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Professor Quippy: Obnoxious? Check. Thick-necked? Check. Bully? Check.

Professor QuippyRecent research from the Institution of the Painfully Obvious has revealed what spindly-legged nerds have known for generations: jocks are jerks.

Ah, but the study actually provides some interesting context and nuance as well — well- rounded jocks are much more likely to be well-adjusted and NICE people.
The study was partially funded by the 4-H, and, according to Newsweek shows:

“…jocks really are jerks—if they focus exclusively on sports at the expense of other more-well rounded programs. But kids who both play sports and are exposed to youth-development program like scouting or 4-H show the most markers of personal growth and maturity.”

The lead researcher, Richard Lerner, of Tufts University, says: “Kids who are just involved in sports are focusing in on what it is to be competitive with other kids. To dominate and win and not lose: that life is a zero-sum game.”

The longitudinal study looked at more than 1000 kids (Grade 5-7), and I was quite happy to see that it backs up my own anecdotal experience. One of my best friends is someone you could call a jock — he played football, basketball and was basically great at any sport he wanted to try. But he also played music, read a lot, and was even in the uber-geek set of my confused friends who enjoyed 12-hour binges of D&D. He’s manifestly NOT a jerk, and is, in fact, quite the opposite.

Now we just need a study about what happens to kids who only play D&D, particularly those people who only played paladins … lawful good my ass.

You can find the original Newsweek article here, and the Developmental Psychology study here. (via). Alltop and also enjoy sports. Water sports, if you catch my drift, Squire.