Posted on: January 21st, 2013 by Jen Mueller

There are plenty of sports topics to keep everyone talking this week at work, from the Super Bowl matchup to news that the NBA is returning to Seattle and the end of the NHL lockout.

At first glance it’s likely that none of these topics have much to do with your actual job description or “To-Do” list.  But conversations with colleagues, coworkers and clients build relationships and rapport.  If they want to talk about sports, then it’s wise for you to join the conversation at well.  If you’re not a huge sports fan, don’t worry.  Just read the short summaries listed below.  Click on the link for more information and use the questions provided to join the conversation.

NFL – It all comes down to this – the Super Bowl. It’s the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49er’s and it’s also brother against brother.  Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49er’s and John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens.  It’s the first time a pair of coaching brothers have faced each other in the Super Bowl.  You’ll hear more about the storylines between these teams over the next 13 days, but here are a couple to get you started.

Questions to spark conversation:

  • Which Harbaugh is the better coach?
  • Who do you think will win?
  • The Super Bowl will be the last game of Ray Lewis’ career for Baltimore.  How much does his emotion impact the Ravens?
  • How have the 49er’s validated Jim Harbaugh’s decision to make a quarterback change late in the season?

 

College Football – It seems that everyone has heard about the Manti Te’o story over the last week.  This week everyone will get to hear him speak about it on camera with Katie Couric.  The interview is set to air Thursday.  If you haven’t heard, the Notre Dame star appears to be in the middle of a bizarre hoax involving a girlfriend he never met and her apparent death and now news that none of it was real.

Questions to spark conversation:

  • What do you hope to hear from Te’o during the interview on Thursday?
  • Which parts of the story do you believe?

 

College basketball – It’s been a topsy-turvy year in college basketball as teams are having a hard time hanging on to #1.  Louisville is the latest top ranked team to lose.  That outcome opened the door for Duke to regain the #1 spot in the polls.

Questions to spark conversation:

  • It’s hard to separate the talent in the Top 10 teams this year, which team do you think is the best?
  • Did you see Butler’s buzzer beater against Gonzaga?  What did you think of that shot?

 

NBA – For weeks the decline of the LA Lakers has been the talk of the NBA, but there’s a story this week that’s likely to steal some of the spotlight.  It appears there is a deal in place to sell the Sacramento Kings to an investment group in Seattle.  The Seattle group is expected to file for relocation and move the team to Seattle as early as this fall.  Seattle last had a basketball team in 2008.  That’s the year the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City.

Question to spark conversation:

  • How to you do feel about teams relocating and the impact it has the communities involved?

 

NHL – The players finally returned to the ice this weekend after a lockout caused them to miss 34 games of the regular season.  There was a lot of speculation about how the teams and sport would be received but according to TV ratings, fans were excited by hockey’s return.  NBA posted one of the highest ratings for a regular season game Saturday.

Questions to spark conversation

 

One more note this week,  the Australian Open wraps up this week.  It’s the first Tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year.  As of Monday, Roger Federer and Serena Williams are still in play to win a title.

 

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