Imagine being an athlete, playing the sport you love. One day you score a goal, a basket, or a homer, you celebrate a little and they penalize you for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sounds silly right? You just did a little something that you've always done, for your entire athletic career when you get those points to help your team out.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, unsportsmanlike conduct is when a play is "not fair, respectful, and polite toward other players when participating in a sport : not sportsmanlike".
Me thinking about this all started while I was watching the Pats vs. Bengals game. Some of the actions and reactions in that game were crazy. The Bengals seem to have a lot of tension and frustration under those helmets and pads of theirs. If I could sense the tension through a television screen, then I'm sure the home team could too.
With that being said, it looked like the Bengals were taking some of their frustration out on the field and using it to play the game. If they would have approached that the right way then they could have done so well and possibly scored more than they did. But instead they allowed the negative energy get to the better of them. They taunted the Pats, and we taunted them right back, leading us to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for Gronk.
Then, I'm watching the Giants vs. Ravens game and there goes Beckham Jr. running down the field with no one being bale to catch him. He had four of the defensive players chasing him, two of them stopped in their tracks because they realized it was pointless chasing someone they weren't going to be able to tackle. Beckham scores the touchdown, takes his helmet off and runs back to his team and coach on the sidelines. Can we all agree that we would all celebrate after scoring a touchdown with a rush like that? I think I might go a little crazy with all of that adrenaline rushing through my body. Well, if you didn't catch that game I'm telling you don't celebrate like that because you're might be flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct.
I found it so remarkable that I witnessed two different players during two different games be flagged with the same thing. So I decide to look up how many times the NFL has pinned someone with unsportsmanlike conduct for this season and I was amazed with how many there have been already and we're only six weeks into the season. When did the refs start throwing those out like they were on a float throwing candy to little kids watching the holiday parade?
Although, it's not like we can really blame the refs. The refs aren't the ones making all of the rules. Even if the refs were making the rules, how difficult is it to act like a gentleman and not gloat about something the you achieved for the team? The men playing the game really do need to start thinking about their actions and how it might end up negatively effecting their team or their personal image.