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542                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
               Check out Sports Illustrated (9/19/77) to see Snake’s Wicked Won-
            derful Wanda, to see the shining Stabler shot in loving-color “beefcake”
            full-page and cover photos. “Ken Stabler is a man in motion,” SI’s Jones
            writes. “Furious, violent motion. Exultant motion.”
               Motion just like a lubed hand.
               No reflection on Stabler as a private person, but when a private person
            goes public and is openly touted as a sexual beast, the tempted reader who
            buys the magazine can stroke up whatever fantasy he wants. Stabler can
            take the energy as the compliment it is: his manly mana only encourages
            lust in the grandstand. What jock-groupie wouldn’t stir at Jones’ story
            that Stabler is so tough, that when he was at Alabama he topped his
            girlfriend by putting her in her place in the corner and fed her with a

            Even the tall, dark, and handsome Gordon Liddy, the only man who took
            Watergate like a man, while in prison buffed himself up to a tight-lipped
            190 pounds and was bench-pressing over 300 by the time he went home
            to his wife sans slingshot. Liddy’s dominant face suggests the look of the
            Castro Street type matured. Having achieved the character a man’s face
            takes on passing through his thirties, Liddy’s got the macho. He’s got the
            magic. He’s got the dark S&M look. He is so heavy, he offered himself for
            execution if his symbolic death would help clean up the Watergate mess.
            Instead, like most cons, he worked out what he had to work out through
            the channeled aggression of sports and the stoicism of cold showers.


            Jock is British slang for penis. Jock with strap means athletic supporter.
            Jock in American slang means athlete, especially a college athlete. Edward
            Albee’s American Dream boy is a jock “who works out a little bit.” Tennes-
            see Williams’ Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is an over-the-hill jock, terri-
            fied, remembering that with his football teammate Skipper, “Sometimes
            late at night on the road in our hotel room we’d reach across the space
            between the beds . . . ” The American dream is the golden boy who blooms
            early in high school, makes all the teams, and graduates to date the college
            homecoming queen. The American nightmare is the beefy jock type who,
            ten years later, divorced from the homecoming queen, cruises singles bars,
            presses his beer can up against his dropping double knit chest, and admits
            to having “played a little ball in college.”

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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