Sports can be good and fun, but sports can also be terrible and insufferable. Let's be miserable together and focus on the latter for a second here.
"Unwritten rules" become established naturally in sports over time. They're not officially in the rulebook (hence "unwritten") but they're guidelines that are acknowledged and followed by most around the sport regardless.
Some of them are fine and serve a noble purpose, but far too many are lame and estabish more limitations than are needed.
So, what's the very worst one from each major sport? Let's examine.
Baseball - Don't show up the pitcher/batter
Baseball is a sport that's very, very adamant about "respecting the game" and sometimes it gets to the point where it's insufferable.
It's a sport that relies so heavily on one-to-one matchups - with strategy and skill both playing a huge part - that players should get to celebrate freely when they outduel their opponent.
Hitters should bat flip and stare down their big homers. Pitchers should fist pump and get emotional after big strikeouts. It's more entertaining and makes the atmosphere more competitive.
If you're a player who doesn't want to be disrespected or have your feelings hurt, win the battle. Otherwise, suck it up and take the L.
Getty ImagesTom Szczerbowski
Basketball - Dribble out the clock with a lead
You know what's pretty boring? Watching a player dribble in place for the final 20 seconds of a basketball game out of respect for a bunch of losers.
You know what's not boring? Watching a basketball player throw down a vicious slam or throw up a long-distance bomb to put an exclamation point on a victory.
It doesn't happen too often but it's hilarious to see how upset opponents get when a player goes for a basket with a comfortable lead on the final possession.
Football - Don't go for it on 4th down with a lead
Two things that are generally frowned upon when you've got a decent lead in a football game are going for two-point conversions and going for it on fourth down.
The latter is more confusing, though, because if you believe you have a good chance to keep possession of the ball by going for it on fourth down, why wouldn't you?
Some may say it's disrespectful to go for it on fourth down while leading, but is it more disrespectful than purposefully giving the ball back to your opponent because you think you're going to win anyway?
If you think you can get the first down, keep the ball as long as you can and don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings. As we saw in this year's Super Bowl, no lead is big enough.
Winslow TownsonWinslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Golf - Don't walk in someone's line on the green
Can stepping in a player's line be an inconvenience and an annoyance? Sure.
Should you avoid it if you can? Probably, but let's not act like it's some unforgivable sin that totally screws up a player's chances of making a putt.
Unless you're playing one of the first rounds on the course that day, there's a good chance people have been stomping all over the green all day anyway. One additional step isn't going to do much.
Plus, we all knew you weren't going to make that putt anyway.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Hockey - Don't step on the logo
Many hockey logos are considered sacred and should never be sullied. Stepping on a logo is considered a sign of disrespect, so that's why NHL teams avoid putting it on the floor.
Just kidding, most teams love slapping their emblem on a carpet and then crying foul whenever someone steps on it.
A reasonable mind says they should take the logo off the floor and put it on the ceiling or the walls where it would be much more difficult to step on.
However, my brilliant mind says leave it on the floor, but surround it with trap doors or hot coals. That'll show those lowly traitors.
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Racing - Letting drivers race to the line after a crash
Understandably, NASCAR does everything it can to finish every race under green-flag conditions, but if there’s a bad crash on the final lap, it’s a judgment call as to whether NASCAR officials throw the yellow or let drivers keep racing to the checkered flag.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.
And that can leave fans confused as to why the yellow came out or why it didn’t.
It also gives fans fodder to fuel their conspiracy theories about NASCAR playing favorites depending on which driver(s) benefitted from the outcome and which didn’t.
-- Tom Jensen
Stephen R. SylvanieStephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp
Soccer - Don't celebrate after scoring against a former club
When you play for a soccer club, you are bound to that team for life and are never allowed to wish for anything bad to happen against them ever. Even after they're done with you and sell you to another club.
Those are the rules, according to law of celebration around the game. Players are encouraged not to celebrate when they score against a former team, regardless of the circumstances.
I understand showing appreciation for a past relationship, but as soon as you join a new club, your only allegiance is to that team. Stop living in the past and celebrate every goal like it's your last.
Real MadridReal Madrid via Getty Images
UFC - Don't talk about what happens in training
Training is like the Fight Club of UFC/MMA guidelines. The first rule is you do not talk about what happens behind closed doors.
Of course, training and sparring victories doesn't count on the books so it's pretty pointless to boast about, but fighters have been criticized heavily for even bringing up their training work with another fighter.
The code says combatants aren't supposed to talk about what happens in the practice room, but sometimes what happens in practice shines a brighter light on the fights that count.