Posted on: September 3rd, 2012 by Jen Mueller

We’ve turned the corner into September, kids are going back to school, vacations come to an end and at work there’s talk of “finishing strong.”  It’s hard to focus during warm, sunny summer days, and now the race is on to get more work done during the final 4 months of the year.

It’s tempting to show up to work, put your head down and just assume that a “nose to the grindstone” mentality will help you plow through a lengthly “to-do” list, but that might be counterproductive.  No one works alone and at some point you’re going to need help from a coworker.  When that time times, having a solid working relationship in place will help you get more done in a timely fashion.

Relationships start with conversations and sports conversations are a great way to get the ball rolling.  Sports topics appeal to a wide variety of people and offer many different launch points during a conversation.

Here are a few topics to get you started this week.

Talk Sporty to Me BlogNFL – The regular season starts this week and there’s as much talk about the officials as about the teams taking the field.  The NFL has decided to use replacement officials for Week 1 because it hasn’t struck a new deal with the regular officials.

  • Based on what we saw from the replacement officials during the preseason, how do you think this will impact the regular season games?
  • Dallas and the defending Super Bowl Champion NY Giants open the regular season Wednesday night.  What are the chances of NY repeating as champs this year?

College Football – One week into the college football season and pundits are already updating Heisman trophy predictions. (The award is given to the best overall player in college football.)  USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the early favorite and he played well in Week 1.

  • Do you think it’s too early to be talking about Heisman trophy predictions?
  • Who’s your early favorite to win the Heisman?

MLB – Final month of the season, which means there’s only a few weeks left for teams to make their final playoff push.  It’s also the final weeks for specific players to make their case for prestigious awards handed out after the season like Cy Young Awards, MVP honors, Rookie of the Year Awards, Gold Gloves and batting titles.  Both Cy Young battles (award given to the best pitcher in both leagues) are tight.

  • What do you think should be the biggest determining factor in who wins: total wins, ERA, team record, strikeouts or overall dominance?
  • Who’s your favorite to win the Cy Young Award?

U.S. Open Tennis – Andy Roddick surprised the sports world last week when he announced that he will retire after U.S. Open.   As of Sunday, Roddick was still alive in the tournament.  He is the last American man to win a Grand Slam Title back in 2003.

  • How does this change the scope of U.S. tennis?
  • Roddick is 30 years old and retiring.  What would you do if you could retire tomorrow?


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 the conversations, sound intelligent, and understand how their communication skills can make ’em or break ’em 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