It happens every year, like clockwork. Your friends and family slowly begin to mention their favorite sports teams with increasingly alarming frequency. Before you know it, every conversation you have inevitably turns into “Did you see the game last night? What was up with that touchpass?” or “I can’t believe LeBron James fumbled that goal!” Yet, somehow, you can believe it because you have no idea what they’re talking about. Whether it’s football, baseball or San Antonio’s beloved basketball, you know that there’s a whole sports world out there that you’ll never quite be a part of. But since your pleas for the entire world to stop asking you about the season always fall on deaf ears, you may as well fake it until you make it.
Listen to sporty music
There is literally no situation in existence where “Eye of the Tiger” is inappropriate. Blast it on repeat. Make it your ringtone. Chant it under your breath. It is the universal anthem of Sports People, and it will help them recognize you as one of their own. To reinforce the fact that you’re the real deal, slip “We are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You” in there every once in a while. Pro-tip: Turn up the volume so loud on game day that no one can hear the game. Everyone will get mad at you, but for once in your life you won’t be the only one who has no clue what’s going on.
Root for the opposing team
Since you’ll never actually be able to contribute to a real conversation with the die-hard fans, play the devil’s advocate instead. Listen around the TV at game night and find out which team Dad curses the loudest at. Then, make a bold move and declare them as your new favorite. Don’t worry about knowing anything about them, because you’ll immediately be bombarded with statements such as “How can you even like them? X player did terribly throughout the whole last season!” or “X team is coached by a complete nincompoop! The entire family is disowning you!” You won’t have time to get your (nonexistent) opinion in!
Now that you “support” a team, blend in with the rest of the Sports People by decorating everything that you own in your team’s colors. This really shows that you’re serious. Add a commemorative team bumper sticker to your car. Change the color scheme of your dorm room. Paint your entire body in team colors not just on game day, but for the entire season. Don’t be afraid to think too big. This could make or break your faà§ade.
Start the conversation
Flip the script and ask your friends what they thought about last night’s game before anyone else has a chance to bring it up. Then you can get the credit of being “in the know” without actually having to contribute. This works best in larger groups because you can let others jump in and carry the conversation. All you have to do is vaguely agreeing or disagreeing in the form of a strategically placed nod or scowl.
So you screwed up and accidentally got asked a direct question by someone who actually knows the difference between the Spurs and the Packers. Don’t panic! The key here is to be passionate. Whether your response is positive or negative, put those years of drama class to good use and give it everything you’ve got. Your performance will be the most believable if you stick to one solid emotion. Whatever happened in your sport, it outraged you. It moved you to tears. You were so happy you couldn’t breathe. If you’re not sure what reaction the fans of your fake favorite team would have, act so choked up with emotion that you can’t speak. The person you’re talking to will probably be so uncomfortable that they’ll change the subject. Isn’t that the ultimate goal anyway?