Column as I See ’em

Unwritten rules bring up arguments for change within sports


Every time I find myself watching a sports game, whether it be basketball, baseball or football, there always seems to be some unwritten rule that every sports team must follow because of past tradition.
Unwritten rules in sports games are rules that teams follow most of the time, that is, when they follow them to promote good sportsmanship and keep games respectful. However, these rules more often than not do just the opposite. These rules make sports games less fun to watch, hard to understand and do not represent sports teams in a good light.
I firmly believe that good sportsmanship and a fair game would still be the norm if these rules were forgotten about and never used in sports.
As a wrestler I fully believe that there is no such thing as too big of a lead. I would never let up on the gas pedal to let an opponent come back into a match just because of “tradition.” It should never happen in wrestling, or any other sport regardless of the level.
One instance of these rules causing issues is in basketball. If one team blows the other team out and the game is no longer competitive, the other team is supposed to either not continue to score points, or in some cases even let the other team score to close the gap between the two.
I think that this behavior in basketball needs to be done away with. I believe that if one team or individual is losing, instead of being given points and allowed to come back, they should work for it. Especially in professional leagues where they earn money based on their performance.
For example, on Jan. 27, the Memphis Grizzlies faced off against the New York Knicks. The Grizzlies, who were up 18 points decided that these unwritten rules did not matter. With 55 seconds left on the clock, former Grizzlies player Jae Crowder stole an inbound pass and proceeded to shoot a three point shot. This caused Knicks player Elfrid Payton to commit a very hard foul on the play resulting in not only a brawl between the two teams, but ejections and fines for multiple individuals.
Had it not been for this silent code of conduct, this brawl would have never taken place, along with many other fights that happen in sports due to these rules. Which is just one reason why they should not be followed.
Some people would make an argument that, having these unwritten rules, if followed correctly, do promote good sportsmanship and respect. These people would be correct, however, I believe that the idea of not scoring and allowing a team to take a break defeats the whole purpose of the game itself. Sports are naturally competitive and the idea of not wanting a team to score points is against the very definition of sports themselves.