Hello SOTGC Community,
‘Tis the season for small talk. We have a whole month’s worth of sports talk to fill the awkward silence whether you’re ringing in the New Year in Times Square or nibbling on fruitcake in a ski lodge in Aspen. One thing to remember when talking sports is that you don’t have to know who won the 1982 World Series to sound sports savvy. Simply mentioning in a sports tidbit and letting the conversation go from there works. Trust us – knowing a little will get you a long way.
Heisman Trophy Ceremony
On December 10th the Heisman Trophy will be awarded to the best player in college football. The winner is chosen by over 870 media members and previous Heisman Trophy Winners. Previous winners are guys you might have heard of like O.J. Simpson, Bo Jackson and Tim Tebow. (If you’ve never heard of them, that’s okay too).
Working it into the conversation
- While breaking out your dance moves at the office holiday party, do your best “Heisman.” This pose is well known by sports fans and would complement your Cabbage Patch and robot dance moves nicely.
- The Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish hold the record (6) for most Heisman winners. Do you know someone who is a Buckeye or Fighting Irish fan? There’s a little something extra to chat with them about while mingling amongst the passed hors d’oeuvres.
College Bowl Games
It’s college football bowl season. What does that mean exactly? Bowl games are a one-game matchup where teams are paid to play after the regular season. The bowl games promise TV time and great exposure nationally for the teams. Not all teams are selected for a bowl game – you have to be good enough to be invited. There are 42 bowl games starting December 17th through early January.
Working it into the conversation
- Someone with a great sense of humor named some of the bowl games. When you’re in the break room prepping your lunch, it’s a great place to drop a funny note about some of the more interesting named bowl games in history including the Raisin Bowl, Cigar Bowl, Refrigerator Bowl and the Salad Bowl. Unfortunately, since the addition of corporate sponsors, whacky names for bowl games have become a thing of the past. (The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl anyone)?
- When discussing the budget for the office secret Santa remember that companies will pay roughly $100 million to sponsor the bowl games this season. Suddenly that $20 budget doesn’t look too bad.
- When all else fails, you can ask someone “Who are you rooting for and why?” That could keep you occupied for hours.
- If you’re interested in when your team is playing, here is the full schedule of the bowl games.
UFC 207 will take place on Friday, December 30th and will be the first fight for female fighter extraordinaire, Ronda Rousey, since her first career loss in November 2015. (FYI – UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship). UFC isn’t for everyone but in case you’re wondering the sport is made up of many different disciplines including, but not limited to, boxing, judo, muy thai, jiu jitsu and wrestling.
Working it into conversation
- Are you at an impasse in negotiations or had a tough break on a project? When life knocks you down, get back up again. Rousey was 12-0 when she lost her first fight and her title of UFC Champion. She admitted that she was in a dark place after being dethroned but she’s picked herself back up and is getting back into the ring again.
- Do you have a coffee meeting on your schedule where you’re supposed to be the expert and provide career advice to a college student? Rousey took her down time to diversify her resume. During her time off she picked up acting, starring in the Entourage movie, and authored a book all while keeping her eye on the prize – reclaiming her title.
College Football Playoffs
The college football playoffs are different than the bowl games above where the winner gets a pat on the back. The ultimate goal in college football is to make into the Final Four playoffs for the chance to play in the National Championship game. While these Final Four teams are playing in a bowl game the winners of the two games play each other for the National Championship.
The semifinal games between the Final Four are on New Year’s Eve.
- Alabama (#1) will play Washington (#4) on 12/31 in the Peach Bowl (Atlanta)
- Clemson (#2) will play Ohio State (#3) on 12/31 in the Fiesta Bowl (Phoenix)
- The two winners will then play for the National Championship on January 9th in Tampa Bay, FL.
Working it into conversation:
- The two big games are on New Year’s Eve for the second year in a row. Last year the ratings we’re abysmal but what did they expect? Most people don’t think of football alongside sequins and champagne. Regardless, when the question “what are you doing for New Year’s Eve” comes up, you’re now in the know of something big happening across the country.
- Although we’d like to pretend we’ve never made a bad decision but sometimes you do and you have to pivot. The governing body of college football thought everyone would stay home from counting down the new year and watch football if the allure of the best in the country were playing. Wrong. The ratings plummeted but they’ve stuck it out for one more year and have already announced they’re moving the date in 2018.
May your December be merry, bright and filled with joyous conversation. We’ll see you next month with what’s hot for January. In the meantime, you can read more about the trending topics in sports to factor into conversation. Subscribe to The Rundown, Last Night’s Game’s free, triweekly publication that breaks down the hot subjects in sports in an easy to understand way without all the jargon and stats.