Sometimes you want to connect with someone, but you don't know where to start. Try sports. Because there are always new games to analyze, you never need to worry about coming up with fresh material and there are few pastimes that have as many regular developments.
Sports strikes the right balance between being interesting and relatively unoffensive. Talking about the weather is boring and one-dimensional. And talking about politics runs the risk of alienating or offending. Talking about your team allegiance reveals a passion that's personal, but that doesn't leave you too vulnerable; it's a way to step out of shop talk, to have some fun, and to relate to one another on an emotional level.
So, even if sports wouldn't be your first choice for a conversation topic, it's worth giving it a fair shot before you dismiss it.