If you’re a fan, you know about them. If you’ve played, you’ve lived by them. Every sport has them. They are not in a rule book in print anywhere. You don’t sign your name to anything saying you’re going to abide by them. They are policed by the players themselves and the coaches for their respective teams, not the GMs, owners, officials, or commissioners. That is what makes them unique. Some of them are as old as the sports they belong to. They are the UNWRITTEN RULES OF SPORTS.
In Baseball, don’t flip your bat or show-up a pitcher. Do not walk on the pitchers mound if your not a pitcher and you are the other team. Don’t steal bases when you are up by a bunch of runs late in the game. In Basketball, don’t shoot 3 pointers with seconds left in a game when you are up big. As a matter of fact, don’t try to score with seconds left when your team is up big and the game is decided. In Football, don’t let a touchdown celebration linger, or don’t taunt the other team. In Golf, don’t walk across my putt line or talk in my backswing. As for everyone, don’t disrespect the home teams logo during or after an event. These are just to name a few in each major sport. There are many more and some sports have more than others. However, one thing rains true across all of these sports. If you happen to break one of these “unwritten rules,” you are sure to pay a price that usually leads to a benches clearing brawl. They say rules are meant to be broken. Not these! When you break a normal, “written rule,” you pay your consequences and move on. When you break an “unwritten rule” in sports, you will pay each time you play that team, every time, some times lingering on for years. Recently we’ve had a few guys break these rules and the same things have happened. Jose Bautista with a major bat flip on a walk-off homerun. That got him punched in the face later on. Javale McGee tried to shoot a 3 pointer up big with seconds left in an NBA game and the refs had to stop a potential brawl. Lance Stephenson ran out to a layup with seconds left in an NBA game up big and again, refs had to stop a potential brawl. Terrell Owens once scored a touchdown in Dallas and ran from the endzone to the mid-field star and celebrated on it. That got him damn near knocked out and that started a big fight between the 2 teams.
I hear some fans and even professional sports media personalities talk about how dumb they think these “unwritten rules” are. I hear them say such things as; play better so you’re not in that position, do it back to them instead of start a fight like an immature child, or get over it and move on. My response to this is we have “unwritten rules” in everyday life as well and you know damn well you play into those. Don’t cut someone in line. Don’t walk between 2 people having a conversation together. There are many more I could name. Those things are not written anywhere as actual rules, however they are unwritten rules of respect to make life a little easier to live when we deal with so many people in close proximity everyday. That is what the “unwritten rules” of sports do too. There is a lot of emotion going on, a lot of testosterone, a lot of “type A” personalities in such close quarters that those “unwritten rules” help us get along and stay respectful as much as possible during such competitive moments. Think of it in these manners as a fan, and you will understand them more when you see them. However, if you are a player, you already know… DON’T CROWD MY PLATE!!!