Setting Sport Boys Straight


While sports reporter Elise Hester considers the baseball boys to be her friends, she also enjoys teaching them a lesson. illustration by Andrea Nebhut

Buckle up boys and girls because your favorite ace reporter is here with a new recurring — or never again to be seen, depending on how well this goes over — segment dedicated to setting sport boys straight.

You may be asking, “What about sport girls?” However there is no such thing as a sports girl. That would just be a female athlete. I’m here to set the sport boys straight on some common sayings that they often misuse.

At first this article was my usual comedic piece featuring my signature baseball roasting. [Insert joke about dip.] While I truly value the deep, deep relationships I hold with my favorite natty champs — relationships which mainly consist of yelling things from a distance and roasting a whole team in articles none of them read — I decided to switch the tone.

The other day I saw a tour of high school students and noticed one girl’s letter jacket read Philippians 4:13 on the back. I have no idea what her rationale is for choosing that verse, which reads “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” It is a great verse, but frequently misunderstood and misused, especially — but not only — by sport boys. For some context, Philippians 4:12-13 says “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Paul, apostle, author and possible asexual — I have theories — wrote this from prison and he wasn’t talking about being able to do great things, but about being able to persevere in all things. Philippians 4:13 isn’t saying that Jesus will come in clutch and help you score every touchdown. If that was the case, Tim Tebow wouldn’t have peaked in college. The passage is saying that when you tear your ACL or get cut from the team or have a disappointing NFL career, God will give you the strength to be content in that circumstance. 

Context in scripture is like watching the full source clip of a popular gif. It can change the meaning, often drastically, and provide a more complex, accurate and beautiful understanding.

I hope you enjoyed Setting Sport Boys Straight. Join me next time when I’ll be taking aim at sport boys who carry around giant gallon sized water bottles. What’s up with that?