The Evster's Guide to Annoying Sports Small Talk

The Evster's Guide to Annoying Sports Small Talk

Labor Day is an excuse to BBQ. And BBQs are an excuse to eat massive amounts of food, run through sprinklers with your dog, and take a bunch of hallucinogenics with your whacked-out neighbor, Carl. Unfortunately, most BBQs also require you to talk sports with grown men wearing socks and flip flops. That's all right though, because I've figured out a way around that.

The key to talking sports with idiots is to sound knowledgeable enough to keep your street cred, but stupid enough so that no human being would ever want to keep talking to you. Because the best way to enjoy these holiday functions is to be alone. That way, you can eat your chicken and drink your beer without being judged. So this weekend, while you try to hide in the corner and shove potato salad into your face, use this guide to help you escape whatever bozos that decide to chat you up.

"So whaddya think of the Eagles chances this year?"

What a boring question from a boring person -- and one that you've probably already answered 37 times this summer. If the person asking the question seems nice enough, and you feel like he was just trying to make casual conversashe, tell him you're excited about the Eagles' O, but nervous about their D. If the person is even half the dweebazoid he seems to be, tell him the only thing softer than the Birds' defensive line is his son's limp-wristed throwing motion.

"How 'bout this Ryne Sandberg fella? Is he the right guy for the job?"

This question is a little more acceptable, but still not worthy of your full attention. Everyone knows that it's not a manager who could fix this team, it's Miguel Cabrera. Dude, that guy is incredible. Complete and total domination. I actually feel like Cabrera did not get NEARLY enough pub after winning the Triple Crown last year, and now he's going for another?!?! If the person you're talking to does not share your excitement for Miggy's accomplishments, take his chicken leg from off his plate and launch it over the nearest fence.

"Dude, Miley Cyrus?"

Finally someone worth talking to. Tell this guy that even though Miley has a miniature acorn butt (and that you have no idea what's going on with that whole tongue wagging thing), you'd still pay big bucks to give her a foot massage. If your BBQ buddy agrees, show him this secret snapshot that you took earlier this week of a girl walking down 12th Street.


If he's into it (and c'mon, he's totally gonna be into it), ask him if he too has any secret snappers that he wants to share. Then spend the rest of the weekend walking around Sea Isle taking secret snappers of every 19-year-old girl and drunk divorcée.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Secret Snappers?"

I know, I know, it's totally wrong and possibly illegal, but how could I not share that picture with The 700 Level's readers?

"What about the Sixers? They've certainly been wheelin' and dealin'."

Ugh, calm down Mark Zumoff. No one knows what'll become of the Sixers. Not Ric Bucher, not Charles Barkley, and especially not some stiff who wears his sunglasses on the top of his head. In an effort to cut this conversation off before it even starts, just say that you're encouraged by their offseason moves and are about to explode with tumultuous diarrhea.

"Is Lamar Odom dead?"

I hope not. He seems like a really nice guy who has had a really rough life. Yeah, he's got millions of dollars and a caring wife (she seems to really love him!), but dude's childhood was devastating. Did you know that his father was a heroin addict and his mother died when he was 12? Also, in 2011, his lost his 6 1/2 month-old son to SIDS. That's really sad! Geez, thanks for bringing the mood down, Barbara Walters Jr. I'm getting more chicken.

"Think the Union have a shot of winning it all?"

This conversation is over.

For more secret snappers, follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

Even Mike Trout wants to see Sam Bradford's return to Philly

When Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract ends in 2020, the Millville, New Jersey, native will be in his prime at 29 years old, and Phillies' fans dream of seeing Trout playing at Citizens Bank Park could be come true.

For the time being, though, Trout, a season-ticket holder, is just chilling at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles play the Vikings on Sunday because the Angels are almost as bad as the Phillies and even he couldn't stay away from Sam Bradford's return to Philadelphia.

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton return to practice

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers welcomed two more players out on to the rink for their practice following Saturday’s 6-3 win over Carolina. 

Michael Del Zotto (lower body) and Scott Laughton (lower body) returned to the ice for the first time since suffering injuries within days of each other. Before Sunday’s light practice, Del Zotto and Laughton had skated two consecutive days prior to work on their conditioning. 

“It’s nice to see them back with the group,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. 

Laughton, who injured himself during a training camp practice after losing an edge, was a bit more forward than Del Zotto on when he hopes to return. 

“I would say within the next five to seven days,” Laughton said.

The 22-year-old pointed to Saturday’s game with Pittsburgh as his target to return. 

As for Del Zotto, the defenseman didn’t want to jinx anything, saying it’s a “day-by-day” situation. He would like to think he’s working on the same timetable as Laughton. If that’s the case, he would be back either a few days before or right on cue with the projected four to five weeks he was scheduled to miss after suffering an injury to his left knee in the preseason against the New York Rangers on Oct. 6. 

“It’s kind of trial and error,” Del Zotto said. 

Above all else, though, the two were just happy to be back with their teammates. Del Zotto said that being around everyone really rejuvenated his spirits. 

“Just being back around the guys and having that team chemistry and camaraderie and being able to joke with the guys,” Del Zotto said, “it’s probably been the best thing for me.”

This past month has especially been hard on the two because of the timing and how last season ended for them. 

While there’s never an ideal time to suffer an injury, the pair saw training camp and the approaching start of the regular season in a different light than most of their teammates.

It was supposed to be their new start. Last season, Del Zotto missed the final few months, including the postseason, after ligament damage to his left wrist. He was having a strong preseason, arguably the top defenseman in camp at the time before suffering his setback.

“Being out so long last year and having to sit and watch playoffs than having six months of grueling rehab to get back into it … that made it sting that much more,” Del Zotto said. “That’s part of the game. It’s a contact sport. I signed up for this.”

The same can be said for Laughton, who experienced a scary injury in Game 4 against Washington after being dumped head first into the boards. 

“I was really excited to have camp and start the year here,” Laughton said. 

The two will be traveling to Montreal with the rest of the Flyers for Monday’s contest. They will each do the morning skate with another bag skate afterward.