1. “We need to be playing with more heart out there.”
Rule number one when pretending to know about sports: always use the good old WE.
Always insinuate that you, the person who hasn’t gone to the gym close to as much as he/she would like to, are actually member of a professional sports organization worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
We is great for the pseudo sports fan, because it implies that the crushing conference championship loss back in ’98 STILL stings. That you fondly recall the glory days of Dave Wannstedt’s mustache. That you, a diehard since you had that first Green Bay Packers sweatshirt at age 3, are never to be questioned.
And unless you’re referring to 2011 Tim Tebow or the evil sorcerer known as Kobe Bryant, everyone can always be playing with more heart. If your team isn’t winning, it’s likely because they aren’t trying hard enough. Therefore, heart.
2. Say Buzzwords like “Basketball IQ” or “Floor General”
Here’s a tip. Watch a game, listen to the random phrases the color commentator says, and repeat them ad nauseam in a public setting. If you’re looking for some foolproof phrases, here are a few:
- Chris Paul is the NBA’s best Floor General.
- Sam Shields is a great cornerback because he has cocky speed.*
- Peyton Manning is such a great quarterback because of his immeasurable intangibles.
- Derek Fisher might be a good coach for the Knicks because he has a great basketball IQ.
- Henrik Lundquist has an unbelievable nose for the game.
- Say what you want about Dustin Pedroia, but he’s one of the scrappiest players in the game.
- Stephen Curry is so dangerous because he has such a lightning-quick release.
- Talents like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens are great players, but watch out. They could be locker room cancers .
*The esteemed Chris Collinsworth said something to this effect during yesterday’s season opener.
3. “They really just need to fire (head coach)”
This is always a good one, as sports fans are pretty much always qualified to evaluate the competency of someone who has devoted their life to mastering the intricacies of a game that 99.9% of the world’s population would never even consider.
When a fanbase calls for a head coach’s firing, it’s almost never because a head coach is probably the safest and easiest scapegoat to vilify.
For sports fans, disapproving of one’s head coach is just as important as having a strong brand loyalty to Gatorade.
4. Referencing Players from 2002
I once witnessed my brother and my friend engage in a hour long back and forth in which they’d name hockey players from the late 90s and early 2000s. It was a great tribute to the likes of Mats Sundin, John Vanbiesbrouck, and Adam Deadmarsh, but it was also a tip to the fact that my brother hasn’t really followed hockey since it aired on ESPN on Thursday nights. If you don’t remember when ESPN aired hockey on Thursday nights, this is because it was well before the Lumineers were even a band.
5. “You Know, Defense Does Win Championships”
This is a great, socially acceptable slogan, but it’s also one that you can now button with the ’85 Bears and the ’13 Seahawks. So when in doubt, just say “Defense Wins Championships” and point to those two teams.
You could also apply this thinking to other aspects as life, such as why you should never order Indian food before a wild night at the club. Some say that the best defense is a good offense, but those people never had too many helpings of Tikka Masala prior to downing tequila shots.
6. “Pass The Nacho Dip”
When watching sports, it’s pretty much always guaranteed that the nacho dip is gonna be on the other side of the table.