Each week these conversation starters are designed to bring you a handful of relevant sports notes that can be used in conversation with your coworkers and associates. The summaries below provide one or two useful pieces of information, a link to a more in depth story and a few questions to use if you’re the one starting the conversation.
We’re jumping right into the fray with several talking points to use around your sports talking colleagues. If you’re curious as to how one or two pieces of information can actually work in a conversation jump to the end for an example of how I used information from this blog on live TV last week.
NBA – The NBA Finals are set. It’s the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder playing for bragging rights at the best in basketball this year. Game 1 is Tuesday in Oklahoma City. The two players everyone will talk about – Miami’s Lebron James and OKC’s Kevin Durant. James won the NBA’s MVP honors this year and Durant finished second. Durant won the scoring title.
- Which will come up bigger in the finals?
- OKC coach Scott Brooks is considered one of the best coaches in the league this year. How will he match up against Miami head coach Eric Spoelstra?
NHL – The LA Kings can win the Stanley Cup with a win against New Jersey Monday night. The Kings lost their first road trip of the playoffs in this series and after winning 3 straight games, allowed New Jersey to win two games and force a game 6.
- How do you think fatigue is playing into the Kings recent losses?
- If LA can close it out and win their first Stanley Cup, what will be their greatest accomplishment in getting there?
Belmont – Horseracing fans were stunned and saddened last Friday when it was announced that “I’ll Have Another” would not race at The Belmont. The horse was injured and racing would have put him in danger. The news meant there would be no Triple Crown winner again this year. It was still a thrilling race as Union Rags beat Paynter in a photo finish.
- Did the finish make up for the lack of a Triple Crown winner?
French Open– Maria Sharapova won her first career Grand Slam title with a win at the French Open. That means she’s won all 4 Open tournaments in her career. Six women have accomplished the feat, but Sharapova and Serena Williams are the only active players who have done it.
On the men’s side, #1 ranked Novak Djokovic and #2 ranked Rafael Nadal are playing for the title. Rain postponed the match until Monday. If Djokovic wins he would be the first man in 43 years to win four consecutive Grand Slam titles. If Nadal wins, it would be for a record setting 7th time.
- Which accomplishment would be more impressive between Nadal and Djokovic?
- Sharapova’s win will make her the #1 ranked woman in the world. How does this win help prepare her for Wimbledon?
Golf – Golf’s second major of the year the U.S. Open starts Thursday. You can bet that all eyes will be on Tiger Woods. He’s won two tournaments this year, the most recent one coming just two weeks. But in the last 14 majors there have been 14 different winners and Tiger isn’t among them.
- What does this say about parity in golf?
- How do you feel about Tiger’s chances to win this week?
While it doesn’t seem like it’s much information, it’s more than enough to make an intelligent comment and increase your profile in a conversation. I’m a regional sports reporter out of Seattle and just last week I was on the set during a Mariners pregame show when my colleague in LA mentioned the LA Kings and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I haven’t watched much of the hockey playoffs, but it’s been a regular part of this conversation starter blog for the last 2 months. When my coworker made the comment about the Kings, I was able to say, “Not bad for an 8 seed in the playoffs. They’ve been impressive on the road.”
Those two pieces of information showed that I was on top of the story and impressed the people in the studio with me. Because I’m part of the Mariners broadcast team and am baseball, it caught them by surprise that I would be able to contribute to a hockey conversation.
The one comment I made, gave me added credibility and didn’t take much time on my part to learn. Using these sports topics and conversation starters at work will lead to similar results. Go ahead, knock their socks off this week and soak up the attention.
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