Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

There’s no shortage of sports news to talk about this week, which means plenty of opportunities to build relationships with coworkers.  Sports conversations are part of an effective small talk strategy because they help establish a connection, build rapport and create follow up opportunities.  You don’t need to spend much time talking about any of the following topics.  Just posing one of the questions listed to a sports-loving colleague and listening to the response is enough to establish a connection outside of the usual “work talk.”

Go ahead give it a try.

Talk Sporty to Me BlogNFL – There are no remaining unbeaten teams this season.  The last couple weeks we’ve been asking how long the Atlanta Falcons could continue their run.  It ended Sunday against New Orleans.  The Saints beat the Falcons 31-27.  The same two teams play again in just a couple weeks.

  • The Falcons struggled to move the ball at the end of the game.  What happened to a team that seemingly cruised up to this point in the season?
  • The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49er’s played to a 24-24 tie on Sunday.  The first tie in the NFL in 4 years.  How do you feel about games ending in a tie?


NCAA Football – Top ranked Alabama lost to Texas A&M Saturday.  The loss drops Alabama to #4 in the BCS polls and allows Kansas State to move up to #1 for the first time in school history.   Oregon is #2 followed by Notre Dame.  An SEC team (the conference that Alabama plays in) has won the last 6 national titles, but if the rankings stay like this, the SEC won’t get a chance to repeat.

  • Which team is now the favorite to win it all?  Does Kansas State have what it takes?

NBA – The Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown Friday, just 5 games into the season.  There was talk that former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson could be coming back to coach the Lakers for a third time. But it’s Mike D’Antoni who gets the job.  He’s got a good relationship with two of the Lakers stars in Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.

  • How will hiring D’Antoni change Lakers fortunes this year?
  • What do you make of the Lakers firing Mike Brown so early in the season?


MLB – We mentioned this last week, but this is the week that we find out who wins all of baseball’s big awards like Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.  You can read up on who’s up for the awards at this link.  These awards make for good banter in the office.

  • Who’s more deserving of the AL MVP – rookie Mike Trout or Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera?
  • Who wins each of the CY Young Awards?  What’s the best stat to determine the best pitcher in baseball?


NASCAR – The Sprint Cup title is going down to the wire.  Brad Keselowski trailed points leader Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday’s race, but Johnson wrecked and Keselowski took a 20 point lead in the standings.  There is only one race remaining in the race for the cup.  If Keselowski finishes 15th or higher in the season finale he’ll win his first title.

  • A large wreck in Sunday’s race caused a bit of tension, drama and disappointment, how did the quality of racing impact the finishes?


Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand the sports conversations that happen every day at work.  Jen’s practical approach helps professionals join in, sound intelligent, and understand how to leverage sports conversation in business.  Her conversation strategy comes from her 12 years of experience as a sports broadcaster.  Jen is available to speak for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact for more information and read more at