There are certain customs, protocols and acts of civility expected in every day life. The problem is when everyone doesn’t play with the same expectations and beliefs.

In sports, certain things have been expected for many years. In soccer, when a player is injured, the player with the ball has typically kicked the ball out of bounds to stop play and allow the injured player to be helped. The team that then gets the throw in has typically thrown the ball back to the team who had possession and then play resumes. The problem is when one team doesn’t play by the same rules. This loss of possession could impact the game if one team is expecting to return the ball and the other team isn’t on the same page.

In football when the game is almost over and the team with the ball is winning and just going to run out the clock, it’s typical for the offensive team to go into “victory formation” and for the quarterback to receive the ball and drop to his knees, ending the play and keeping the clock going to the end. The defensive team relaxes and the clock runs out. This also can be done at the end of the first half. A few years ago the coach of the Tampa Back Buccaneers was heavily criticized for having his team attack defensively when the opponent was trying to take a knee. The belief was his was unsporting put players unnecessarily at risk. The other day Western Kentucky University was in a formation to take a knee right before halftime but they faked it and ran a trick play for a big gain. I didn’t hear any complaints about this type of trickery (not that I was paying a whole lot of attention) but this seemed to be extremely unsporting. They took advantage of the other team reacting to a certain situation based on civility and protocol and in doing so, I would hope they would realize that the next time they want to run out the clock and take that formation, the opponent will most likely hit them with everything they have. Once the civility has been abused, they can never expect it again.

I realize sports, and life, can be very competitive but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also do the right things.

Just a thought.

Have a great day!