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While customers are watching the Super Bowl at Boston’s Common Ground Bar and Grill [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...-tyquan-lewis-jersey]Tyquan Lewis Color Rush Jersey[/url] , waiters and bartenders will pause to see key moments as well. General Manager Jeff John understands his staff wants to see if the New England Patriots can win their third NFL title in four years.

”Your first focus has to be the guest,” John says. ”But we all get caught in the moment from time to time.”

Big sporting events are often a workplace distraction. But many small business owners and managers are cutting staffers a little slack as football fans find it hard to resist chatting about Sunday’s game. The Winter Olympics, the NCAA basketball tournament and other big events are coming up, and staffers may want to tune in.

Some owners realize that trying to eliminate sports talk or forbidding staffers to watch games is demoralizing and also difficult to achieve. So as long as there isn’t too much Monday morning quarterbacking or time spent in front of the office TV, bosses will go easy on fans. Some companies are even more understanding; it’s OK there for staffers to watch games in break rooms, and some owners even run office pools without cash prizes.

John has noticed that when the games are most exciting, customers want to watch, not order. So if waiters want to pause and see the play, he doesn’t stop them. Besides, when a waiter high-fives a customer after great play, it increases the bond between Common Ground and its diners.

A flexible attitude is a good management practice for company owners, says Philippe Weiss, an attorney with expertise in employment law at the firm Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago.

”They’re not going to be able to stop people’s excitement,” Weiss says. ”Trying to do so in an unyielding or draconian way is going to backfire.”

If the boss sees productivity slowing, or employees not tending to work that needs to be done, Weiss suggests a firm but friendly approach. For example, if there’s too much watching of NCAA games [url=http://www.authenticsindianapoliscolts.com/...-nyheim-hines-jersey]Nyheim Hines Color Rush Jersey[/url] , tell staffers, ”It’s time to do a fast break back to work.”

David Niu doesn’t worry about productivity at TINYpulse, his company that makes software to measure worker satisfaction and morale at other businesses. There’s a TV that will show NCAA games in March and employees will be able to watch. But they’ll also be held accountable for getting their work done.

”Instead of fighting it, I’m going to treat you as an adult,” says Niu, whose Seattle-based company has 100 employees. He expects staffers to cluster in front of the TV during the last few minutes of some of the games – and he’ll be there with them.

Watching TV during at work was once verboten. But many employers have come to realize a more employee-friendly work atmosphere benefits everyone; when staffers feel relaxed and are allowed to share a little fun, they’re more productive and do better work.

Actualize Consulting used to have a policy about watching and discussing games that managing director Kerry Wekelo now calls rigid. The bosses would end conversations, and ”that would burst people’s bubbles when they were excited,” Wekelo says.

The financial consulting firm with offices in New York and Reston, Virginia, has since changed its policy. If employees want to take a couple of hours to watch a game, they can, as long as they make up the time. The bosses also run an NCAA pool in which the winnings can be used for wellness purchases like gym memberships or treadmills.

Owners shouldn’t run pools with pure cash prizes, which are illegal even though employees at many workplaces have them, Weiss says. If a boss runs a pool and staffers feel pressure to take part, it could be raised in a potential lawsuit against the company. Or workers who don’t want to take part may resent the boss.

It’s not so easy for people who work in a factory to watch games or spend time away from their work to chat. At Ratchet Straps USA, which makes straps to tie down items like tents or farm equipment [url=http://authenticlosangeleschargers.com/...-derwin-james-jersey]Derwin James Color Rush Jersey[/url] , the headsets staffers use to communicate with one another in the warehouse have private channels, and owner Michael Russell is fine with them talking about the game or anything else while they work. He understands sports are important for many at his Belleville, Ohio, company, and they’ll want to gather around the TV in the last 10 minutes of NCAA games.

”Watching the last couple of minutes is something that we definitely even encourage,” Russell says.

Richard Lee is really the only big fan at his Los Angeles law firm, and is likely to be alone watching NCAA games on the conference room TV. He still runs a cashless pool for staffers. After the tournament, there’s an awards luncheon and even non-participants are eligible for a last-place medal.

”This is a fun morale booster and break from what is often the dead-serious practice of law,” Lee says.

Since it’s pointless to try to ban sports fans from watching or talking, Ross Sapir, owner of Roadway Moving based in the New York City borough of the Bronx, doesn’t even try.

”They don’t have to do it on the sly, on their cellphones or watching it in the background of their computers,” says Sapir, whose moving business has 40 staffers in its office, including many who want to watch the games on company TVs.

The big sporting event at his company is the World Cup soccer tournament, which runs from mid-June to mid-July. The games will be in Russia and many will be broadcast during working hours.

”I actually almost give them complete freedom to watch [url=http://authenticlosangeleschargers.com/...uchenna-nwosu-jersey]Uchenna Nwosu Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” Sapir says. ”It’s such

ATLANTA — Mike Soroka baffled the New York Mets for six innings on May 1 in his major league debut at Citi Field, allowing six hits and a run while walking none and striking out five in a 3-2 victory by the Atlanta Braves.

The rookie right-hander didn’t fare as well in his next two starts, though, and he faces the Mets at SunTrust Field on Wednesday after having missed nearly four weeks because of a shoulder strain.

The Braves (38-28) are looking for a sweep of the two-game series after winning 8-2 on Tuesday night to take over sole possession of first place in the National League East and send the skidding Mets (28-35) to their 14th loss in the past 17 games.

“When you’re scoring runs at the anemic rate that we have, something hasn’t worked,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said before the game. “From that standpoint, I take total responsibility for where we are. I’m not happy about it. But at the same time, the job now is to figure out how to fix it and improve it. We are focused on getting the team back to where it was many weeks ago.”

The Braves had planned to give Soroka three minor league rehab starts, but they will activate the 20-year-old Canadian from the disabled list after just two to face the Mets following a 73-pitch outing for Triple-A Gwinnett last week.

“He came out of everything really well and the reports were really good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “So, we just decided to let him have (the start).”

Soroka (1-1, 3.68 ERA) was matched against hard-throwing Noah Syndergaard in his debut and this time his mound opponent will be Mets ace Jacob deGrom.

DeGrom (4-1, 1.57 ERA) will be making his fourth start against the Braves this season and has yet to have a decision despite a 0.50 ERA.

DeGrom, the victim of lack of run support and bullpen failures, took his first loss Friday while turning in another quality start, allowing four hits and two earned runs over eight innings against the New York Yankees while striking out eight.

The right-hander struck out 13 over seven innings against the Chicago Cubs while getting a no-decision in his start prior to that and lost a chance for a win in Atlanta on May 28 when the Braves’ Charlie Culberson hit a two-run walk-off homer in the ninth inning against reliever Seth Lugo.

“I think it’s frustrating no matter what, whether I’m pitching or not [url=http://www.authenticsminnesotavikings.com/...-jalyn-holmes-jersey]Jalyn Holmes Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” deGrom said. “We don’t want to lose and when we do lose games, it’s frustrating for everybody. Obviously, that’s not what we’re trying to do.”

DeGrom’s ERA is the best in the National League by nearly a half run and he is second with 106 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings. Yet he has just four victories in 13 starts and has received a no-decision eight times.

Before the loss to the Yankees, deGrom had allowed one run or less in eight consecutive starts and he has done it nine times this season.

DeGrom is 5-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 14 career starts against the Braves, striking out 98 in 88 innings.

The 27-year-old former Stetson University shortstop has allowed just 11 hits and a run over 18 innings in his three no-decision against Atlanta this season and has 25 strikeouts to five walks.

Soroka, a first-round draft pick in 2015, made it through just four innings in a loss to San Francisco after his impressive debut against the Mets, then began feeling shoulder discomfort while pitching 4 2/3 innings at Miami in his third start.

Soroka totaled just eight innings in his two minor league rehab appearances, but struck out seven over 4 1/3 innings for Gwinnett against Syracuse last week and the Braves decided he was ready to fill an open rotation spot against the Mets.

“He can go 85, 90 (pitches), which is all he would probably be doing anyway,” Snitker said.