Posted on: December 17th, 2012 by Jen Mueller

The country still mourns after the tragic school shooting in Connecticut Friday.  The non-stop news coverage can get a little overwhelming. While it’s a tempting conversation topic, there’s a danger in continuing those “raw emotion” conversations at work.  Sports conversations can be a good outlet and diversion this week and keep emotions from being a distraction at work.

The following topics are ones that sports fans around the country will be talking about this week.  Just read the short summary and use the questions provided to start a conversation or jump into a conversation that’s already taking place.


NFL – Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson says he wants to break the single season rushing record set by Eric Dickerson back in 1984 and he just might do it.  Sunday he ran for 212 yards and needs just 293 yards over the next two games to set a new record. And here is what makes it really impressive: he’s less than a year removed from major knee surgery after blowing out his knee on Christmas Eve last year.   We’ve talked about him a few times here in the weekly conversation starters blog.  This is definitely a guy worth watching the next couple weeks.

  • It’s still going to take an impressive effort from Peterson to break the record.  Do you think he will do it?

College Football – The Bowl season is officially underway.  Arizona and Utah State were winners over the weekend in the first bowl games of the season.  The biggest game on the schedule this week is the Las Vegas Bowl featuring Washington and Boise State.  The Broncos have won 10 or more games for 7 straight seasons, which is one of the longest such streaks in the modern era.

  • Boise State has established itself as a football powerhouse and they’re facing a Washington team with a lot of talent, but that also tends to be inconsistent.  Who d you think wins the game?

MLB – It appears that pitcher R.A. Dickey will soon be part of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays and NY Mets are working to finalize the deal.  Dickey won the Cy Young Award this year and was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball thanks to his knuckleball.

  • How will the move impact not just each team involved but the leagues, as Dickey would move from the National League to the American League?

Dickey is one of the last big pieces that was expected to move during the off-season. The biggest free agent on the market – Josh Hamilton – signed a 5-year $125 million contact with the LA Angels.

  • Do you think he was worth the money?

NHL –The NHL lockout continues and continues to get worse.  Talks have not gone well and there are no plans to resume play. It’s gotten so bad that the players association is close to disbanding and voiding all contracts making every player a free agent.  This would make a bad situation even worse.

  • Which side do you think will back down first, the players or the owners?
  • Who do you think should back down for the sake of the season?

NBA – The last couple weeks we’ve talked about the struggles of the LA Lakers.  They’ve won a couple games in a row, but now a former Laker is calling out Kobe Bryant.  Former Laker big man Andrew Bynum says that playing with Kobe stunted his growth because he couldn’t touch the ball as much as he wanted during his 7 years in LA.  Bynum was traded to Philadelphia in the off-season.

  • How much stock to you put in Bynum’s comments?
  • In what ways do you think Kobe Bryant impacts the Lakers?  Is it good or bad?



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