The Nerd’s Guide to Watching Sports

We’ve all been there: your friend invites you and a group of people over to watch some big sporting event, and you’ve got no clue how it works. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. In just three easy steps, you’ll be talking sports like a pro. Besides, as Joe Buck has proven, you don’t need to know anything about sports to be a professional commentator, but nepotism definitely helps.


  1. Make your Opinions as Ambiguous as Possible – Often when at a sports-watching party, people will ask you what you think of a play, player or team. In high-stakes situations like these, it’s important to be neutral, so as to not give clearly wrong information. The best strategy is to say something that sounds nuanced, but in reality is simply you offering as little incriminating evidence of your lack of sports knowledge in as many words as possible. For example, if someone asks you about a player’s performance this season, try saying something like, “Well, I think his performance is more a result of the team behind him. Anybody can play well if the team is good, so he’s really just a system player.” What this translates to is roughly: “I can’t tell you anything about the player, but the team makes him look good.”
    *This example will not work if you’re watching the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals or Washington Redskins. 
  2. Learn how to Toss Around Jargon – Sometimes, the best defense is a bit of offense. It might make you look more knowledgeable about the sport if you actually go out of your way to offer input. For example, learning a couple plays and pass routes in football and then saying something like “The QB (quarterback) should go for a play action (fake run into a passing play) because he’s facing a man-defense (a defensive strategy where players each mark-up a “man” to cover instead of an area),” can be a really effective way to throw people off of your scent. 
  3. Just Admit it: You’re There for the Food and to Avoid Being Alone – If all else fails, you may have to just come to terms with the fact that you’re not a sports talker. It may be best to come clean with whoever’s there, hope they take sympathy and don’t judge you too harshly for it. There’s nothing wrong with showing up simply to escape the crippling reality of your own loneliness…and for the free chips and queso.


Hopefully these tips have helped you enjoy your next sports party just a bit more. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find a similar article for myself on how to find friends that will invite you to parties.


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