cardigan over concave chest look
The first photo made me doubt the blogger's taste in men's wear, the second confirmed he's completely full of shit.

Baggy or tight, I'd like to know how they can wear polyester shorts without crotchrot.

Sixty Grit said...

Yeah, I have to say, when I am driving an incredibly expensive imported car, alone, at night, and need some shut eye, I like to pull off the road in an area frequented by Lumbee thugs. Stupid is as stupid does.

Not trying to blame the victim here, much, but there is no reason to make yourself an easy target of violent crime if you can help it - try driving a bit further, breaking out a credit card, staying in the Motel 6 or something.

Off the bridge abutment, off the rock, right into the middle of the creek, nothin' but net.

Jose_K said...

At least they dont go naked anymore. Wrestling was done nude.
Women in Sparta played topless.
Socrates ,in Plato´s Republich said that women must practice sport and someone answered that guys will giggle at the ridicule spectacle of naked women.

Some rugby player said that they would play naked in the world championship to avoid the extreme heat in SA.
The short pant was an attempt to draw women to sports.
In volleyball very short shorts are mandatory to attract the public. USA and Italia players rejected the idea of using the same outfit used by brazilians

Scott M said...

@Robert

My point was that American football players have very snug clothing as do fencers. This, I thought, helped contradict the loose-equals-manly thought. Football players have every incentive to "juke" the opponent and do it without wearing canopies.

ken in sc said...

Now that I am retired, I wear bib overalls and crocks every day. My wife thinks it's mucho macho.

Robert said...

@Scott M

Look, the manly stuff is just riffing on the professor's theme, nothing more. But the distinction between basketball and football is serious and exactly the point. Football players have every incentive to juke the opponent, but in a baggy uniform the ball carrier can be grabbed and tackled far more easily, which more than negates the deceptive advantage. There's no tackling in basketball (the final Lakers-Mavericks game notwithstanding), therefore the loose clothing offers a small but meaningful deceptive advantage to the one with the ball. Players know this and nonplayers do not (I'll resist the urge to riff on the word player).

I share the professor's belief that men in shorts are almost always unmanly. But basketball and boxing are vocational exceptions.

DADvocate said...

all sorts of unscientific, superstitious, and just plain stupid things.

Baseball players, in particular, are famous for such stuff, especially when it comes to hitting. Study professional athletes, all athletes and athlete wanna be's, you'll find a mystifying array of superstitious and ritualistic behavior that has no scientific basis.

As for fitting in, an over eagerness to fit in is looked down upon.

chuck b. said...

"And wanting to fit in? Now you're getting downright girly!"

Then you don't know much about men. Conformity is HUGE.

chuck b. said...

Compulsory conformity is what makes men so fucking depressing to be around.

(An hour to "get ready" is what makes women so fucking depressing to be around.)

Mark O said...

Shouting Thomas said:
This is a horrible and disgusting misstatement of the facts of the murder of Jordan's father.

Tell me then, do you believe that Michael willingly left the Bulls to play baseball. This is, in fact, an IQ exam.

rcocean said...

"American football players'

What an odd turn of phrase. Are you American?

William said...

I think Marv Hagler first popularized the bald, shaven head thing. He had a rounder head than Jordan, and it worked better on him. His peak years were the early to mid eighties, a full ten years before Jordan. How soon they forget.......I agree with Robert that the loose pants probably give players of NBA quality an edge. But the rest of us not so much. It seems dumb to wear such ugly clothes for a millisecond advantage that probably doesn't even exist for amateurs. Thank God nobody at the beach tries to dress like Olympic swimmers.

reformed trucker said...

Admit it Ann, you like "short shorts" where you can see a guy's junk. Equip Meade accordingly...

reformed trucker said...

"Then you don't know much about men. Conformity is HUGE." - Chuck B

You must hang with sheeple who care what other people think; hell, I was "grunge" before there was such a categoty.

Be you, and to hell with other peoples' opinions.

reformed trucker said...

And what's wrong with shaved heads? I'm Mr. Clean(with a fumanchu) without the hardware. Been that way for years, before it was "popular".

Be yourself, and F what everyone else thinks. You'll be happier.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"There's a very simple reason...men will do or wear anything to win a game."

I assure you, men who partake in 'manly' sports WOULD NOT wear just anything to win a game - especially anything seen on the Sartorialist.

The photo at the bottom of the linked page, case in point. What is that? At first glance, he (?) looks homeless, or maybe he's on his (?) way from acting class to the laundromat.

I think the author drank some spiked coffee before writing this 'piece'.

Really, anything you wear could be called a 'fashion statement'. Observations such as this by the author really highlight the decline of society; he is so bored that he finds 'fashion' everywhere. It really is the same premise/idea that 'art' survives under.

Yawn.

Scott M said...

"American football players'

What an odd turn of phrase. Are you American?


Why, yes. Yes, I am. I phrased it that way because I didn't want to assume we were all using "football" in the same way. You see, I grew up under the crushing, linguistic tyranny of political correctness.

Freeman Hunt said...

If the shorts are going to be so baggy, the basketball jersey should be tighter. The "tights," as in the first picture, wouldn't be a bad addition either.

Basketball costumes need work.

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Oligonicella said...

Robert --

"n fencing, loose clothing presents a much larger target for a touch. Touché!"

Uh, no. That's not the way touch occurs in fencing. You have to touch the jacket and only on the body. The looseness of the sleeves or legs doesn't enter into it.

You might be referring to epee, but you'd be wrong there as well, as the pressure in electronic gear and visual confirmation will rule out a snag in a fold.

Same for sabre.

Oligonicella said...

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E.M. Davis said...

Mtoag Technologies is actually J.

And Trooper is way ahead on this thread.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I've always said that sports is at the forefront of what 'real men' (read: macho men) would wear."

I love that, when I started the blog, "macho" was considered a bad word but, now, it's identified as what "real men" are all about - even by fashionistas.

Makes me wonder how everyone got so screwed up before.

Roux said...

Well, I did wear the same socks over and over again to keep a hitting streak going.

FWIW Baseball players are the more superstitious than any other players.

Roux said...

Well, I did wear the same socks over and over again to keep a hitting streak going.

FWIW Baseball players are the more superstitious than any other players.