Competitive dudes are exhausting.
Makes you want to vomit in your mouth. The ones that work for big corporations are the worst. The audience for their immature behavior is enormous. Their poison has much larger ramifications.
Know the sports bro traits so you can stay away from these beasts.
1. Has to win at all costs
I used to be a competitive sports bro.
But I wasn’t as extreme as some. I’m a 6-foot lanky white guy from Australia who has an adam’s apple the size of a real apple, and pale skin that looks like it hasn’t seen the sun for 30 years.
So I skipped the athletic part of being a sports bro, but not the rest.
I’m not this way anymore. But because I used to be high on the douche meter, I can spot a sports bro a mile away.
The biggest red flag is that everything in life is a competition.
They can’t just put the shopping away for the sake of putting the shopping away. It has to be a race. There has to be a loser. And boy does that loser need to pay some ridiculous price.
The sports bro boss
In 2019 I got fired from a job I loved by a sports bro.
He was as large as a brown bear with a beer gut that could hold 6 x 24 packs of beer. He’s what I call a former sports bro. He still has the huge ego and bad attitude, but his body is destroyed from all the ego boozing at bars.
When he first joined our company my team and I had to do mandatory google learning. The test was fairly easy and all the answers were multiple-choice. Normally you sit in a group and do the test together.
It’s less of a test and more a “check you know the latest updates.” Boss bro called us into a huddle (another bro ritual).
“Alright, this is a competition everyone. First one to finish gets lunch on me. Last one to finish has to wear this t-shirt of a skinny dude getting beaten up. There will be other penalties as well for the loser but I’ll let ya know. Anyone who doesn’t do the test also gets the booby prize.”
Two people were away sick that day. “They should have thought of that before they got sick — not my problem,” said the boss bro.
The next day the losers were named. Boss bro encouraged us to shame them and never let them forget their bad sports performance. Silly.
Life isn’t a competition.
2. Has to get the most out of a negotiation
Negotiation is a sports bros favorite activity.
They don’t take part in a negotiation to have both sides form a productive partnership. No. They treat it like a football game. There has to be a winner and a loser. And the loser must lose by the most amount of points possible.
I’ve witnessed many of these negotiations in my finance career. While the sports bro cheers their victory if they do win the negotiation … they’re quiet as hell a few weeks later when the client cancels the deal or goes to a competitor because they got taken advantage of.
Smart negotiation is where both sides win.
3. Talks about football at the most random times
A sports bro has gotta talk about sport whenever they can.
Normally they have a favorite sport like football. To show intelligence they often like to have a portfolio of diverse sporting interests.
They’ll watch cheese stretching, hamburger competitions, toy boat races … whatever activity they can turn into a sport in their tiny brains.
What happens when they watch sport is something they want everyone to know. When they should be at work helping customers or running a meeting, they’ll randomly switch the conversation to sport.
“You see the ducks win on the weekend. Last shot was legendary. Wish the people in this meeting could behave like that bro … haha.”
Then they’ll blabber on. They know all the stats. They can tell you what happened at a ball game 20 years ago, when they still could see their genitalia. They have the dumb merchandise from the game at home too.
Their house is littered with memorabilia and jerseys worn by boofheads that belong on the tv show Jersey Shore.
Once the sports bro is on a roll it’s hard to change topic.
If you try to move on from sport they’ll find clever ways to go right back to the topic. All you can do with a sports bro is walk away and leave them to their erotic sports feelings.
Work is for work, not for sport talk.
4. Always on a diet
Don’t you dare go to dinner with them.
When they get the menu they’ll tell you about whatever fad diet they’re on. Even if they’re a beer gut warrior, in their head, they’re still the teenage athlete that needs to be on a diet to outperform at throwing a big ball.
What you eat shouldn’t be a flex. Keep your diet to yourself.
5. Exercises close to work to brag
Many companies have gyms at work or in the same building.
A sports bro loves this. They’ll do anything to wear sportswear in the office to show their passion for the game. When the gym is so close they can justify wearing it.
“Ohh sorry boss I just had my singlet on because I’m about to hit the gym at lunch and sweat one out. You don’t mind do ya?”
On some days when they come back from the gym they won’t shower. They’ll be in such a hurry that they’ll sit in their office chair in a puddle of sweat and smelling like the toilet on an airplane. They secretly want this.
Having you smell their stench and see their sweat is a hero sign.
It makes them feel important. Like no one is missing out on all their hard work and outperformance at chasing a ball around a park like a dog without a leash.
6. Shout from the sidelines
The final sign of a competitive sports bro is how they act as a spectator at kids sporting events.
A competitive sports bro can’t just roll up to their kid’s (or a friend/family member’s kid) sporting match. They have to be the center of attention.
They have to shout out advice to the kid. “Crush him Johnny!” They have to make rude remarks to the opposition. They have to argue with the umpire. “That’s not fair ref he stepped over the line. I saw it with my own eyes.”
No umpire decision is fair. If their kid doesn’t win then it’s a crime against humanity. The whole universe has conspired against them.
How dare they.
Competitive sports bros are little boys living in adult bodies. The best advice I can give you is to keep your distance.
If they start talking about sport, run. If they treat a work activity as a competition, remind them of the cliche “one team, one dream.” And if you encounter them at kid’s sporting matches, quietly ask the umpire to stand firm with their decisions.
Life isn’t a competitive sport. It’s just life.
We’re all losers in the sport of life because we die at the end of the game no matter how good we can throw a big ball. May as well get used to it.