Unwritten rules should stay in past


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A book of rules and regulations, but some sports add unwritten rules from a bygone era.

Waleed Alamieh, Sports Columnist

Unwritten rules in sports are the last thing the older generations of fans and coaches can hold onto while the game changes right in front of their eyes. 

Whether it’s swinging at a 3-0 pitch in baseball or running a play when they should have taken a knee in football, there’s something that will always upset the older generation.

The latest “break” in these  unwritten rules came in a week three NFL matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens. For some context, the Ravens were one game away from tying an NFL record of 43 straight games with 100 yards rushing. With three seconds left in the game, the Ravens had a commanding 23-7 lead and sat at 97 total rushing yards. The Ravens elected to call a designed run for Lamar Jackson to get five yards to tie the record. 

As the Ravens’ sideline burst into excitement for keeping the record alive, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was not happy about it. 

“I thought it was kind of (expletive),” Fangio said in a press conference on Monday. “37 years of pro ball I’ve never seen anything like that…but it was to be expected, and we expected it.” 

Fangio, who is the sixth oldest head coach in the NFL, is holding on to an old guard tradition of what the game used to be like. Fangio felt disrespected by the fact that the Ravens would ‘dare’ run a play on his team when the game was virtually over. Instead of feeling disrespected by the last five yards, Fangio should be more focused on the first 97 yards that put his team in that position, to begin with. 

Coaches like John Harbaugh of the Ravens understand his players and how the game works in today’s age. 

“It’s a very, very tough record to accomplish, and it’s a long-term record,” Harbaugh said at his post-game press conference. “I’m not going to say it’s more important than winning the game, for sure. It’s certainly not. As a head coach, I think you do that for your players, and you do that for your coaches, and that’s something they’ll have for the rest of their lives.”

This is the perfect approach for a coach to have. Don’t downplay your team’s accomplishments. Instead, coaches should challenge these “rules” that take the fun out of the game. 

You’d think all coaches would always come to the defense of their player for anything that happened on the field. But unlike these unwritten rules which transcend all sports, a coach backing his guy doesn’t always happen.  

A situation happened in a Major League Baseball game last season between the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers. With the Padres up 10-3 in the top of the eighth inning, their All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. came up to bat with bases loaded. 

The count got to 3-0 when Rangers pitcher Juan Nicasio threw a fastball right down the middle. Tatis lit the pitch up for a massive grand slam to push the lead to 14-3. 

Baseball as a whole might have the most unwritten rules that players can break, and unfortunately, Tatis did just that by “running up the score.” The Rangers got upset and threw at the next Padres player, causing a whole dilemma post-game. 

Former Padres manager Jayce Tingler did everything but support his young star at his post-game press conference. 

“Just so you know, a lot of our guys have green light 3-0,” Tingler said. “But in this game, in particular, we’re not trying to run up the score or anything like that. Put on the take sign and, you know, probably see a strike there.” 

Instead of pouring your full energy into the game you love, some coaches would rather choose the “integrity” of the game over admiring their players’ accomplishments.