A boy is, of all wild beasts, the most difficult to manage.


After watching a performance of his play Peter Pan with his five-year-old godson, J.M. Barrie asked the boy what he had liked best. “What I think I liked best,” the boy replied, “was tearing up the program and dropping the bits on people’s heads.”

Lapham’s Quarterly

Though the boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest.

Bion of Borysthenes

How a society channels male aggression is one of the greatest questions as to whether that society will survive. That’s why I am not against violence in the media; I am against the glorification of immoral violence.

Dennis Prager

Boys who spent their weekends making banana-nut muffins did not, as a rule, excel in the art of hand-to-hand combat.

David Sedaris

It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.

Muhammad Ali

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting.

George Orwell

I don’t hate anyone — at least, not for more than forty-eight minutes, barring overtime.

Charles Barkley

The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It’s nothing of the kind. The game is about glory. It is about doing things in style, with a flourish.

Danny Blanchflower

The reason women don’t play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

Phyllis Diller

The thing about football — the important thing about football — is that it is not just about football.

Terry Pratchett

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.

Nelson Mandela

He’d long ago given up hope of finding a country anywhere in the world where it was safe to tell total strangers that he had no interest in sports whatsoever.

Greg Egan, Zandegi

From my locker I collected my sneakers, jock strap, and gym pants and then turned away, leaving the door ajar for the first time, forlornly open and abandoned, the locker unlocked. This was more final than the moment when the Headmaster handed me my diploma. My schooling was over now.

John Knowles, A Separate Peace

One cannot bring up boys to be eagles and then expect them to be sparrows.

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

The dark side of men is clear. Their mad exploitation of earth resources, devaluation and humiliation of women, and obsession with tribal warfare are undeniable. Genetic inheritance contributes to their obsessions, but also culture and environment. We have defective mythologies that ignore masculine depth of feeling, assign men a place in the sky instead of earth, teach obedience to the wrong powers, [and] work to keep men boys.

Robert Bly

Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness for forty years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.

Elayne Boosler

There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.

Margaret Fuller

Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado, or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences, whether it is in matters social, political, or other. It consists in deeds, not words.

Mahatma Gandhi

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.

Kin Hubbard