How to talk about sports when you know nothing about sports
So here’s a secret: I don’t follow many sports. Which means it can be difficult at times when the conversation turns to sports.
Talking about sports is hard for international students since you may not know what’s happening in (American) football. Fall and winter are American football season which dominates much of the conversation, then by January when it’s playoffs season, people are already thinking about March Madness for basketball season. To a person who doesn’t follow American sports, it can feel like sports madness all the time.
Luckily, you can turn your lack of knowledge into curiosity during a conversation about sports. Simply ask the person you are talking with to tell you more about their favorite sport or team.
Here’s a scenario:
(conversatoinal turns to sports talk)
Stranger: “Did you see the Seahawks (Seattle football team) game last night?”
You: “I missed it. What happened?”
Or you could introduce your favorite sport into the discussion:
“I missed it. I’m obsessed with (name the sport you watch) so I tend to follow those games whenever I get a free moment”
Or you could blame school as a reason you don’t watch football:
“I’m so busy with school I haven’t had time to watch any games. What did I miss?”
If the conversation happens during the Fall and it’s before January, you can ask about the Superbowl, the unofficialy American holiday that brings us all together to talk football.
You: “So who do you think will go to the Super Bowl this year?”
Or try this sentence:
“I’m just starting to learn about American football so which team should I follow?”
This works for basketball or baseball teams as well. Be curious. Don’t be afraid to talk about sports you follow.
If you want to learn more about American sports there’s a startup that helps all non-sports fluent people catch up on current sports event. Each week Sports Ketchup emails you the latest updates on sports in the US to help you know what people are talking about. Take a look at the free weekly email here.