Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

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atikovi
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by atikovi »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm Personally I don't follow any pro or college sports, but absorb some of what's happening by osmosis through my brothers and friends. Luckily I don't have a job in which I need to schmooze much if at all.
If it's not part of the job description, I wouldn't waste a second of my time on it. And why just sports? How about food, or celebrities? Are you going
to study the Kardashians for a hour every night just so you can talk about them at work?
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Watty
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Watty »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm Wondering how many men (or women) out there are closet sports-haters but put up a good front at the office :D ?
You don't need to be a sports-hater to be uncomfortable with many of the major league sports now.

There problem is so much information is coming out about about all the brain injury that happens in football that it makes me uncomfortable to watch football now even though I played it in high school.

Boxing is even harder to justify watching.

I also find watching things like baseball or golf on TV excruciatingly boring.

I have also been priced out of most professional sports since when you add up the cost of parking, tickets, food, and drinks it can cost several hundred dollars take a family to a professional sports game. I could afford to pay that much for something but it just does not interest me enough to pay that much.
Annabel Lee
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Annabel Lee »

Love sports. Have zero time to follow them.

If you have to know what’s going on for purposes of work conversation, watching 5 minutes of ESPN News is a life hack. So is following ESPN or sports meme accounts on Instagram.

Pre-COVID, I spent the better part of a 3-hour dinner with a CEO comparing notes on our fantasy football teams. I felt a bit bad for our 3rd wheel colleague eating with us, but the CEO was driving the conversation...
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Why does a CEO have time to play fantasy football?
Annabel Lee
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Annabel Lee »

atikovi wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:29 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm Personally I don't follow any pro or college sports, but absorb some of what's happening by osmosis through my brothers and friends. Luckily I don't have a job in which I need to schmooze much if at all.
If it's not part of the job description, I wouldn't waste a second of my time on it. And why just sports? How about food, or celebrities? Are you going
to study the Kardashians for a hour every night just so you can talk about them at work?
Really depends on what you do. If you’re a quant, it doesn’t matter.

If you have clients and/or are advancing in your business, it helps forge relationships by finding some sort of similar shared interest.

Doesn’t have to be sports.
oldfort
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by oldfort »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:22 pm
bottlecap wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:13 pm Not a sports hater, I just like to play sports rather than watch them. I tend to follow football, but do try to keep up with other sports to some extent because most people really aren't interesting enough to have a meaningful conversation with outside of sports or kids.

My office is a little different, so I think of this in more of a pure social context.

Even in social situations, you can't really talk economics, finance, politics or religion. Even if you could, most people don't actually think about those subjects, they just read the superficial headlines or popular books and adopt a position without true discernment.

So sports or kids it is. It's just the way of modern life. If I ever go somewhere where I meet someone with an original thought on one of the taboo topics, I latch on!

JT
Huh, many of the people I work with and my neighbors are not shy at all about talking finance, politics, or even religion. These are not all close friends, some acquaintances. Maybe it’s a geographic/cultural thing; people in my rust belt city don’t don’t mince words and run the gamut politically
Where I work, no one ever talks about their personal religious beliefs in the office. Anything that hints at proselytizing could potentially get you reprimanded. Anything that potentially could be construed as derogatory to any religious beliefs could get you reprimanded. People sometimes talk politics, but this is heavily discouraged by management (Hatch Act and all that). Any Hatch Act violations could get you reprimanded. Religion and to a lesser degree politics are taboo subjects in the office.
Nearly A Moose
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Nearly A Moose »

Not a closet sports hater, but I'm starved enough for free time that I don't follow sports like I did in high school or college. Back when I was traveling to meet clients, I would absolutely read the local sports page (or online equivalent) each morning before seeing anyone. Helped me understand what was of interest locally and it gave me enough factoids and talking points that I could bring the conversation to whatever I had read.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
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TxAg
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by TxAg »

Don't fake it. You'll be found out. Life is too short to pretend.

I like sports, but I'd almost always rather be "doing something" than "watching someone else doing something"

I am looking forward to the Olympics, though.
Annabel Lee
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Annabel Lee »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:57 pm Why does a CEO have time to play fantasy football?
In my experience, some are maniacally focused on their business to the exclusion of all other interests.

Also, some compete in Ironman triathlons. Some never miss their kids playing sports. Some have a few minutes a week to play fantasy football if it lets them bond & connect with friends & family.
KlangFool
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by KlangFool »

OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
newyorker
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by newyorker »

Never liked watching sports and never bothered to participate in sports talk (canucks, knicks and etc)


Isnt life too short to spend time on something you dont enjoy?
Texanbybirth
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Texanbybirth »

The only sport I follow with any particular interest (both as a fan and former player) is professional ice hockey. I’m not “fanatical”, but I genuinely enjoy the sport. I’ve been everybody else’s “hockey friend” since our Team moved here in 1993. It’s very odd to be an ice hockey fan in North Texas.

Lately people have been taking an interest in our Team. It’s fun to finally have people ask about it, but I know it’ll be short-lived. :-)

(Agree with others: I couldn’t fake liking something (like sports) if I tried. To me though, that’s different than having intelligent conversations with people who are very smart about a particular sport (former players, coaches, announcers, etc.), and who can answer questions I might have. My father is a former football coach so it’s always fun to get his take on aspects of the game. I have zero interest in watching a basketball game, unless I’m sitting with someone who can chat with me about strategy, structure, and the like.)
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
000
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by 000 »

Only sport I watch is the markets.

I've never found it necessary to pretend otherwise.
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coalcracker
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by coalcracker »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 pm OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...
KlangFool
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by KlangFool »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:06 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 pm OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...

coalcracker,


American football provides a very interesting way of watching the REAL American management culture in action.

The eternal debate of the system versus individual talent.

KlangFool
JS-Elcano
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by JS-Elcano »

SuperGrafx wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:38 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm I was surprised by a recent conversation with a lawyer friend of mine in which he admitted he essentially "studies up" on the local professional sports teams periodically, so that he can hold his own in conversations by the water cooler and during after-work drinks. Personally I don't follow any pro or college sports, but absorb some of what's happening by osmosis through my brothers and friends. Luckily I don't have a job in which I need to schmooze much if at all.

Wondering how many men (or women) out there are closet sports-haters but put up a good front at the office :D ?
This isn't limited to just sports...the same can apply to following the pointless Hollywood scene, keeping up with the latest movies and music news, etc.
All of this talk seemed to disappear after I entered my 40s (maybe even earlier), nobody seemed to care anymore. Fortunately. :beer
JS-Elcano
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by JS-Elcano »

000 wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:50 pm Only sport I watch is the markets.

I've never found it necessary to pretend otherwise.
I seem to be in a profession where no one pretends to care about things they don't. Makes work life very pleasant.
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coalcracker
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by coalcracker »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:20 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:06 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 pm OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...

coalcracker,


American football provides a very interesting way of watching the REAL American management culture in action.

The eternal debate of the system versus individual talent.

KlangFool
Have you seen Moneyball? It's a true story about precisely this topic in MLB.
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coalcracker
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by coalcracker »

JS-Elcano wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:24 pm
SuperGrafx wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:38 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm I was surprised by a recent conversation with a lawyer friend of mine in which he admitted he essentially "studies up" on the local professional sports teams periodically, so that he can hold his own in conversations by the water cooler and during after-work drinks. Personally I don't follow any pro or college sports, but absorb some of what's happening by osmosis through my brothers and friends. Luckily I don't have a job in which I need to schmooze much if at all.

Wondering how many men (or women) out there are closet sports-haters but put up a good front at the office :D ?
This isn't limited to just sports...the same can apply to following the pointless Hollywood scene, keeping up with the latest movies and music news, etc.
All of this talk seemed to disappear after I entered my 40s (maybe even earlier), nobody seemed to care anymore. Fortunately. :beer
Echoing some other comments, I relish learning from a true expert in the field. It just so happens that my neighbor across the street is a former big-time film critic, and I just love getting into conversations about movies with him. His level of knowledge astounds me.
Normchad
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Normchad »

I wouldn’t encourage anybody to spend time and effort pretending to enjoy something they don’t.

However, sports do play a large part in American culture. And being familiar with them, and having some appreciation for how they shape the world view of those around you is useful.

I.e. it’s easier to deal with people and understand them if you have some appreciation of what’s important to them, or central to their upbringing.

If your boss is this way, they likely extend a lot of lessons from competitive sports to the workplace. Those are probably misplaced, but they are still there. The numbers of subtle and obvious sports analogies in the business world are incredible. Everything from team work,to the roster, to hitting a grand slam in a presentation, taking one for the team, etc etc etc.

Just understanding it and being aware of it are not the same thing as devoting a lot of time to it, or pretending to care.

It seems though this can vary wide.y be environment. It’s always good though to gain an Improved understanding of those around us.
KlangFool
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by KlangFool »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:33 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:20 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:06 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 pm OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...

coalcracker,


American football provides a very interesting way of watching the REAL American management culture in action.

The eternal debate of the system versus individual talent.

KlangFool
Have you seen Moneyball? It's a true story about precisely this topic in MLB.

MLB is not as interesting and irrational as the NFL. NFL is a better reflection of American management.


KlangFool
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Makaveli
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Makaveli »

In the same vein, I’ve spent time and resources on my golf game (21 handicap, oof). Networking and image does matter in business. I’m also competitive so it’s a double win.
Nicolas
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by Nicolas »

No interest in sports and never pretended any. I went to a kid’s birthday party once in a different city/state and one of the fathers came up and apologized to me. I said for what? He explained that his football team had just defeated mine.
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celia
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by celia »

Isn’t football the ball with the pointy ends that you can never see unless it’s flying through the air?
adamthesmythe
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by adamthesmythe »

coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:10 pm
phxjcc wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:43 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:46 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm Wondering how many men (or women) out there are closet sports-haters but put up a good front at the office :D ?
I'm not a sports hater, but when I was working I made sure to keep up with the sports and the teams that interested employees who worked for me or who were coworkers and friends - even when they really didn't interest me.

That way, I could participate in conversations about topics they enjoyed. It wasn't all that hard to do, and seems like a good thing to do for friends and colleagues.
Same here.

Isn't this known as "life skills", or at the very least "job skills"?

Once had an job interview in a southern state with 2 mucky mucks that were huge SEC football fans, especially for their Alma Mater.

The "interview" lasted 2 hours instead of 30 min. 1:45 was debating the merits of SEC grind it out vs. PAC 10 run and gun.

"Fit" was a key performance criteria for their senior managers.

He knew, that I knew, that he cared about U of A football and that I had studied up.

Sometimes it is not e=mc^2 or printf("hello world") that are most important-- but the soft skills that matter.

Why do people not realize this?
This sounds like a nightmare I once had. Soft skills matter but not everyone has them, and not everyone needs them. I consider myself to have below average soft skills/EQ and do quite well as a subspecialty physician.
Yes, I can testify that there is more than one profession where you can do just fine without paying any attention to sports.

Indeed, I would suggest that a more important soft skill is the ability to notice when you are boring your audience out of their minds.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by JoeRetire »

Nummerkins wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:34 pmSometimes it shuts down a conversation hard but I really don't care. I'm not going to waste time on something I don't like.
How sad if everyone in a group thinks that way.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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JoMoney
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by JoMoney »

Other than golf, which I find pleasant for napping, I'm not a fan of televised sports and have never felt compelled to be a part of conversations about it. It seems to me, some people are compelled to always be engaging with others in some sort of conversation, and perhaps sports are a good way to do that, but that's just not me. I'm pretty introverted and quite happy getting lost in my own thoughts most of the time, engaging with others on topics of little interest to me is an energy drain.

There was a time that I got sucked into some fantasy sports, mostly for the stats... I enjoyed playing with numbers more than watching others actually playing the game.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by ClevrChico »

I have zero interest in sports and don't pretend to. It doesn't seem to have any impact on business/social functions as guys will happily blab on about sports for hours despite any interest from me. I would struggle to name a pro sports team as so many have apparently changed cities since I was a kid.
It helps to have a beer in hand to help the time go faster.
JackoC
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by JackoC »

Tamalak wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:40 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:30 pm Wondering how many men (or women) out there are closet sports-haters but put up a good front at the office :D ?
I'm starting to think it's almost all sports fans, given how 1) social norms are becoming much less important and at the same time 2) interest in sports has plummeted
I haven't worked (for somebody else in an office job anyway) in years but I guess the fragmentation in interests must be reducing the pressure to conform to one set of interests generally.

I remember one job when just out of college decades ago, very isolated social environment at work: suburban corporate campus, almost everybody had an office (not a cubicle farm), people wrote memo's a lot rather than meeting. The main social interaction was at lunch, and the number one topic in the relevant time of year was the NFL, there as no other topic on Monday or Tuesday (after Monday night football, this was long before Thursday night NFL games). I had little natural interest at the time but I did find myself brushing up and feigning more interest to avoid total social isolation at work. :happy

In later years I was a senior guy center of a group that was into the NBA, as was I. We'd go to Knicks games (in NY) together not infrequently. But it was a pretty diverse (esp. national background) group overall with other people saying 'you guys enjoy, no interest here'.

I've generally lost interest in pro sports (I've never had any interest in college sports) in recent years. Part of it is probably natural product of aging and narrowing down of interests that's always been the case, some of it is other specific factors about today's sports that I won't get into in more detail to avoid ruffling feathers. But again my guess would be today's typically more diverse workplaces the first example I gave, everybody at the lunch table 'mainstream' US born males into the NFL, just would not be as common now.
BuddyJet
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by BuddyJet »

While not a sports fan, I follow the schedule of out home teams since our local grocery offers 10% off on home game days if you wear the team jersey (I bought cheapest jersey off eBay).

First half of the game is the best time to shop since many people watch the game.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
BradJ
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by BradJ »

Normchad wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:42 pm I actually enjoy sports, so,I don’t have to do this.

However, the future will be interesting. The millennials by and large don’t follow sports. Not only do they not follow them, they are complexity oblivious to their existence. Some can’t tell you the name of the local major league teams.

They also don’t really enjoy partake in other tradition business social things, such as golfing and happy hours.

A lot of them like rock climbing, escape rooms, board games, video games, etc.

I wonder what the future of business socialization will look like when they fully take over.
This is an interesting topic to me, in fact all culture “transitions” (e.g pets being valued as high as kids) are interesting to me because I want to know what caused the shift. My dad lived to shoot the bull, kick back some cold ones and play golf with coworkers. I enjoy that my professional and personal life is separated, something my dad’s generation would have hated.
jaqenhghar
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by jaqenhghar »

KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:57 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:33 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:20 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:06 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 pm OP,


It is obvious that you are not living in Texas.


KlangFool
I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...

coalcracker,


American football provides a very interesting way of watching the REAL American management culture in action.

The eternal debate of the system versus individual talent.

KlangFool
Have you seen Moneyball? It's a true story about precisely this topic in MLB.

MLB is not as interesting and irrational as the NFL. NFL is a better reflection of American management.


KlangFool
KlangFool, could you expand on your NFL comment a bit further? I've never seen this NFL to management analogy before.
KlangFool
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

Post by KlangFool »

jaqenhghar wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:48 am
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:57 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:33 pm
KlangFool wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:20 pm
coalcracker wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:06 pm

I suppose I'd have to brush up on high school football in that case...

coalcracker,


American football provides a very interesting way of watching the REAL American management culture in action.

The eternal debate of the system versus individual talent.

KlangFool
Have you seen Moneyball? It's a true story about precisely this topic in MLB.

MLB is not as interesting and irrational as the NFL. NFL is a better reflection of American management.


KlangFool
KlangFool, could you expand on your NFL comment a bit further? I've never seen this NFL to management analogy before.

jaqenhghar,


Some coaches are system coach. They recruit players to fit their system. Some coaches are player-coach. They adapt the system to the talents at hand. And, most coaches are in a gray area between both.


RB pay less than WR. Some players can do both and they are classified as RB to save money.

Why LT is pay more than RT? But, the pass rush can come in any direction.

OL takes 5 persons. The weakest link in OL defines how good the OL is.


Each team has the same amount of money to hire players. But, why team dynasty happened in a supposedly level playing field?


Team that develop young players can get more out of the same pot of money versus team that pays for superstars.

Why some teams can draft/develop certain positions better than others?

Why some teams have a system that are friendly to RB and they can turn out great young RB every year? Almost every RB that they plugged in get a thousand yards.


Look at all those stuffs. Isn't it the same as managing any organization? And, you get to see the result live.

KlangFool
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Re: Pretending to enjoy sports for business/social reasons

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