All it takes is a Sunday of watching football to realize how judgy I am. I’m not proud of it, but I did find myself making unfair judgements about teams, players, coaches and fans based on what I saw on TV. (As a point of reference, I’m an NFL sideline reporter and rarely have an entire Sunday to watch football but the Seahawks played Saturday and lost so I had a day on the couch to watch football.)
I’ve spent 20+ years in locker rooms and I love my guys, but I can understand why opposing fans might not feel the same way about all the players I’ve covered. I also know from personal experience that getting to know players (i.e. people) on a personal level makes a huge difference. Being willing to engage and cultivate a relationship is the difference between being skeptical and becoming a full-blown fan.
Let me sum up this personal revelation by saying this – you choose the relationships you have with the people around you. You can choose to get to know them better or you can choose to believe what other people have said. You can use small talk to build relationships or you can skip it altogether and make judgements about people without talking to them. If you’re up for small talk this week these sports conversation starters could by handy.