Oh, The World of Sports
One of the great aspects of working in the service industry is getting to people watch all day long.
My favorite time to watch people is during sporting events. It continues to interest and amuse me how normal human behavior goes out the window when it comes to sports. Suddenly, screaming, loudly cursing, running around in a public place, jumping up and down, and embracing your buddies into bear-hugs becomes the norm. (And on that note, it’s the only time it’s okay for male athletes to wear spandex and slap each other on the butt? Never understood that one…)
With the NCAA tournament underway, I’ve gotten to do a lot of “research” on this topic, and my “subjects” (read: drunken sports enthusiasts) have not let me down. The energy of the entire bar/restaurant is entirely controlled by the score and outcome of the game. When your team is winning, everyone is ordering drinks, laughing, cheering, and slapping each other on the butt (Seriously. What is with that??). When your team is losing, everyone is collectively swearing at the tv, swearing at the refs, swearing at each other, and adding gratuitous f-bombs to their sentences. And when your team loses, you can feel the collective exhale of the entire building. Suddenly, everyone wants to close out their tabs and go home to wallow. They’ll probably keep drinking away their sorrows; they just don’t want to do it in public anymore.
When there is no sporting event to watch, you can be sure people will be talking about sports, and those discussions get heated. People are passionate about their sports! I may live in Milwaukee, but I don’t cheer for the Brewers. In the spirit of anonymity, I won’t tell you my baseball team preference, but let’s just say it’s a Chicago NL team whose mascot is a baby bear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had customers (and friends!) verbally assaulting my choice in baseball team.
A friend of mine who owns her own bar in downtown Milwaukee joked that there are 4 topics she won’t allow people to talk about in her bar: politics, religion, Brett Favre, and college basketball.
I’m pretty sure if you avoid those, plus Marquette v. Madision and Cubs v. Brewers conversations, you can avoid ALL arguments. Oh, the world of sports…