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The Pettiness Of Professional Sports Is Ruining The Game

October 28, 2010 1 comment

Upside down headband - what a rebel

I just read an article by Kelly Dwyer about the NBA “cracking down” (I use quotes because the situation is so stupid and laughable that cracking down is almost too extreme) on upside down headbands of all things. Yes, wearing one’s headband upside down is now something the NBA is outlawing. I have struggled to tolerate the power trips that the head offices of both the NBA and NFL but this might be pushing things over the top. Here’s a list of things that are now not allowed based on recent “infractions” (yes, they get fairly specific):

– No upside down headbands in the NBA

– Two players cannot do DIFFERENT hand signals to the crowd after a touchdown is scored (watch the video, Sam Hurd does the hand signal for “I love you” in sign language)…Miles Austin jumping over Williams was not penalized. 

– The new rules on technicals the NBA thinks, or thought, would be a good idea are allowing officials to “award” technicals to players who calmly ask why a call was made, or demonstrate disagreement in the form of raised arms..

– You cannot, for any reason, make Tom Brady feel like he’s actually playing a football game and might get tackled, if you do you WILL be penalized: 

– The new rules on devastating hits in the NFL now will suspend players for any hit “deemed” flagrant (see: too hard of a hit).

Both leagues have different motives behind the regulations it seems: The NBA is restricting players so that they are more uniform and lessen the complaining of the game. I understand the uniformity to a degree, but upside down headbands? All “disrespect” for David West aside (he’s the guy in the NBA logo if you didn’t know), does anyone really care? For Rajon Rondo it’s a superstition thing…and superstition plays an immeasurable role in sports. If you’re an athlete you have rituals, it’s just how it is. With the rules for dishing out technicals I only see the game being slowed down and the passion of the game being deflated. Sports require adrenaline and passion and if you are telling players that they have to just accept any calls regardless of the legitimacy of it…it means a lot more pent up anger. Chill out NBA, disagreement is part of the game. Why don’ t you tell fans they aren’t allowed to boo calls anymore, or they will be ushered out.

The NFL is cutting back on touchdown celebrations why? Saying that more than one person can’t participate in a touchdown celebration is telling players, fans, and teams that it is NOT a team effort to score a touchdown. I understand that the league doesn’t want excessive celebration…but 30 year old players aren’t going to have their feelings hurt by a couple players getting excited for scoring a touchdown. Calm down NFL, it’s not a big deal. Let two players throw up hand signals to the crowd, let a cumbersome offensive lineman hit the ground during a celebration by accident without drawing a penalty…I mean, c’mon. Nobody is getting hurt here. However, the new rules on devastating hits does address people getting hurt, but putting in a new rule that has no truly defined definition means refs have to judge yet another aspect of the game in order to assess a penalty or not. When has this ever worked out before without extreme controversy? Define it: helmet to helmet hits result in suspensions, regular (but devastating) collisions do not. When receivers go across the middle for a pass (like DeSean Jackson a couple weeks ago) a defender is going to hit them, hard. The hit that knocked Jackson out of the game and the game after was completely legal, just difficult to watch. Players being told they can’t hit people are going to freeze up to think about what to do…should players going up for a ball be allowed to catch it from now on, then wrapped up nice and softly and placed on the ground? No, defenders should be allowed to hit them hard to prevent them from catching the ball.

I think that these new rules, even with good intentions behind them…are completely ridiculous and need to be changed. The players play this game voluntarily and they are choosing to play violent, passionate games. Let them play.

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