Without actually revealing my age, I was in my first year of college the last time I sported a jockstrap. I played on the basketball team, and the school provided equipment such as shoes, uniforms, socks, and yes, jockstraps. So what the heck, I’ll take advantage of the free gear. First game, I got dressed and immediately realized this jock was not going to work for me. Not sure how my 5’10”, 165 lb. frame was mistaken for Shaquille O’neal’s, but since our game was on the road, I had to make do. Let me just say that the straps in the back were so loose, I got a first hand look, or feel rather, of what it was like to wear a thong. Too much info? Probably. That would be the last time I would be a supporter of wearing a jockstrap, or should I say a jockstrap would be ‘supporting’ me.
Back then, compression shorts were called ‘tights’ or ‘spandex shorts’ and were seen mostly in the aerobics room at your local gym. They went hand in hand with the classic Reebok aerobic shoes and headbands that were ‘in’ back then. Flashdance comes to mind, “I’m a maniac, maniac. . .” You’re catching my drift, I’m sure. My girlfriend at the time worked at a store that sold dance/workout wear. Parking my pride at the curb, I went in and found a pair of ‘tights’ and have never looked back. Not only do you get the same certain ‘support’ you would get from a jockstrap, but the added tautness around the glutes, hammies and quads helps as well — a much more comfortable and supporting option as far as I’m concerned.
I’m certainly not in the minority when it comes to that decision as you will notice in today’s sports, most players are also wearing compression shorts. Both men and women have taken advantage of this comfort and support. Is the jockstrap dead? Not yet, but those who wear them would be termed as ‘old school’, or ‘traditional’. Let’s just say that compression shorts are the overwhelming choice in athletics today.
To this day, I still play basketball, as well as tennis. I also frequent the gym. For all of these activities, it is second nature to throw on compression shorts under my shorts. I guess I could say I feel naked without them. Literally.