Trick plays: No honor among athletes
In sports, there is an unspoken agreement between the coaches, the athletes and the opposing teams. Everyone is expected to follow the rules to ensure a fair game. There is nothing people hate more in sports than a cheater. Even those who bend the rules are viewed as underhanded and downright villainous.
Trick plays have recently been trending and gaining momentum in the sporting world. Instead of good, old-fashioned technique and hard work, trick plays often use deception and unusual tactics to achieve victory.
The tricky thing about trick plays is that they operate within the rules. The referee might be confused about what they saw, but they cannot penalize a player as long as the play adheres to the rule book, no matter how unorthodox it might seem.
When you use a trick play, you are communicating to the other team that we cannot beat you without this extra tool. Our team needs to utilize deception to score points or secure a win.
However, sports are opportunistic by nature. Competitors face off against each other in search of victory by any means necessary. As an athlete, your training should prepare you for any situation during competition.
If you are foolish enough to be preyed upon by such an outlandish ruse, then you are not ready to be a champion; you are ready for the bench.
Trick plays are a clear sign of disrespect between opposing teams. If you are up by 20 points and then proceed to run every play from the obscure pages in your playbook, that is an insult.
You are trying to make a statement or assert your dominance over the other team by humiliating them. That is similar to the statement Santa Monica College made against Los Angeles Pierce College on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The Corsairs, who were in search of their third straight conference victory, were willing to do anything to achieve the coveted three peat.
In the fourth quarter of that game, SMC ran a play called "soft serve." The quarterback dropped back, faked a pass, and then lobbed the ball out to an offensive tackle, who then threw a bomb into the end zone for a waiting receiver.
The play baffled the defense and clinched the Corsairs’ third straight conference title. SMC won by any means necessary. They were already up by 10 points in the fourth quarter, and there was no need to run the trick play.
Yes, the game was crucial to the season and the team's reputation, but winning with "soft serve" was not how I would want my team to be remembered.
As a consumer, a viewer and a fan of sports, tricks plays are great, entertaining and create innovation within the respective sport.
As an athlete, they are the most frustrating thing to compete against, just shy of a crooked referee. You are expecting each team to play within a certain style.
Trick plays denote intelligent coaching and play calling, but also sinister game play. Trick plays are not illegal, and find a niche by utilizing opportunities with creativity.
If you are a true champion, you don't need trick plays to win. Your training, technique and teammates should be able to get you through any battle.