So, that’s all the scuttlebutt today about the Saints “running up the score” on the Falcons to make sure Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s passing record.
Bah, I say. Bah!
If Brees spots an injured corner back during a game and throws repeatedly at whoever that poor bastard is covering all you’ll hear is how the NFL is a merciless league that will exploit any weakness to win. But, somehow that’s okay because it’s not at the end of the game, unless it is, at which point it’s still okay. The same thing goes for exploiting the inexperience of rookies. This is perfectly fine because it’s part of the game and not in the invisible book full of unwritten rules.
I hate losing. A lot. I hate feeling picked on. I hate that sense of unfairness. I understand that teams don’t like to lose, which is why the only way to not feel like that is to win. If you can’t win, get better and win next time. Every week in the NFL teams win that have no business winning against a superior opponent. But apparently there are unwritten rules that say there is a line you shouldn’t cross in certain games and in certain situations and in certain phases of the moon. Of course these unwritten rules don’t say where that line is or what the punishment is for crossing said line. Maybe it’s just that reporters write silly articles about the breaking of a rule that isn’t really a rule? Or, you know, we could just ignore them and play the game with the actual rules on the books.
There is another reason this unwritten rule is absolutely stupid, it says that a team shouldn’t try their hardest or play their best to accommodate the ineptitude of the other team. If you can’t hang with the Saints, maybe you shouldn’t be in the NFL. The Rams didn’t have any problem beating them this season. They didn’t need any unwritten rule, nor did the Bucs. One could argue that it is poor sportsmanship. I would be more willing to entertain this argument if the NFL wasn’t a business first and a sport second. A team is a business and a business needs to do what it needs to do within the actual rules of the game to be their best. Also, there are already a number of actual rules about being poor sports.
It’s not like Atlanta is publicly whining about this either. They’re playing the PR game like it’s supposed to be played, mostly. Their coach is letting it leak that he was angry. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Don’t lose. If you want a rule, make a it a rule. Don’t play this secret rule nonsense because it makes you sound silly and naive.
This only applies to unwritten NFL rules though, all the unwritten rules in baseball are sacrosanct.