Coxswains and contempt in crew

A coxswain (far right), sitting in the    stern   , facing the rowers, at the    Head of the Charles Regatta   , an annual event.

A coxswain (far right), sitting in the stern, facing the rowers, at the Head of the Charles Regatta, an annual event.

“In crew, contempt is important. In Boston, Boston University and Northeastern crew are treated with contempt by the college {Harvard} up the {Charles} river. Intramural crew is treated with contempt. Nonathletic coxswains (Chinese engineering majors, poets) are treated with contempt. A true coxswain is a diminutive jock, raging against the pint size that made him the butt of so many jokes at prep school. He runs twenty stadiums a day, his girlfriend is six feet one, and he can scream orders even when he has the flu (which he catches at least three times a winter).”


― Lisa Birnbach, in The Official Preppy Handbook