Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unwritten rules are not meant to be broken

Professional sports have rules. There are actual rulebooks that people can look at and physically see the rules. What some people don't know is that there are unwritten rules in sports. They are not made up by the head office or by the commissioner. These rules are made up by the players. If a player happens to break one of these unwritten rules, there are consequences.

For example:
In 2009, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a game winning home run against the San Francisco Giants. After Fielder rounded the bases and touched home plate, all of his teammates (who were waiting for him) fell down like bowling pins as Fielder jumped on home plate. The next time Fielder faced the Giants (which happened to be a few weeks ago in a spring training game), he was immediately plunked in the back with a pitch.

Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalance gave Detroit Red Wing Kris Draper a vicious hit that most people deemed to be "dirty" during a game. The next season, the Red Wings and Avalance were involved in one of the better fights that I have ever seen in the NHL. And yes, Claude Lemieux paid the price in this fight for his dirty hit on Draper the year before (for all you Red Wings fans out there, you can view this clip by clicking on the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3o1o8pky-M.

This past Sunday, Nascar driver Carl Edwards wrecked driver Brad Keselowski as a payback for Keselowski wrecking Edwards earlier in the race and in previous races. Edwards decided to take matters into his own hands and settle his dispute on the track. For this, Edwards has received a three race probation from Nascar.

I know that a lot of people are upset that Edwards didn't get suspended for what he did. After all, he admitted it! I believe that is where Edwards went wrong. He made it publicly known that he was going to wreck Keselowski. In the two examples above, no one came out and said what they were going to do. We all knew that it was going to happen, but nobody came out and said it. If Edwards had kept quiet, not admitted to wrecking Keselowski on purpose, this would not have been a big deal. Edwards was just enforcing an unwritten rule.

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