Welcome to Monday and a new chance to connect with your coworkers, colleagues and clients using the weekend’s big football games and this week’s upcoming events.
During a keynote presentation I gave last week, I made of point of telling the audience that if you want to make headway with your colleagues and improve your working relationship with them, you need to speak in a language they understand. Sports, likely, is one of those languages.
If you’re not a sports fan, the conversation doesn’t need to go in depth. Just read the summaries below and use the suggested questions to strike up a conversation. Trust me, a sports fan will take it from there.
If you are a sports fan, consider this a cheat sheet to the topics on the radar this week.
NFL – There are still 3 unbeaten teams in the NFL – Arizona, Atlanta and Houston, and two winless teams – the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. The weekend headlines included the Packers rebounding from the controversial finish on Monday night to be the Saints.
- Are you more surprised the Saints are 0-4 or that the Arizona Cardinals are unbeaten at 4-0?
- The regular officials are back on the field. Could you tell a difference in the way games played out with the regular officials instead of the replacements?
MLB – The final regular season games end on Wednesday and there are lots of storylines to watch in the American League. Division Titles and Wild Card spots are on the line for several teams. Baltimore, New York and Texas have all clinched playoff spots, but as of Monday no American League division winners had been decided. Detroit is still battling in the AL Central to lock up a playoff spot. In addition, Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera could be the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. The Triple Crown means a hitter finishes the season with the league lead in home runs, RBI and batting average. It’s a difficult feat to accomplish, but Cabrera is in a good position to do it.
- Do you want to see Cabrera win the Triple Crown?
- What do you think about the wild finish in the American League playoff chase?
PGA – The Americans held a pretty significant lead heading into the final round of the Ryder Cup Sunday – and then fell apart. The Europeans rallied from a 10-6 deficit, despite the fans chanting “USA” throughout the day. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker were expected to anchor a young American team with four Ryder Cup rookies on it, but they failed to win a single match.
- Where do you think most of the finger pointing will land?
- The Europeans take great pride in winning this event, do you think the American’s interest had faded to the point where they don’t bring the same intensity?
NBA – Training camps opened over the weekend and pre-season NBA games start next weekend. The Miami Heat are the defending NBA champs and they’re already addressing questions about a “repeat.” Head coach Erik Spoelstra is calling this season invigorating.
- What do you think about the Heat’s chances this year?
- Also, this is the first chance to see Dwight Howard with his new team, the LA Lakers, after that blockbuster trade in August. How do you think he’ll impact that veteran club?
NHL – The lockout continues although so do negotiation talks. The league has already canceled the rest of the preseason schedule and now the regular season is at risk. It’s been speculated that if a deal isn’t done by mid-week the league will start canceling regular season games. The season was scheduled to start Oct 11th.
- Do you think the lockout will end by then?
- If more games are canceled, how do you think it will impact the fan’s loyalty?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and read more at http://talksportytome.com