Men love talking about sports. But more than having a friendly chat about their favorite players and teams they love arguing about it. Passionately. Still there are times when we let our egos get the best of us, when we try too hard to make a case that doesn't hold water or hammer home a point that simply won't go through. It's at those moments when we need to take a step back and realize the futility of our stance, to recognize that some arguments simply aren't worth it.
But how do we figure out when we'd be better off sipping a brew than voicing an opinion? Well for me there are three main factors to look for to know that arguing about a particular sports subject would be moot.
First, and most obviously is when the empirical data is clearly tilted in one direction. Jerry Rice is a great example. He's the career leader in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns (and it's not close). To argue for someone other than Rice would be folly.
Secondly is what I call the 'seeing eye test.' We all know in sports that sometimes statistics can be misleading or perhaps there is no quantifiable metric upon which to base an argument. For these cases we need to simply a bit of rational observation to consider whether it's a debate we want to get into. Posit: WNBA basketball can be just as exciting as their male counterpart. Fact: Men can dunk and women can't (well they can but just barely). Conclusion: Don't waste my time with this nonsense.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is the truth that sometimes the argument needs to be shelved for a later date, not because it isn't a valid point of contention, but more accurately because the data has yet to be collected that could potentially resolve the dispute. The conversation might go something like, "dude this guy is just a rookie. It's WAY too early to be comparing him to Albert Pujols."
Of course it's all well and good to talk about such a dilemma in the abstract using extreme examples where the answers are obvious. But what happens when we explore a contemporary argument that might actually have a bit of merit. Something the media constantly tries to cram down our throats because it's good for ratings. Something like Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
Next: Breaking Down MJ v KB24