Posted on: January 7th, 2013 by Jen Mueller

Workplace Conversation Starters, Talk Sporty to MeWhat a weekend it was! At least that’s my assessment.  I was with the Seahawks for their wildcard playoff-win in Washington DC Sunday.  After a long and late flight back I’m ready to start another week.

I couldn’t help but notice that the Seahawks win was plastered all over the front page of the Seattle Times newspaper.  Anything that’s on the front page is big news and it’s guaranteed to be a topic of conversation this week.  A handful of other cities are experiencing the same thing this morning so make sure you’re using that to your advantage at work.  Taking a few minutes to talk about the “big game” isn’t wasting time, it’s building relationships and finding common ground.

Here are some of the hot topics around sports this week.

 

NFL – Just 8 teams remain in the playoffs and after the upcoming weekend there will be just 4.  The game I was at Sunday night in Washington DC was one of the most anticipated of the season due to the rookie quarterbacks leading each team.  Seattle’s Russell Wilson prevailed helping the Hawks advance to next week’s game.  Washington’s Robert Griffin III (RG3) did not fare so well.  He suffered a gruesome knee injury and left the game early. 

Use these questions to start a conversation:

  • There are now questions and debates about whether he should have been on the field at all during the second half of he game, since he was clearly hobbling on his knee.  What would you have done if you were the head coach?  Play him as long as he said he could or taken him out to protect his knee for next season?
  • Top seeds Denver and Atlanta are back in action this week.  Atlanta hosts the Seahawks and Denver hosts Baltimore.  Which of the remaining teams do you like to advance?

 

College Football – For more than a month ESPN and other outlets have been hyping the BCS National Title game between Notre Dame and Alabama and tonight’s finally the night.   It will be an interesting matchup for a conservative Notre Dame offense (led by a freshman quarterback) and a very difficult Alabama defense.  Alabama has played in this game before and won it last year and in 2009.  Notre Dame is trying to win it’s first national title since 1988.

Use these questions to start a conversation:

  • How much does that experience play into tonight’s game?
  • With so much hype around the game in the weeks leading up to it, do you think the game will live up to the hype?

 

NHL – After a 4-month lockout it seems the NHL players and owners are ready to drop the puck on the season.  A tentative agreement was reached over the weekend to end the lockout and start the season sometime in January around the 19th.  The deal still has to be ratified, but all signs point to a done deal.

Use these questions to start a conversation:

  • The NHL salvaged the season, but do you think the fans will come back?
  • Who do you think the biggest winners and losers are from the lockout?

 

MLB The 2013 Hall of Fame class will be announced on Wednesday.   Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are all on the ballet and they were all heavily impacted by the steroids era.  There’s been a lot of debate over how Hall of Fame voters should handle any one who played during the “steroids era” because its hard to discern who was clean and who might have been helped by outside substances.

Use these questions to start a conversation:

  • If it were up to you, what would you do?
  • Would you discount all the players from that era?  What would the criteria be?

 

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 jen@talksportytome.com for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com