Many years ago, I worked with a guy who constantly used sports metaphors when talking to his employees. I told him that his female employees weren’t moved by this language and, since his workforce was 90% female, he needed to find other ways to express his thoughts. At the next employee meeting, he busted out a shopping reference. I told him to go back to sports.
A metaphor is supposed to help you understand a concept by relating it to something with which you’re already familiar. Conventional wisdom tells us that by using sports metaphors we exclude or confuse women, foreigners and homosexuals. Let’s look at some phrases we all use:
I can’t finish my workout. I’m throwing in the towel.
I like the cut of his jib.*
I’ve got to run an errand. Will you run interference for me until I get back?
Let’s huddle up and try to figure out where we are.
That was a slam dunk!
That’s a bit of a sticky wicket you’ve gotten yourself into.
That last one comes from the most confusing sport ever. Everyone knows what these phrases mean. Looking back I realize that instead of telling him to get rid of the sports metaphors, I should have helped him use more familiar imagery.
Here are some medal-worthy reads:
In this post from last year, Control Your Cash used Brett Favre to demonstrate how the free market works.
Nelson at Financial Uproar does a great job with this article pointing out how running a major league baseball team equates to your personal finances.
Suffering from Tebow withdrawal? ESPN’s Rick Reilly wants you to believe.
14 reasons why football is just like personal finance from Dr. Dean at The Millionaire Nurse.
Bankrate looks at the 5 cheapest football stadia. Fans of supply and demand will not be surprised by #1.
Mint put the information used by Bankrate in the above post into an infographic breaking down average game cost per team.
One last article comparing sports to personal finance: Lazy Man and Money uses his fantasy football tribulations to explain some basic investment concepts.
Visa and the NFL teamed up for a project called Financial Football. Choose your team, your opponent and the degree of difficulty for each play. Answer the (basic) financial questions correctly and your chosen play is executed.
Finally, this article from Education World teaches teachers how to use sports, teamwork and acronyms to get their students excited about learning.
What did you do last weekend?
I read Mutts Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed. A non-Kindle book by Patrick McDonnell, creator of the Mutts comic strip. The book consists of Mutts strips juxtaposed with photos and stories of real-life rescue animals and their owners. A touching, funny and educational read.
Carnivals and Links:
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What’s on my Kindle:
Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today’s NFL
The Little Book of Coaching
Ken Blanchard and Don Shula
Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports are Played and Games are Won
Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim
*Thurston Howell III and I may be the only people who use this phrase.