How to Survive a Sporting Event with Your Boss

As a follow-up to my recent piece, Tips for Summer Interns of 2013, I have been asked to provide pearls of wisdom on surviving a sporting event with your boss.

As an international bon vivant, hopefully I have put something in here for everyone – well almost everyone.  If you’re going to a hockey game, it’s time to look for a new boss because it means he’s at the bottom of the food chain and there’s no point hitching your wagon to that star.  Regular season hockey games are for analysts and shitty brothers-in-law.  On a trading floor, it’s almost impossible to even give the tickets away.  But then again, we work in legitimate cities with real sports.  So if you are in Detroit, feel free to disregard.  But if that’s the case, you need a completely different set of survival tips right about now anyway.

Going to a sporting event with your boss (and presumably clients and colleagues) is a complicated, nuanced, and often conflicting minefield to navigate.  If it was so easy, then everybody would work at Goldman Sachs.

To the point:

1)    If it’s a weeknight, wear what you wore to the office.  If you show up in skinny jeans, you’re obviously not busy enough.  If you are at a Miami Heat game, wear whatever you want because you don’t have a respectable, IRS-abiding job anyway.

2)    No photos. No tweets. No Facebook posts. Act like you’ve been there before.

3)    Bring a date, but not if she’s needy or insecure.  (Odds are that she is.)  First of all, most girls aren’t huge sports fans to begin with.  But more importantly, she’s going to feel like a 3rd wheel when you’re talking with clients, colleagues, or your boss.  And if you prioritize coddling her, you are going to look like an unprofessional, pussy-whipped dickhead.

4)    Stop checking your Blackberry. You both know that your boss is more important than you are, so if he’s not checking his, why the hell do you need to check yours?  It can wait.

5)    Don’t wear a jersey… unless it’s a fútbol match.

6)    If it’s a big game, and you’re on club/box level, do a lap. You never know who you might see… unless it’s a Mets game; no one gives a fuck about Bill Maher or Keith Olbermann.

7)    If a work rival is there, get him wasted and convince him that the drinks girl working the suite wants to bang him.

8)    Remember, in 50 years, no one will watch baseball.  It was invented when there was absolutely nothing else to do.  So be mentally prepared to make 4 hours of conversation.

9)    While passion is a good thing, if you didn’t have a poster above your bunk bed as a kid, stay neutral.  No one likes a poser, and only Asian kids can get away with conveniently being ‘diehard’ Manchester United or New York Yankees fans.

10)If it’s a cricket match (The Ashes?), don’t go unless you understand the sport.  Chances are, if your boss is there, he loves it.  And not even Meryl Streep could pretend to enjoy that sport.

11)Clients come first. Keep it professional. Usually, they leave early, and if they don’t, it means they have a free pass for the night.  In which case, you are required to show them a good time.  Don’t bother saving the Flashdancers receipt (Matt Defusco?); just expense the next three “date nights” at Jean-Georges.

12)Bring a joke. But don’t use it unless someone else tells a joke first.

13)Don’t be a sports douche.  Nothing is worse than canned, feigned sports knowledge. “Lampard saved the day, but I still don’t understand why Mourinho went with the 4-4-2.”  Fuck off.

14)If you’re at Wimbledon, do not drink Pimm’s. You don’t want to be that guy who passes out on the tube home with grass stains on his trousers.

15)If there’s a good-looking girl, get her drunk, preferably on Pimm’s.

16)Talk about work when prompted, but otherwise, this is a chance to showcase your personality and find a connection.  Seriously, it’s not that hard: travel, cars, wine, family, and sports. But drop the wannabe trader-speak and avoid saying “yours” every time some douchebag (Vinay Jayaram?) mentions Duke.

17)If you are the office rock star, wear the latest outfit from the John Daly collection.  When you get to Arthur Ashe Stadium, tell everyone you thought it was the US Open at Bethpage.

18)If you don’t have a girlfriend, bring one of the Puerto Rican secretaries as your date. If you have coke, don’t share it with her until after the match, or she’ll start talking about how much she likes anal sex in front of your boss’ wife.

19)Don’t forget to tell any work rivals that “everyone is going to Wiggles in Rego Park after Serena loses.” – Google it or ask Shahryar Mahbub.

20)Most importantly, your boss is always the benchmark of depravity.  If he’s sitting in first class on the plane to Hell, make sure you’re in the cockpit.

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61 Responses to How to Survive a Sporting Event with Your Boss

  1. Eric says:

    Gold. I love it.

  2. Justin says:

    If you’re getting drunk on Pimms you need to work on your stamina. It’s basically a mixer, or something to scrape you and your hangover off the pavement in the morning until you can face real drinks again.

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  4. Bart says:

    Ranger games especially come playoff time are pretty big deals there are tons of celebrities and big timers at the games and its that way for Chicago, Boston, and Philly too. Don’t really understand the shot at hockey…

  5. Chris says:

    Great Post. Would you mind if I linked your stuff, with your screen handle and website/twitter feed on my blog, ? I think it would make the right people flip the f’out.

  6. Ryan says:

    Mourinho would NEVER switch to a 4-4-2.. but Lampard would save the day.

    • AC says:

      Ryan knows.

      If someone mentions a 4-4-2 and ManU isn’t playing, chances are they are over-compensating for a severe lack of (current) football knowledge.

      • Joshua says:

        if they mention 4-4-2 and fail to mention Roy Hodgson, then you know that they are overcompensating for lack of football knowledge

    • Dan Lyonado says:

      Thank you Ryan! This guy is over reaching in the dark!

      • gselevator says:

        thats the point fucktard… the comment was supposed to sound stupid, because its some dipshit poser trying to impress his boss when he doesnt know what he’s talking about… sorry if you arent smart enough to grasp this.

  7. I love lists and this one’s great — will definitely keep it in my arsenal and use when needed. Thanks, Brigitte Grisanti

  8. blah blah says:

    You forgot to add in LA Lakers at the end of point 9)

  9. says:

    Nice try at being the new Leveraged Sellout. Unfortunately this sucks.

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  12. jayabramsohn says:

    Reblogged this on Sports Blog and commented:
    Number 8 is so funny and true.

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  17. Reggie says:

    wow. follow these instructions and 20 years from now, you’ll still be thirsting for approval. good luck with the pre-mature hair loss you pussies.

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  21. Real Men Play Hockey says:

    Very Nice post. Although Hockey games are also for fans of the sport on the skill that it takes to handle a puck in the offensive zone with a huge defense-men throwing elbows and checks all over you, as you try to score to the back of a net that is practically filled with an even bigger machine of a goalie, get up off the ice for the rebound, get into a brutal fist fight with some guy already missing a few teeth, maybe hit a minute bench, then hit the ice for round 2.. Real Men Play Hockey.

  22. M says:

    I like your article, but it’s time for you to educate yourself on what real sports are all about… And it isn’t you looking pretty in the front row next to some spoiled NBA or MLB prima donna who owns his body weight in diamonds and child support payments.

    Real men, play and watch hockey, football, and the fights. Those sports build character by making the men who play them, face punishing physical challenges daily, which matches their desire to achieve against physical demands laid on them by other men who want to succeed at their expense. In the case of hockey and football, it also happens to be one of the most demanding team sports there are. Very few players can change a game on their own in those sports, it’s all about working as a team. Yet another valuable life skill.

    Specifically sticking up for Hockey. Don’t hate the sport just because you haven’t the skill to skate/the patience to learn how to follow a puck on TV/need more glam out of your professional athletes. I could go on, but you get the point I’m sure.

    • Brooklynhockey says:

      Hockey doesn’t stop when someone gets hit or falls. Get back up, and get into the game. Compared to the basketball drama queens? Be serious! My god – someone falls and the whole game stops. Then he needs 3 people to help him up, pat him on the arse, and then everyone stands around and watches him bounce a ball and take 2 free throws. That would be about 5 minutes’ worth of ACTION in a hockey game.

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