Angels shortstop Erick Aybar egregiously violated one of baseball's most hallowed "unwritten rules" over the weekend -- he tried to help his team win a ballgame during a pennant race.
Yes, please take a moment to let that sink in. Aybar tried to help his team win a game and now he's a heel on par with some of the world's notorious villains like John Cena.
For those of you who missed it, Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning Sunday. Apparently baseball's "unwritten rules" say that you are supposed to lay down in this situation -- winning be damned. Aybar refused, put down a bunt, and Verlander fielded the ball and threw it into right field (as I mentioned last night, I feel that was on purpose) to preserve the no-no.
Verlander was eventually pulled from the game, was caught threatening Aybar with violence on camera and called the whole thing "bush league."
And that got me thinking, baseball is cool because of all the unwritten rules and we need the same in the NFL. So here are six unwritten rules of the NFL. They are written right now, but after that must remain unwritten.
And without further ado ...
6. Sack the dance
There are certain times when breaking out into dance is appropriate -- like musicals. I don't want to take the fun out of the game and completely outlaw celebrations, but at least have your head in the game. Score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl? Dance. You stop a running back for a three-yard gain while your team is down by 40, walk back to the huddle and keep your yap shut.
5. Don't sign with your rival
When San Diego parted company with Junior Seau in 2003, most Chargers fans were supportive and had this message -- sign with anybody, just not the Raiders. Listen, this is the revenue-sharing NFL, not baseball. You can make as much money in Jacksonville as you can in New York, so do the right thing and be judicious with the teams that you choose. The only acceptable situation was Marcus Allen signing with the Chiefs, because Al Davis deserved that.
4. Only go to the concession stand in the final five minutes of the third quarter if you're buying beer
Those concession stand operators end alcohol sales at the end of the third quarter, and there is nothing more frustrating than waiting in line while somebody hems-and-haws between nachos or pretzels with the clock winding down. If you aren't purchasing beer, hold your peanut sale until the fourth quarter. Maybe players should enact a "faking an injury" unwritten rule just before the end of the third quarter -- you know, as a show of solidarity.
3. Make your tattoo meaningful
You probably cannot see it, but I have a tattoo that says, "God Bless the U.S. Postal Service." And it's cool because it's meaningful to me. Too many guys have needless tattoos that don't mean anything. Isn't that right Rex Ryan? Unless that is a tribal sign for "God bless feet," just what are you trying to say here?
2. Make prime time meaningful
Each NFL season should begin with the second-half slate of prime time games being TBA. And then those matchups get set each week with the most meaningful games. Now, there are some logistics and wrangling that the fans don't know about, but guess what -- the fans don't give a (expletive). We want to see the best games at the best times. After this summer, maybe the fans should be catered to.
1. End the bromance
Attending an NFL game is not cheap when you consider, parking, tickets and refreshments. Even people who consider $90 million a pay cut find that expensive. So please, NFL players, can you at least pretend that you lost that huge game against your division rival and not play grab (behind) with the other team? Like remember when LaDainian Tomlinson started a fight with the Patriots after a playoff loss? More of that, and less of this cordial handshake stuff after the game.