“Rules are made to be broken,””It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” and “I fought the law but the law won,” are cliches we’ve all heard before. Most “rules” that we have to follow are set by the people at the top, are objectively understandable, and easy to follow if you have just a little common sense. Don’t talk back to your parents, listen to your teachers, and turn off your phone in a movie theater are such examples. Every single one of us has broken the rules and been grounded or faced the consequences.
But every once in a while, even these days in 2017 when society continuously loosens its grip on formality, someone comes along that has to have things their way. Does the tail wag the dog or the dog wag the tail? Do owners make rules because athletes can’t refrain from doing the absurd, or do they make them to show they can and flex their muscles. It would be a much more pleasant world if we all just followed most of the rules.
Just like in society, in the Bigs the long arm of the law can get you. If you mess with the man then the man goes after you. There ain’t no messing around and the dog catches his tail. First, it usually comes down in the form of fines that pile up and are paid. Many of them completely make sense, some rules are kinda odd though and don’t make any sense. Some evolve around obsessions, and others keep everything in working order. Many of these rules are along those lines and serve a purpose, whether it be emotionally or logically.
So you tell me… which ones would you break and which would you take.
15. NBA Dress Code
The league’s image was in bad shape following the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons brawl in 2004. Players were creating a longer, deeper chasm between themselves and the rest of the world. The powers that be saw it and tried to get some control and draw the line. The new guard, led by Allen Iverson, Latrell Sprewell, and others accentuated the look of hip hop into the league. But then the NBA said players could no longer “sport” jerseys, hats, do-rags, and the other styles associated with “rap.” And what do you know, players are digging the new policy as a positive change. The players brought a unique style and fashion in their own right. They look sleek, cool, sharp, and professional. Even the guys who wore bright, loud, or contrasting colors showed character. The owners now need to focus on educating these guys with their money, eliminate the fake 3 point play, and the fouling at the end of games.
14. Mattingly’s Facial Hair Rule
As a player, Don Mattingly was a hitter with a sweet cut, made contact, and could provide average and a little pop. As a manager, the jury is still out because he hasn’t won in the postseason but he did have 5 straight winning seasons. As a member of the New York Yankees he sported a mustache and long, curly hair, but now with the Miami Marlins, he announced that his players can’t have facial hair.
Fortunately, the Marlins lifted this rule prior to the 2017 season, as Mattingly realized how pointless the rule was: “We talked about it throughout the course of the season,” the he said. “Last year, for me, was a new situation, and I kind of wanted to make sure the team was put first. It was more of a team approach to the game and it wasn’t going to be about personal things — creating an atmosphere around team.
13. The Flush Rule
So an NHL team has a rule that players have to flush the toilet! The “anonymous” player and team outta tell the league so everyone follows order. By not flushing, a player can be fined $500 which is a stiff penalty. If you’ve never been in a rinks restroom consider yourself fortunate and if you have then you know how nasty they are. To me, the sweaty, moldy smell of equipment is actually a great smell and so is the shockingly clear odor of fresh cut ice. But after that, the last thing a rink needs is any extra odors. If you don’t flush, pay up. Obviously it’s only right for players to flush, but we’re just surprised they actually had to put this rule in writing. Who was the person that caused them to put it in writing?!
12. Wimbledon’s White Attire Policy
If you think Wimbledon has an air of elitism then look no further than all the rules it has. The prestigious tourney dates back to 1800s and is either classy or snobby. There is no in between, and to me its dress code also dates back to the 1800s. One rule says, “Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court…” That is kinda ridiculous, especially today and the evolving styles of the sport.
If golf can loosen its code then why can’t tennis? But Wimbledon also goes onto specify the difference between white and cream. They also believe “shorts, skirts and tracksuit bottoms must be totally white except for a single trim of color down the outside seam no wider than one centimetre (10mm).” Wow. They’re measuring the stripes. I wonder how closely they check? Test it.
12. Ohio State Players Can’t Say “Michigan
Who would have ever guessed that writing this article would have taken the Ohio State Buckeyes off my “hate” list. As a Wolverine fan, it’s pretty simple. However, when Woody Hayes in the 1970s, would punish players for saying their name, the Buckeyes called the Wolverines “that team up north.” The current man in charge at OSU, Urban Meyer, also follows the rule. Gotta love when coaches push the envelope. As a side note, does anyone remember that great ESPN commercial where two college students were gushing and kissing on the couch. One was was wearing the scarlet and gray, the other the maize and gold, and they were in love. It was almost enough to make me throw up.
11. DeAngelo Williams Can Only Honor Breast Cancer Victims When The NFL Says So
DeAngelo Williams is one of those good guys. He’s a teammate who practices hard, plays hard, and understands his role. In 2014, his mom died of breast cancer and he wanted to wear pink cleats or wrist bands for the entire season. But the NFL, which brings awareness to Breast Cancer for four games and a quarter of the season, said “No.” Williams received a call by NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent that there are no exceptions to the uniform policy. And these are the “powers that be” who FORCE players to wear those HORRIBLE color rush jerseys? That is ridiculous. Thursday Night Football is unwatchable because the horrendous uniforms are nauseating and kill the eyes. Williams dyed the tips of his hair pink instead and I would have written a letter to my congressman to protest.
10. Torts’s Law
I guess I’m a little insane if I agree with John Tortorella who is now the coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. From 2009- 2013, he coached the New York Rangers. During his tenure, no player was allowed to walk or skate across the team’s logo without serious repercussions. You know what coach, I got you. It’s like pitchers stepping on the baseline, or when Terrell Owens charged the Cowboys’ star at the 50 yd line. A home team must have a backbone and dignity. Even if it’s only mental, it shows respect for history and tradition. I’m all for it Torts. Good rule. Make those players go out of their self righteous way and step around the logo. I wouldn’t want to be that player who steps on the logo in front of Torts.
9. Cameron Heyward Can’t Honor His Father
I don’t get the NFL. They make teams wear unwearable color rush unis, 3rd jerseys, and pants. But when guys want to wear pink or honor a fallen player or family member, they can’t. Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward was fined for wearing eye black with his father’s football given nickname. Unbelievable. Cameron’s dad, running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was a fan favorite, a class act, and a guy who was revered around the league. He died from cancer in 2006. Heyward had the words “Iron” and “Head” sketched out in the black paint under his eyes, so tiny like a keyboard letter, and for his gesture, he was almost $6,000 lighter. The NFL has got to get a life.
8. Von Miller And The Denver Broncos Can’t Pass Gas
You gotta love when a guy like Von dedicates himself to be the best and just keeps trying and fighting to get better. The Denver Broncos certainly have a winner here, and the Pro Baller and Super Bowl MVP is a star. Not only is he a team leader on the field but off the field too, though maybe not in the way many people think. The Broncos, and any one who has ever played or coached, knows that having control over a room of athletes ain’t easy. The last thing anyone needs is a distraction, and especially one that lingers like the dreaded fart.
The Broncos made it clear that passing gas in meetings would not be tolerated and started issuing fines. Miller, so they say, is the team leader in that department as well. Personally, I love this rule. Fine everyone, including spouses, who pass gas and ruins perfect silence, peacefulness, and concentration.
7. Adam LaRoche Can’t Bring His Boy To Work
This is a tough one, and I gotta say I side with management. Chicago White Sox first baseman, Adam LaRoche, was allowing his 14-year-old boy, Drake, to be a part of Chicago’s clubhouse. When ex-vice president Ken Williams tried to put the kibosh on it, Adam was so upset he threatened to walk away from the $13 million due in the final year of his contract. Cooler heads prevailed as manager Robin Ventura intervened, but come on Adam. I love taking my son to work, but you gotta know when enough is enough. It’s too much pressure on a team and it’s not fair for the kid either. Guys have problems, talking or shouting is healthy, and there is no way a group of professionals can bond or grow with a kid around. Not only that, but the boy needs school, a playground, and friends his own age.
6. The New York Yankees’ Policy On Hair
In 1973, George Steinbrenner didn’t like seeing his beloved players in long hair, especially when they stood during the National Anthem. And when he didn’t like something, he made it known that he was going to put an end to it. That’s when he came up with the appearance policy for the Yankees. It stated that “… players, coaches and male executives were forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches (except for religious reasons), and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar. Long sideburns and ‘mutton chops’ are not specifically banned.”
I would LOVE to see Aaron Judge fight this rule. Come on 99, I know he’s got it in him. I bet the Yanks would cave in a heartbeat. Imagine in his next contract if Judge wanted to add a clause that he could wear extensions, a pony tail, or cornrows.
5. Felix Hernandez Has To Avoid Any Non-Pitching Activity That Could Strain His Elbow
It’s not really a rule but more of a clause. In 2013, Felix Hernandez signed a deal with the Seattle Mariners that included a clause to protect the team against the possibility of an elbow injury, and by the looks of his motion, it was a good move. The clause takes effect if he lands on the disabled list for more than 130 consecutive days because of any right elbow procedure. Basically, the clause was an insurance policy but acts like a rule that probably made his home life a little easier. Need a painting hung? Call the carpenter. Gotta leak? Call the plumber. Felix just got out of any household chore that could be dropped on him. In the end, the clause wasn’t needed. However, the 2017 season wasn’t kind to Felix as he played his fewest games, threw his fewest strikeouts, and saw an increase in hits per innings pitched.
4. Dez Bryant Causes The Cowboys To Be Babied By The Team
The Dallas Cowboys have a history of players that enjoy the nightlife and Dez Bryant continues that notoriety. In 2012, the team instituted a no-alcohol, no-strip club policy, as well as a midnight curfew because the boys couldn’t control themselves. Really is unbelievable. Why can’t grown men who make millions of dollars control themselves? I just don’t understand how athletes can memorize hundreds of plays, study hours of film, and recognize every player’s tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. Yet, they do not know when to stop drinking, smoking, speeding, grabbing, hitting, and breaking the law. Insane! Bryant hasn’t caused much trouble in the last few years, so we hope the Cowboys have ease up on this policy, especially when you see how Jerry Jones has behaved around some of the Cowboys’ female employees.
3. Terrance Knighton Better Control His Weight
It seems crazy when human beings can’t stop doing something they know is not good for them and makes them unable to do their job. Furthermore, if an example is staring them in the face of just how dangerous a behavior or life style choice is, how can they ignore it?In 2015, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Terrance Knighton had it all spelled out for him. He was a likeable, effective player but he wasn’t taking care of himself. He weighed over 350 pounds and the team had fined him over $300,000 because he couldn’t control his weight. Even with all the information about excessive eating, with “The Fridge” experiencing multiple problems, “Pot Roast” couldn’t get it together. Sadly, he is currently not on an NFL roster.
2. NHL Teams Must Provide Cab Fare, No Questions Asked
Well, we’re breaking the rules a little here, because this is a rule NHL teams follow, rather than players.
On average, NHL players get less money for meals than NBA, NFL, and MLB players but they still get an extra $104 a day. Talk about a good gig; they get paid triple digits and out of that they don’t have to pay for their own food. OMG is that wrong. But it gets better. The NHL mandates that if a player has been drinking and has a car, the team must reimburse the player for cab fare home. The team can’t ask questions or penalize a player. It really goes to show how regular people have such completely different lives. First, it’s expected that owners pay for their teams’ meals and then, if a player can’t cut themselves off, their ride home is paid for. Wow.
1. Pastagate At Oklahoma
When you hear some rules that are enforced by NCAA programs or schools themselves, you start to wonder what kind of country we’re living in. Back in 2013, a bizarre story hit the wire when it was revealed that three Oklahoma players were outed by their own school to the NCAA for eating more pasta than the school thought was permitted at a graduation banquet. The Sooners self-reported the so-called violation to the NCAA and the players were forced to pay a whole $3.83 each for their extra servings of pasta to charity.
Even the NCAA seemed to believe this was Oklahoma just being ridiculous:
“While we appreciate Oklahoma’s commitment, there are no NCAA rules regarding portion sizes, and any penalties were determined by the university,” NCAA spokeswoman Meghan Durham said.
The Sooners thought the players were in violation because while schools are expected to provide “reasonable refreshments” to student-athlete meetings and celebratory events, there apparently is a limit on what FOOTBALL PLAYERS are allowed to eat.
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