How Bro Is Too Bro? Case Study: Nick Swisher
Most athletes are bros (though most bros are not athletes). It comes from years living life to the testosterone-heavy max: spending hours with a team (a type of fraternity), working out, wearing baseball caps, constantly trying to prove and/or one-up peers with various acts of athletic prowess — all of which converge to shape and mold athletes into bros. Throw in doses of charisma and unfailing optimism, and you have yourself the ultimate bro.
Here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of a bro, in case you are still unclear:
Obnoxious partying males who are often seen at college parties. When they aren’t making an ass of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying. Nearly everyone in a fraternity is a bro but there are also many bros who are not in a fraternity. They often wear a rugby shirt and a baseball cap. It is not uncommon for them to have spiked hair with frosted tips.
Despite that unflattering description, bros can be endearing. It’s almost as if their obnoxious, over-the-top manner of speech and behavior are a fun joke they choose to play on themselves, and you. Having a bro in your circle of friends, for example, can help bring levity to almost any situation. They make for great wing men as well.
But just how bro is too bro? When does a lovable bro wear out his welcome, and become more like the asses described in Urban Dictionary? When should an athlete-bro stop to remember that he is a grown-up, professional athlete, and not, in fact, a sophomore at Ohio State who just wants to lift and pound brews and bang chicks, bro?
Speaking of OSU, let’s journey out to Ohio, where our first case study, Nick Swisher, currently resides. Swish is a member of the Cleveland Indians — formerly a Yankee, a White Sock and an Athletic — whose bro-y charm has endeared him to many a fan. But has he gone too far? Is he a red plastic cup away from making you wish you’d never gone to this school in the first place? Examine the evidence:
1. He says “bro,” “man” and “dude” more often than any grown man should.
Saying the word “bro” is a calling card of bros everywhere. “Man” and “dude” are oft-used terms as well. They are used as often as Valley girls say “like” and nervous public speakers say “um.” A well-placed “dude” can help add emphasis for how “dope” or “phat” something is. But, say, 57 instances of these words in one six-minute interview? That’s over-bro.
2. His feelings are hurt rather too easily.
Behind the bro veneer, bros are actually quite sensitive about their unibrows and nipple colors and perceived abilities on the field and in the bedroom. Swisher let that pain show through after his final season with the Yankees — a pain that may have contributed him to leaving New York altogether, like a bro spurned at a mixer (also: money).
Prime example; I missed that ball in the lights and the next thing you know, I’m the reason that Jeter got hurt. It’s kind of frustrating. They were saying it was my fault.
It hurts. Sometimes I’m a sensitive guy and some of the things people say, they get under your skin a little bit. I’ve been lucky to be here for the past four years, bro. We’re not going to go out like this. We’re going to go to Detroit and give everything we’ve got.
He also claimed that he would run through a brick wall for anyone who gives him a hug.
You’re a pro baseball player, bro. Don’t let Bleacher Creatures make you sad.
3. He actively recruits bros and hopes to turn regular people into bros.
This is what the religious right should be worried about. Swish started wearing these “Brohio” t-shirts, complete with aviator sunglasses because ugh. Then the Indians renamed Section 117 at Progressive Field “Brohio” and gave out those same shirts to fans sitting there.
Here’s a video of him discussing Brohio and being a huge bro with some radio bros:
4. He’s one of the most disliked players in the league, due to bro.
When you’re behind only Alex Rodriguez and A.J. Pierzynski in the “Most hated baseball players as voted by peers” poll, you might want to reconsider who you are as a person. Almost 1/10th of the MLB dislikes Swish because, according to one unnamed vet: “Everything about (Swisher) is annoying, from his mannerisms to his always wanting to ‘bro’ it down… Being around him is just exhausting.”
So there you have it. With all the evidence examined, we give Nick Swisher a rating of: “Way too bro.” That puts him right in between Mario from Super Mario Bros and the bros from Bro Rape.
Are we saying Nick Swisher should change who he is just to appease people? Of course not. Everyone should be free to be themselves, and if people don’t like it, too bad.
But, come on bro. Chill out with being such a bro.