The sports world is buzzing this week. There’s plenty to talk about following the NFL Draft and the LA Lakers early exit from the playoffs.
But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that sports conversations have to be about the game itself or about breaking down a specific team. Your goal in a professional setting should be using sports conversations to build rapport and strengthen relationships. Sports topics are just a foot in the door and an effective way to connect with coworkers, colleagues and clients.
Here’s a quick rundown of hot topics this week.
In the news:
- Tim Tebow
- LA Lakers
- Dwight Howard
- Sacramento Kings
- David Price
- Kentucky Derby
Why they’re making headlines:
- The NY Jets released quarterback Tim Tebow Monday after drafting quarterback Geno Smith over the weekend. Tebow’s popularity transcends football, but he didn’t make much of an impact on the field in New York. There are many questions about his football future.
- The LA Lakers had to fight their way into the NBA playoffs, but they didn’t hang around long. The Lakers were swept by San Antonio in the first round. Expect lots of questions and speculation about the future of this team and their aging superstars. There’s also plenty of talk about the future of free agent Dwight Howard who has been a lightning rod for criticism this year.
- There could be news this week on the future of the Sacramento Kings. The NBA is deciding whether to keep the Kings in Sacramento or allow a new ownership group to purchase the team and move them to Seattle.
- Tampa Bay starting pitcher David Price earned his first win of the season Sunday, but that’s not why he’s making news. Price says the home plate umpire swore at him from behind the plate. Price’s teammate and fellow starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson overheard the exchange, started talking to the umpire from the dugout and was thrown out of the game. The umpire denied the accusations and called Price a “liar.”
- The Kentucky Derby is Saturday. It’s the first race in horse racing’s “Triple Crown.” Verrazano is the favorite heading into the weekend.
Jen 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: Jen@TalkSportytoMe.com