Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Jen Mueller

Controversy plays a big roll in the popularity of a conversation topic.  The more controversial, the more it’s likely to make headlines and that creates greater social value in conversation.

When it comes to conversations at work, it’s best to avoid controversy.  The exception?  Sports conversations. A healthy sports debate can offer insights without being offensive.  There are many passionate sports fans and most appreciate and expect a good debate.  If you witness one of these exchanges this week, take note of how your colleague responds.  What can you tell about his/her values?  Work ethic?  Background?  Interests?

What would they be debating this week?  Take a minute to glance through the list and get up to speed on the names and events making news and stirring debate this week.

Names in the News:

  • Tiger Woods
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Angel Hernandez
  • Tom Thibodeau
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Orb


Why they’re in the news:

  • Tiger Woods won the Players Championship over the weekend, but he didn’t do it quietly.  He and playing partner Sergio Garcia exchanged words through the media throughout the weekend.  Garcia accused Tiger of causing a fan reaction that led to Garcia’s errant shot and went on to say that Tiger isn’t a very nice person.   Garcia was tied with Tiger for the lead until falling apart on the last two holes.
  • In baseball, Angel Hernandez’s crew botching a home run call.  He was in charge during the Oakland – Cleveland game last week.  Oakland’s Adam Rosales appeared to hit a game tying home run.  At least that’s what everyone thought – except the umpires.  They viewed the replay and decided it was a double instead of a home run, despite evidence that it had cleared the fence.
  • Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau accused LeBron James of flopping in Game 3 of the series against the Heat.  James denied it.  Thibodeau was fined for criticizing the officials.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.  The winner of the series will play the winner of the NY Rangers and Washington Capitols series.  That series is also tied at 3-3 with Game 7 Monday night.
  • You might remember the name Orb from last week.  That’s the horse that won the Kentucky Derby. He’ll be running again this week at The Preakness.  It’s the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown and the longest track of the three.


Workplace Conversation Starters BlogJen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, helps business professionals understand how to leverage sports conversations at work.  She is a 13-year sports broadcasting veteran and currently works as a reporter for the regional sports network ROOT Sports NW out of Seattle and on the Seattle Seahawks radio broadcast as their sideline reporter.  She founded her company Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and is available for keynotes, presentations and workshops.  Contact her at: