The 49ers have encountered some strange unwritten rules over their years, and there are some they’d probably want to do without.
The San Francisco 49ers aren’t necessarily pioneers in changing the rules on a year-to-year basis around the league. Other teams have proposed rule changes, and the Niners might be privvy to the idea of some tweaks and modifications here and there. And it doesn’t take long to think of changes the league could potentially adopt at some point in the near future.
Case in point, how about kickoffs and extra-point attempts? The league has talked about shaking things up in this area of special teams to make each and every play more exciting. Overtime can get confusing, too. There haven’t been any shortages of suggested changes to the league’s extra frame either.
What about the rules describing a catch or pass interference? In the days before instant replay, it seemed as if this rule was a lot more understandable. If it looked like a catch to an official, it was likely a catch.
But these rules are all written down and described in the NFL rulebook. Sure, it’s OK to debate them all the time and then speculate which ones could be changed. Yet what about the league’s unwritten rules?
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. sparked some sports-wide discussion on “unwritten rules” recently, taking a hack on a bases-loaded 3-0 pitch late in a game where the Padres held a huge lead over the Texas Rangers. Tatis connected for a grand slam, which didn’t sit well with the Rangers and prompted some retaliation from Texas in response.
It appeared Tatis broke one of MLB’s unwritten rules, prompting a question whether he should have violated this unspoken act:
Arguing whether or not baseball should adjust this archaic and outdated unofficial rules system is another story for another time. Yet it does prompt the question about the NFL’s own rule system, which does have a direct effect on what the 49ers have dealt with over the years.
So, from San Francisco’s vantage point, should the Niners be questioning some of these unspoken agreements they’ve had to contend with in recent seasons?
Let’s take a look.