Don't take a knee, take a seat

Jake Tapley

I’m tired of stupid sports rules. It seems that in every major American sport there has to be some rule that allows one team to employ a strategy that instantly makes the game unfair for the other team.

Since the Super Bowl is coming up, I’ll focus on football.

At the end of the 49ers-Falcons game the other day, with a minute left, the 49ers decided that, in order to ensure they maintain possession of the ball, they should kneel. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of kneeling, allow me to elaborate.

Kneeling occurs when the ball is hiked to the quarterback, and the quarterback instantly takes a knee. This allows for two things to occur: the play to end and the clock to run.

So, obviously, this is the play you would want to do at the end of the game whenever you’re winning. Because, you know, just being skilled enough to execute plays for one more minute is asking too much.

I mean, you don’t want the other team to have any chance of getting the ball. If they get the ball, they might actually prove that they’re the better team or something.

A very similar (but not quite as ridiculous) strategy is executed in sports such as basketball, soccer, and hockey. The winning team in each of these sports often decides that, instead of being professional athletes, they would much rather return to their youth – the days of keep-away.

Do you remember keep-away? It was the game where the goal was to simply maintain possession of a ball. Because apparently, playing games that actually required skill got super boring.

I don’t know about you, but watching a bunch of grown men basically partake in a children’s game isn’t my idea of entertainment.

In baseball, they have the wonderfully idiotic concept of intentional walking. This is something you do when the batter has been better at hitting than you have been at pitching. Honestly, it sounds like something a kid would think of when they were losing to bend the rules in his or her favor.

Now, I understand the logic behind all of these rules. I know why teams are doing what they are doing. However, I think these strategies go against the nature of sports, which encourages fairness, equal opportunity and sportsmanship.

And is winning really more important than having integrity?