I’ve seen friendships end over sports. I know a guy who swears he was laid off because of his constant Dallas Cowboys flag-waving in an office dominated by Chiefs fans. He was probably just a terrible employee, but that’s beside the point. Talking sports in the office is every bit as dangerous as talking politics. Even the most rational thinking, mild-mannered person in the office is capable of turning into a raging lunatic if someone pushes the wrong sports button. We live in a society that applauds sports dicks. Flip on your local AM sports station or put on the worldwide leader; sports dicks are everywhere, including your office.
You won’t know him until it’s too late. The sports dick in your office will wait until he knows the depths of your fandom before he manifests. He wants to know how big of a Rockets fan you are before he brings up Yao Ming and what could have been. He’s waiting to see how long you’ve been following the Bears before he asks, “How much are y’all paying Cutler?” The reason for this is simple: The sports dick’s words are calculated. He’s going to toy with you before he really drops a bomb on you. The sports dick won’t just pop his head into a lifelong Texas Rangers fan’s office and say, “Imagine if Nelson Cruz had caught that ball.” No, he will wait before he goes nuclear.
It’s all part of his game plan. He’ll start out with a series of jabs to feel you out. They’re good jabs, ones that get your attention, but they usually consist of low-hanging fruit. If your team has never won a title, you can bet that the sports dick will immediately point that out to you. These jabs aren’t thrown with the intention of knocking you out. No, the sports dick is just setting you up. He wants to see how you react to getting hit.
Hopefully, you have a strong chin. If you let the sports dick’s jabs bother you, you’ve already lost. Seriously, it’s over. Time to update your résumé and move on, because you will be subject to his commentary after every game. You don’t have to play dumb. I mean, you are allowed, and encouraged, to react. If you’re sitting at your computer and the sports dick enters your office and begins sports dicking you, give him a laugh and throw a little jab back. Don’t even make eye contact with him, because it’s not worth it. You can’t give him the pleasure of letting him see you freak out because he brought up the fact that Barkley said your team wasn’t a contender. Just brush it off and move on, because there will be plenty of more important battles to fight down the road.
After the first encounter, you can expect the sports dick to attempt a cyber attack. Look out for links sent via Gchat that are more than likely nothing more than rumors that your team’s franchise player is being traded or released. The sports dick is good. He’s a habitual line-crosser. The guy knows how to get your blood boiling, and you’d love nothing more than to charge into his office and power-bomb him through his desk. Obviously, you can’t do that, but you do have other options.
Do your homework on this guy. Learn his levels of fandom and be prepared to counter his attack with a roundhouse of your own. Take an isolationist stance, but when attacked, bring the heat. If he makes a crack about a gut-wrenching loss, you have to respond. Feel free to point out that his team hasn’t won a title in years, and that he, like his team, probably peaked when he was in high school. Yeah, it’s getting personal, but that’s how these things go. The modern sports dick is usually compensating for a gaping void in his personal life, and he wants to bring you down to his level. You may think you can take the high road and that you’d never sink to his level, but guess what? You’re a sports fan, and you’re already there. Look in the mirror. You stayed up until 1 a.m. to watch extra innings when your team is fifteen games back of a wild card spot.
Let me conclude by saying that being a fan isn’t easy. These days, you can’t go to a game without some asshole starting a fight with fans of the opposing team. You have to accept that you will always have tension with the sports dick, but it’s vital that you don’t just let him push you around. Stand up for yourself, but more importantly, stand up for your shitty team..
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