The Most Important Unwritten Rules in Sports

Unwritten rules: they’re rules, just not written. They’re sacred, except some people don’t know they exist. They’re tantamount to the integrity of the game, minus the few times when they’re completely overblown and borderline retarded.

These are the ten most important unwritten rules in sports:

10. In hockey, if you’ve slept with the opposing goalie’s wife, don’t say anything to him until the third period, and only then if your team is down a goal. If your team is winning, you can send him a handwritten note after the game.

9. Yeah, baseball is kinda boring sometimes. But if you find yourself on base when there’s a pitching change, don’t use that extra time to practice those sweet riffs on your acoustic guitar. No one wants to hear that.

8. Even if you play for a garbage franchise like the Nuggets and you’re just real hungover, you should still try your best. (Even though your best isn’t that good because, again, you’re on the Nuggets.)

7. When you go on a road swing and step into the visitors’ locker room, be sure to take your shoes off. Show some goddamn respect for once.

6. The most tempting thing to do in a soccer game is to pick the ball up with your hands. But unless you’re the keeper, this is really, really frowned upon.

[Ed. note: this is actually a written rule. The infraction is called a “handball.”]

5. Football is a dangerous game. Regardless, when you’ve got your pads and cleats on, you can feel damn near invincible, like no one, not even a fully trained law enforcement agency could bring you down. Despite that, your peers won’t like it if you try to open a meth lab at midfield.

I’m not saying I completely agree with this, but I’m just the messenger.

4. When an opposing player is shooting free throws in basketball, it’d be pretty easy to go up there and sacktap him. You know it. I know it. But that doesn’t make it right.

3. The net can be a tennis player’s worst enemy. And yes, it does make perfect sense if you’re losing to just cut it down to make things easier. And yes, the Nike slogan is “Just Do It.” Despite all that, you can’t. You just…can’t.

2. We all know the best things in life are free. Still, when you win a World Series, you better expect that a hefty portion of your playoff bonus is going to Uncle Sam, buster. If you want to commit tax fraud, go play lacrosse.

1. If you’re playing football, you know the long-term physical and mental repercussions of the game. And so does your man matched up across the line. But if you’re winning big in the 4th quarter, it is super not cool to wait until after the play’s over and help him off the ground and dust him off and then subtly whisper in his ear to remind him that he’s sacrificing his whole present and future and really the best years of his life if we’re being totally honest just so the Raiders can go 4-12.

That’s called running up the score.


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