Posted on: May 21st, 2012 by Jen Mueller

I was at the gym this morning when one of the morning regulars approached me with a sports question.

“Who do you think will win Dancing With the Stars?” he asked.

I’m used to getting questions about our local sports teams in Seattle because I’m a sports reporter.  But the ‘sports question’ this person asked had me stumped.  I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars and couldn’t even venture a guess.  Instead of trying to fake my way through a conversation, I told the truth.

“You know, I couldn’t even venture a guess.  I haven’t watched the show.  I’m sure you have much better perspective on that than I do.”

The fellow gym-goer chuckled and continued his workout.

This exchange is a great example of how there will be conversations and questions that stump us.  There will be times we don’t have the answer to a question.  Handling that situation is as easy as telling the truth and leaving a door open.  In the example above, I made it clear that I didn’t watch the show but left the door open to hear his perspective on who would win.  I could have pursued a longer conversation if I had time.

This example should give you even more confidence when it comes to using the following sports conversation starters this week.  Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers.  You’re not supposed to.  Just get the ball rolling and be honest.  Being yourself in a conversation helps build the rapport that leads to a happy, healthy workplace.

Let’s get started.  Here are your Workplace Conversation Starters for the week –  hot sports topics to help you strike up a conversation that could lead to a valuable opportunity.

Sports Related Conversation Starters - LeBron JamesNBA – Oh boy are these playoff series getting good!  So much drama to go along with so many highlights.  In Miami, the Heat nearly feel apart against Indiana but they’ve fought back to even the series (as of Monday.) LeBron James scored 40 points in Game 4.  Many people think he needs to win a championship to validate his status as league MVP and one of the best players in the game.

MLB – Over the weekend Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg hit the first home run of his career.  Pitchers aren’t usually known for their ability to hit and Strasburg is more known for being able to throw 100 mph.  All eyes will be on his teammate Bryce Harper starting Monday when the Nationals play the Philadelphia Phillies.  That’s because Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels stirred up some controversy the last time these teams played by intentionally hitting Harper with a pitch to send a message to the rookie.

  • What do you think happens during this series?
  • How do you feel about the various unwritten rules in baseball?

NFL – You’ll hear lots of talk about OTA’s for the next couple weeks.  It stands for “organized team activities” and it’s what many NFL teams are doing this week.  Think of it like a practice, but with less intensity than during training camp.  In addition, its not mandatory for players to attend, although it is ‘strongly’ encouraged for players under contract.  Here’s a link with more storylines to watch.

  • But considering that we’re still 3 months away from any meaningful games and 2 months away from training camp, how much attention to do you pay to the stories coming out of the OTA’s.

Horse Racing – The horse named “I’ll Have Another” won The Preakness Stakes Saturday.  The horse first made headlines by winning the Kentucky Derby as a long shot.  He now has a chance to win horse racing’s Triple Crown if he can win the Belmont on June 9th. No horse has done it since 1978.  It’s a tough feat to accomplish but according to the early odds, he could do it.

  • Do you believe the odds and think “I’ll Have Another” could come through again?
  • If you had a horse, what name would you give it?