Before Jock Jams, people didn't know how to get excited about sports; music wasn't invented yet. But one day, the founder of Tommy Boy Records contacted ESPN and told them, "I have invented something. It's called 'music.' You should let people use this 'music' thing before and during sports games." And ESPN said yes.**
Music is an essential part of sports. Pretty much any song can become a "jock jam" these days. But we're celebrating THE Jock Jams, so it's time we used this flowchart to answer the question that's been simmering in our minds for 20 years ...
**Actually: After releasing two Jock Rock compilation albums, Tommy Boy Records and ESPN put out Jock Jams, Volume 1, which aimed at a broader audience.
According to MTV's interview with Tommy Boy Records' founder Tom Silverman, they had to stop making Jock Jams, because music labels preferred licensing their music to Now That's What I Call Music!, which still exists to this day.
Seriously. They're up to a 55th volume in America, as of writing.