Something really needs to be done about people who are limited when it comes to sport knowledge.  Ever been to a bar or somewhere else and here someone make an off-the-wall statement about your team or someone else's team?  I am sure you have but let me give you a prime example of what I am talking about.  About five years ago I am at the bar with one of my best buddies and we are watching the NBA finals on one of the televisions.  Another television had the Pittsburgh Pirates the LA Dodgers.  While attempting to enjoy both games, right beside me I thought was just another fan.  What I found instead was a want to be GM.  He looks at me and starts discussing the Pirates and how bad they have become.  I am thinking this guyis frustrated with the team like me.  Then out of nowhere he makes this statement. "Dude, I think the Pirates should trade Kevin Young and Josh Fogg to the White Sox for Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko".  Any kind of respect or credibility I was trying to give this guy went down the toilet with one fell swoop of his babbling.  OK genius I'm sure the Piraes would love to make that trade, most teams would, especially 5 years ago.  This thought was triggered by the new line of commercials from ESPN talking about some people's need for ESPNNEWS adn ESPN Magazine.  That isn't the only thing that can help people like this.  People need common sense and this guy needed sport sense.  He had none and I am even willing to admit he may have been under the influence of alcohol, but that is still not an excuse for his comments. 

Something has to be done to these people and soon.  They are slowly and surely infecting others that originally had a chance.  These guys have g/f's and pass on there thoughts.  It's a vicious cycle, and something needs and has to be done now. So I have come up with some rules for talking sports with your friends and complete strangers.

Rule #1 

Never Attempt to Exceed Your Expertise

If you have been a baseball fan all of your life and know the in's and out's of the Boston Red Sox, don't act like you know everything there is to know about the Florida Panthers and hockey.  Stick with the knowledge of your own teams.  For one time this is one of the instances when you should stay within the box.  Learn everything you possibly can about your teams.  In my example, that guy obviously didn't do that.  If he did, first he would know that you Triple Play from EAsports would have a difficult time approving that trade with the forced trade option on.  He would also know that the Pirates have a limited payroll and would not take on those salaries in that season.  I am not saying that you can't suggest possible trades or transactions to complete strangers, just please think before you speak.  Make sure what you are going to say could be realistic in a none video game setting. 

Rule #2

Don't Be That Guy

By that guy, I am referring to talking to a complete stranger about these transactions first.  You must have a friend, buddy, imaginary friend you can run your suggested thoughts by first.  This guy was obviously trying to start a conversation to me and he was also trying to make himself seem sensible, like he knew what he was talking about.  He actually did the exact opposite.  He had a better chance on telling me the Pirates should have never let Barry Bonds go.  Please run things by someone else first before you start talking to a complete stranger.  If you have know friends, ask someone on here first.  Just don't be that guy, EVER!

Rule #3

Defend Yourself

When I say defend yourself I do not mean break a beer bottle over someone's head that disagrees with your statement.  What I mean is have some solid reasoning to why you said what you said.  Ok Kevin Young and Fogg for Konerko and Thomas.  For starters how's tat going to work?  I mean if you are going to say something so absurd be able to defend it when I tell you that you have no idea what you are talking about and should just stop there.  I have made statements before about why I thought my teams should get certain players.  For example at the bar if someone asks me what I think about the Pittsburgh Penguins and what they should do at the trade deadline.  I will honestly tell them, if I were the GM i may try to go get a tough defenseman with a right handed shot or a winger that has some experience in the playoffs and putting the puck in the back of the net.  Why do I think this?  Well the Penguins have a lot of younger skilled players that will need protected in the grueling haul of the NHL playoffs.  Always be able to defend why to anyone.  If you can't, DON'T SAY IT.

Rule #4

Don't Live in the Past

Don't know what I mean?  You can talk all you want about the present day team and even the past couple years, but once you go more then 3 years in the past, please stop comparing teams and players.  It's like comparing apples and oranges at that point.  A few years ago I remember getting in a heated debate about the Penguins of then and the Penguins of the early 90's.  You just can't do that, there's totally different players, the times in the NHL were clearly not the same.  Same goes for comparing different players from different eras.  I love the Wilt Chamberlain compared to Michael Jordan debate.  That's a classic.  How can these players be compared.  Different eras, different athletes during those eras, its all different.  Compare athletes from the same era all you want, but please stop these debates before you start.

Rule #5

Don't Share Your Opinion Until Asked too.

Many people have this problem.  They say something so off the wall and then can't take it back because trust me they are already viewed as worthless in the eyes of the company they just shared their opinions with.  If I'm sitting in public watching a game, the LAST thing I want is some complete stranger telling me who he thinks the Penguins should pick up.  Wars may seriously have been started over less.  Please respect true fans right to watch a game without having to hear your absurd comments.  Watching a game in public is not an open invitation to talk to me.  The only person that has that right is the bartender and the people that are visibly with me.  If I really want your opinion, I will ask for it.  If I sense that you are a true fan, I may look at you and ask you what you think of what just happened.  That is your only chance to prove to me that you are credible. If you are, I may ask for some opinions, if you're not, there probably will not be much more will be said in your direction the rest of the night.  Don't take offense to it, just do some homework if you want to be a true fan.

These are the five steps I believe can help anyone, especially in public.  These need to be followed, especially around complete strangers.  You never know when you are sitting next to a person that could stump the Schwab.


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