I attended a friend’s wedding this weekend and one of the guests approached me ready to talk Mariners baseball. He quickly introduced himself (we’ll call him Tom) then blurted out “So was Ken Griffey Jr. really as big of a jerk as I’ve heard? Don’t you think he was a just a big wimp the way he left without saying goodbye? What a classless jerk. What was he like?”
At this point, I had to take a deep breath and not berate him for being a classless jerk. What an introduction. After taking a second to compose myself I said, “Griffey was one of the nicest, most humble, gracious people I have ever been around. It was a pleasure and a privilege to cover him.”
Tom continued to press the issue and we ended up talking for about 10 minutes. During the 10 minute conversation it became evident that he wasn’t really the biggest Mariner fan in the world, as he claimed. He really couldn’t name more than couple Mariners on the current roster, and didn’t seem interested in all in what I had to say he just wanted to voice his opinions about Griffey and the team.
I run across a lot of fans like Tom. Guys who are passionate, loud and not all that informed about what they’re talking about. But the difference between men like Tom and many others is confidence. Have you ever noticed how vocal men can be when they’re talking sports? It can be very intimidating but I hope this example shows that just because someone is loud doesn’t mean they’re right.
I’ve talked to many women who feel they don’t know enough about a sport or team to be part of a conversation. Most of the time what they really lack is confidence. Don’t let that stand in your way. Tom certainly didn’t. And it should be pointed out that Tom and I did talk for 10 minutes. So he accomplished his goal of talking with me, but I avoided him the rest of the day. I know you can do better.