Not Following Sports May Hurt Your Career

What do you know about Kris Humphries? I’m sure that you’ve heard that he and Kim Kardashian are getting divorced. And, by association, I assume you know that he played (pretty poorly) for the New Jersey Nets. Of course, you could learn all of that by following tabloids, but following professional sports will strongly benefit your career. Look no further than the our most recent heads of state, President Bush (owned the Texas Rangers) and President Obama (loves his Chicago Bears).

I’m often asked about why I spend time doing worthless activities such as fantasy sports. To me, it’s a career move, much like knowing office lingo, golf, or how to turn on a computer. Discovering how to speak to my friends and coworkers was just as important as having knowledge about world events

When in an elevator with Greg the sports-aholic, what should I do? Attempt to talk about the weather or politics? Being known as the awkward guy that talks about the weather can’t be the path to go. And, politics should rarely, if ever, be discussed in the work place. I doubt that Greg wants to know about my beliefs on immigration (outside of players being recruited to play in America).

So, why learn these seemingly irrelevant games?

1. You learn to discuss something that there is very little animosity about.

Politics and religion are a no-no in the workplace and with some family. Besides Yankees-Red Sox, Ohio State-Michigan, Army-Navy, Bruins-Canadiens, Cowboys-Eagles etc. rivalries, people tend to like those with differing sports opinions. In most cases, the only situation to miss is when rival sports teams play. Knowing what they mean when they say that Aaron Rodgers went off last night is important.

2. Your coworkers and boss probably follow it.

While athletes in most major televised sports are males, watching sports for entertainment is becoming an increasingly coed activity. At my house, it is my mother, not my father, who spends the most time watching baseball and football. Why not ask your boss if they saw the game last night or what they think of the NBA lockout? Sharing something in common with your boss can only help when looking for that raise

3. It’s a social activity.

Currently, I’m in three fantasy football leagues with friends from High School and College. While gambling on these leagues or on sports can get you in trouble, check Verizon firing employees due to Superbowl Gambling, the positives outweigh the negatives. Further, it is something to do with others at family gatherings or while out at a bar. Check out Yahoo and ESPN for Fantasy Sports. In my leagues, we use social media to stay in touch

4. You have something to talk about with your 10-year-old nephew.

For those of us that have younger relatives, what do we discuss with them? Well, if you’re not up on your Justin Bieber or Twilight Series, sports knowledge is your savior. I advise knowing your sports at least in preparation for Thanksgiving Day Games

5. You can unite on discussions of athletic greed.

Did you hear that CC Sabathia is getting paid by the Yankees $122 million to pitch for 5 more years? Yea, that’s a bit of money.

6. Do you remember Yao Ming?

Before ankle and foot became seriously injured, he was the pride of China. Does your company do business in China? Hello discussion topic!

7. We trust people that we identify with

I have very few allegiances to individual sports teams, but I am versed on the players, league rules, and events within baseball, football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. Many of the most financially successful CEOs are avid sports fans. Even if it’s to fake an interest, knowing sports will be beneficial to your career.

What should you do? Join a fantasy sport league today! You will learn the players and the sport. There is no need to join every league available, but make sure you actually update your team. If you are in a fantasy league, take the time to show that you actually care about maintaining relationships with others, as it transfers into real life. If you don’t have the time, turn on ESPN for a quick sports score before driving to work. You can even update your fantasy teams from your mobile devices.

If people accuse you of wasting your time checking stats, making pick-ups, and discussing something that you will never actually touch in real life, forward this post along.

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