Does The NFL Have Unwritten Rules?
Does The NFL Have Unwritten Rules? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
It would appear Major League Baseball does not hold a monopoly on unwritten rules after Sunday’s field goal by the Cincinnati Bengals ended a shutout bid with just seconds left in the game. The enforcer of the unwritten rule book was Baltimore’s “Wink” Martindale, who called out the Bengals from the Ravens sidelines and warned their actions would be remembered when the two AFC North rivals met again later in the season. Does the NFL also need to state their unwritten rules so things like this don’t happen in the future?
Just as in baseball it’s considered bad form to try and bunt for a hit against a pitcher throwing a no-hitter, so in the eyes of Don “Wink” Martindale it is in poor taste to kick a field goal in the final minute of a game to break up a shutout. History does stand on the side of the 57-year-old Ravens’ defensive coordinator since when Cincinnati kicked their field goal to make the final score 27-3 on Sunday, it was only the fifth time in the last half century that a team ended a shutout in the final sixty seconds of the game with three points.
Martindale was asked what he screamed across the field after the kick was made and his defense loss their shutout, “” he told ESPN. Martindale did not explain who “he” was, but television camera could see how irate he was at the Bengals sidelines. Many feel his anger was directed at Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor.
This appears to be a reason for one NFL team to get fired up and complain about one of the division rivals, and for that team to keep their team on edge despite dominating a game from start to finish. While it might be less than ideal for the Bengals to have kicked a field goal in that spot on Sunday, they are a young team and Zac Taylor probably deemed it important enough to have his team put points on the board in that spot just to give his offense something positive to have in their minds after an otherwise poor showing against a solid defense.
It is possible the Week 17 matchup between the Bengals and Ravens won’t mean much in the standings, so perhaps, Martindale was keeping this chip in his back pocket for later on when he knew it might be tough to get his Baltimore defense to focus on playing Cincinnati with the playoff on the horizon. Regardless of his motivation, it appears that the NFL officially has a list of unofficial rules in their unwritten rule book with the first chapter written by a man with a nickname of a old game show host, which, in the grand scheme of things is probably appropriate. Because just like when the original Wink hosted Tic-Tac-Dough, some players go for the win, while others are playing for the block, and this week the Bengals blocked a shutout by the Ravens.
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