#Sports Ball Game Talk: How to Derail Conversations During the AFC Championship Game

Andrew Luck’s neckbeard alone will keep conversation away from #sports for a while.
Andrew Luck’s neckbeard alone will keep conversation away from #sports for a while. –AP

Welcome, #notsports fans, to another edition of #Sports Ball Game Talk, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to steer conversations away from the Patriots/Colts game while you watch it!

Last week, you learned how to aggravate everyone you watched the Patriots/Ravens game with as you derailed the conversation using all sorts of vaguely #sportsy tangents.

Great hustle out there! Showed tremendous fortitude and stamina. You probably had to drink, like, 30 Gatorades afterwards to get all your energy back.

Now it’s time to get back on the horse—or put your helmets on, or regrip the uneven bars, or hike up your spandex, or whatever—and read on. You’re about to get a whole new slew of facts you can use to steer talk away from #sports during this week’s AFC Championships.



Opening line: “So, who can tell me what city the Colts used to be in?!’’

How to keep it going: Since this is pretty #sportsy, you’ll probably get some good traction on it. Here’s what you need to know: The Colts were the beloved football team of Baltimore (which makes sense—all those horse races, you know? Colts? Horses?).

Bob Irsay owned the Colts at the time, and was having trouble with the city of Baltimore regarding stadiums, money, and the usual things that #sports businessmen get upset about. He started looking around and making political moves, and the NFL gave him permission to move the team to another city.

So in 1984, after a bunch of events involving state legislation that no one at your party will care about, Irsay called up his buddy who owned Mayflower Transit, an Indiana-based moving company, and had a bunch of trucks physically move the team to Indianapolis in the middle of the night.

To say people weren’t thrilled is an understatement. Imagine if Bob Kraft called in a bunch of Gentle Giant trucks and just packed the Pats off to, say, Tulsa?

How to keep it going even more: The current owner, Jim Irsay, is Bob Irsay’s son. The Irsays are so hated in Baltimore that Season 2 of The Wire features a scene where peoeple throw darts at a board with Irsay The Elder’s face taped onto it. You can also talk about what it would’ve been like if Twitter had existed when the move happened. Talk about breaking the internet.



Opening line: “Look at that neckbeard. That is one pretty grimey neckbeard!’’

How to keep it going: You can get mileage out of this one. Is it itchy underneath his helmet-keeper-on thing? (Probably.) Does his girlfriend hate it? (Yes.) Does his mom hate it? (Yes.) Do you kind of admire him for keeping it anyway? (Yes.)

You can also talk about other people’s neck beards.

Alternate opening line: “Hey, that’s Andrew Luck,’’ you’ll say. “You know who else had a neckbeard? Henry David Thoreau!’’

How to keep it going: This one is tougher. If you’re with a literary crowd you might get a few sentences out of it, but you’ll most likely be told to go refill the chip bowl after someone empties it on your head.

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If someone does take the bait, however, you can then segue into the fact that while Thoreau claimed to be living on his own, he had a ton of friends visit him at his little cabin (they probably would’ve had football watching parties, too!) He also took his laundry home to his mom (that last fact will also make a lot of the millenials at your party feel a little bit better about themselves).

Worth a shot (#sports metaphors!).


Opening line: “Hey, why doesn’t Edelman just take over as quarterback!?’’

How to keep it going: This will die quickly because everyone will just look at you with either pity or pure venom in their eyes. Because Tom Brady is actually as close to perfect as any human living in the Greater Boston area can be. But, it will prove that you know something about last week’s game.


If you do it correctly you’ll be able to bring up the fact that Edelman is selling t-shirts to commemorate that amazing throw. And that “Funny or Die’’ wrote a thing about it (which Boston.com then wrote about). Read both articles out loud. If your phone didn’t shatter when your friends threw it against a wall last week, that is.


Opening line: “Hey remember last Sunday? When we watched the Golden Globes instead of football? The actors’ uniforms were so much fancier than these football ones.’’

How to keep it going: You’ll get eye-rolls, but someone will undoubtedly bring up Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s Bill Cosby joke. You can then talk about how Poehler is from Burlington and ask people if they think she’s currently watching the game or not. You can also talk about the Burlington Mall.


Opening line: “Did you guys see Gisele’s tweets last week? I wonder what she’s tweeting now!’’

How to keep it going: Pull up her Twitter feed immediately. If it’s like last week, she’ll be all over each touchdown.

Admittedly, last week she led off a little strong at the first TD:

And then there wasn’t really anywhere to go:

So she just kept going:

Last week we talked about how perfect her Instagram is. This week, her Twitter. Because everyone knows that the whole point of #sports talk is to get to Gisele on social media.

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