Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What rules?

It seems to me I have been hearing a lot of complaints in the sports world from the athletes directed at, the other athletes. That sounds odd, many would say. Their complaints stem from what many consider to be the unwritten rules of their sport. For my formative years, I played baseball. It was a game I loved and played hard. I always played to win.

What you hear also is the loser complaining that the other team broke the code. They kicked dirt in the face of the game. They soiled its integrity. Believe me, as a life-long sports guy there are virtually no unwritten rules in sports. What few there are simply boil down to what some would call sportsmanship. In other words, don't rub it in. What professionals unfortunately fail to realize is those unwritten rules have their origins in amateur athletics. If one team simply is in a class or two above the team they are playing, you don't do all the things you might need to do to win the game against an equal opponent. You don't steal second base when you are up by six runs. You don't bunt to get on base with a six run lead, etc. etc. etc.

There are other sports that have similar good-sportsmanship rules but it still comes down to the same thing. Professional sports shouldn't have any unwritten rules other than not trying to do harm to your opponent. Other than that, play the game with all the fervor you can to crush the other team. That's what your paying fans are paying for. Don't cry foul when you are on the wrong end of a blowout. You're a highly paid professional. Stop them. If you can't, you'll live to fight another day and I'm sure some day you'll be on the other end of the same argument.

Unwritten rules aren't for professional sports. Don't be a crybaby. This isn't little league softball.

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