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Sports Talk

Titus O’Reily on the best strategy for navigating conversations about sport.

Australia’s success in all-things-athletic is built on a nation of zealous sport enthusiasts. Discussing sport tactfully is a skill; if done recklessly, it can lead to catastrophic consequences, such as being excluded from the next round at the pub, or given an end slice of bread at a sausage sizzle (and you can forget about the onions).

As Titus O’Reily explains, ‘sport is the closest thing Australia has to a culture, to the point that even the few Australians who hate sport define themselves by their opposition to it.’

With that in mind, here are his recommendations for the best and worst things to say to the Aussie sports fan.


Romantic things to say to a sports fan

‘One day I hope to make you as happy as your team does, but I also hope to not let you down as often.’

‘Even though the team you barrack for isn’t playing, I know this match is important to you.’

‘My love for you burns as bright as this flare I just smuggled through security soon will.’

‘If it clashes with the footy we should just reschedule it.’

‘We should get a bigger TV.’

‘Why don’t we make our honeymoon a trip to England to watch the Ashes?’

‘I hate the Fanatics too.’


Worst things a person can say

‘Why are you watching this? Your team isn’t even playing.’

‘We’ll get a great rate if we have our wedding on grand final day.’

‘The government should be giving money to health and education, not sport.’

‘Why would you watch a replay of a game you just went to?’

‘Are you just going to sit around and watch cricket all day?’

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