Now that it's late September, we're at last headed into that most hallowed time of the year for sports fans: That magical month or so where all four major American sports are active at once.
Baseball is gearing up for its postseason, football is officially in full swing, pucks are being dropped in the hockey preseason and basketball practice gyms nationwide are finally seeing their doors creaked open. It's a sensory overload of box scores, highlight packages and injury reports. And for us sports fans who can't turn off the musical part of our brain, this time of the year means one thing above all else: a steady diet of jock jams.
What is a jock jam? Well, in the '90s it was whatever ESPN defined it as for the purposes of their series of Jock Jams compilations: Most often, hip-hop-flavored dance-pop bangers which implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) promoted physical movement of any and all kinds. But defined more broadly for our purposes at Billboard, a Jock Jam is a song that has come to define the in-game experience at a pro sports arena: Any song that, after years of stadium (over-)usage, is as familiar to sports fans' ears as sneaker squeaks, referee whistles and Zamboni organ groans. It's a canon that spans rock, hip-hop, dance and country, and still includes pop songs as old as the '50s and as new as last week.