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CChucksandbaseball

The free-throw line! The goalposts! The Moral Event Horizon! The outfield! The goalposts! SPAAAAAAARE! Oh, but that is not Numberwang! Initiate MULTI-BAAAAALL!

Jason: Joe Montana fades back to pass. He sees Jerry Rice open in the end zone!

Peter: Wrong team. [1]

Jason: He sees Derrick Thomas open in the end zone!

Peter: Wrong position.

Jason: He sees Wayne Gretzky open in the end zone!

Peter: Wrong sport.
"Wayne, going back to the hockey, the build-up to yesterday's match against the USA was amazing. The team played well, it just couldn't get the ball in the net in the end."
Eddie McGuire, as replayed on Media Watch (link). Note that he's talking about ice hockey [2].


Many Sitcoms use the gimmick of the sports episode, usually setting the man up to be humiliated by a woman. When this happens, the writers will use the most basic terminology available, and most of the time not even get that right. Most of the time, the sport is just out of reach of most of the viewing audience, but rest assured that some sports fanatic will find fault with it. The most basic fault is Loophole Abuse using a loophole that's actually closed... the TV says there Aint No Rule, but the Real Life rulebook says there is.

This is especially Egregious[3] when the protagonist is supposed to be a sports writer.

Films usually avoid this trope, as the writers there will generally have plenty of time to research for the script. Television, however, only gets seven to ten days of shooting.

The trope name doesn't actually come from any examples; it's just a great example of a person afflicted with this trope. (For those not in on it: Wayne Gretzky is basically the most famous ice hockey player ever to live... and ice hockey uses a puck, not a ball.)

See also Critical Research Failure. New Rules as the Plot Demands is the version of this trope for games that only exist in the work of fiction. If the news media gets its pop culture wrong, it's Cowboy Bebop at His Computer.

Examples of Gretzky Has the Ball include:


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Okay, so it's a Shonen series and thus we can expect liberties with everything, but the portrayal of American football in Eyeshield 21 is at times just plain wrong. No, you can't grab a blocker's jersey and fling them to the ground; neither can you punch another player, whether it's to block them or to tackle them. Despite handwaving with comments like "American football is a violent sport", the referees should be showing up more than twice in the entire series. Still, it gets the basic rules right, which is more can be said for most examples on this page.
    • The initial punch move is absolutely legal, and every O-lineman uses it as part of their pass blocking repertoire. Although its not really a punch cause the blow is delivered with an open palm..
    • You are actually allowed to throw a blocker to the ground, it is encouraged, but a blocker cannot up and pull you down by grabbing the jersey, regardless of whether they're on offense or defense. Holding against the offense just gets called far more often.
    • It should be noted that while people complain about the series failing to understand the difference between a kickoff and a punt during the bando spiders match, the complainers are the ones who are wrong. In Japanese High School Football, the way the manga describes the rules about the kickoff is actually correct. The roughness about the punching and holding is also more tolerable with the Japanese ruleset, making the series surprisingly accurate.
  • Even more so with The Prince of Tennis, aside from the gravity- and physics-defying shots the characters use.
  • In the American Gag Dub of Digimon Adventure, Tai Kamiya is a soccer player who apparently doesn't play much else. He was rather prone to mixed sporting metaphors, such as "Bases loaded, two outs! And we need a slam dunk!"
  • Code Geass and chess. One game had the white player put his own king in check. Meaning, of course, this guy who claims he's never lost a game of chess to Lelouch doesn't know how to play. And Lelouch doesn't even call him on it. (Granted, he was doing it intentionally just to be an ass, but it forced everyone in the room to forget the entire game just so he could one-up Lelouch.)
    • Lelouch is aware that Schneizel's move is illegal and designed to see if Zero would allow such a move in order to win. Lelouch (and the shocked audience) is not amused.
    • In that game, Lelouch moves his king out early, saying that if the king doesn't lead, the troops won't follow. Fine analogy, but such an incredibly bad chess strategy that it doesn't even fall under "difference of opinion" or "debatable."
  • Captain Tsubasa has a variation: while most of soccer/football's rules are respected, the players make impossible moves, and use strategies that are pathetic for anyone that understands the sport, all in name of the plot. The matches depicted on the show also have muuuuch more goals than real life's scores.
    • But then it comes an episode (in the Road to 2002 series) where the main focus is a referee that was, apparently, being unfair. The episode then takes a while to talk about referee's methods and other stuff... but then you stop to think about it - this is an anime that never gives a damn thing about referees. Characters are constantly getting severely injured in the middle of matches, sometimes in the most blatant ways, and nobody lifts a finger. All for the sake of awesome, sure, but sends the anime squarely into this trope.
    • There are more egregious examples. Sometimes players violently attack players of the opposite team without receiving any kind of punishment or only receiving a yellow-card. Have in mind we are not talking about faking a miscalculation and hitting your opponents on purpose (which happens in real life) but actually kicking them without holding back, sometimes even after being shouted by your coach/team captain/team partners to "break his leg". This in real life not only would get a red card, but it'd get you kicked from Soccer League, and probably get your team punished as well.
  • Parodied in Hayate the Combat Butler with beach volleyball. Hayate is worried because he doesn't know how to play, but Nagi tells him it's okay because the author has no idea either. So obviously, it ends with killer robots.
  • The English dub for the first Project A-ko has one of these. B-Ko is issuing her first challenge, and at the end acts out the sport she uses for the metaphor by appearing in a baseball cap and miming swinging a bat. Understandably, one would think this would be dubbed as 'World Series' for an American viewer. What do they end up using? 'It'll be our own Super Bowl'.
  • The Saki manga had one caused by an artist error: A panel showed Saki with 15 tiles in her hand, which is not legally possible in Mahjong. Strangely enough, the error made its way into the anime adaptation.
    • Crunchyroll's subtitles also demonstrated that the translators apparently didn't know how to play Mahjong, at least not the Riichi variant used in the series. The translation notes in the first episode alone had:
      • An incorrect definition of yaku as "special hands that are worth 1 fan [sic] (point doubling) each". Correct definition: Yaku are hand patterns each worth 1 or more han (fan is the Chinese term used in other variants).
      • "The player sitting east gets double points and pays double points." The East seat player actually gets 1.5x the points if they win the hand, and pays double if and only if someone else wins via tsumo (drawing the final tile themselves, as opposed to taking someone else's discard).
      • For some crazy reason, the subtitles had mixed not only romanized Japanese and English translations for Mahjong terms, but some terms were translated into their Chinese word origins and then romanized. Sometimes all in the same line, for example "all simples pinfu mixed triple chow."
  • Mio in Nichijou is completely incapable of anything else. A montage shows that every time she ever tries to play an organized sport or just a game with rules, she'll do something completely contrary to the rules of the game. When trying to perform a simple high jump, she keeps jumping under the bar, into the bar, or into her best friend.
    • An earlier episode also shows Robot Girl Nano and the eight year old Professor who made her playing baseball while clearly having no idea how the game is played.
  • In an episode of Squid Girl, Ika plays soccer with some of Takeru's schoolmates. However, she has no idea how to play, and violates a lot of the rules, which the boys on both teams call her out on, such as using her tentacles, which totally aren't her hands, to get the soccer ball into the goal post, even though to the kids it looked like she held the ball in her hands. When she tries just using her feet, she's completely terrible to the point that the both teams collude to help her score at least one goal.


Comic Books Edit

  • A recent Spider-Man comic used this as part of Spot the Impostor involving Barack Obama, of all people. It all starts with trouble at the Presidential Inauguration -- namely, two Obamas showing up, each claiming to be the real one. Spidey swings in and points out that Obama played basketball in college, leading to a Secret Service agent suggesting a three-point shootout to determine the real president. The fake Obama the Chameleon in disguise begins sweating and stammers something like "even if we did find a basketball field, where will we find an umpire at this hour?" Sadly, this means that the world's first three-point shootout between a supervillain and a U.S. president has yet to happen.
  • An Archie comics story involves a new kid in town coming out of nowhere to become the star player on Riverdale's baseball team, playing shortstop. His leg is then badly injured when a player on a rival team spikes him, but he reinvents himself as an ace pitcher and leads Riverdale to the championship. It would be a great story if it wasn't utter bullcrap. As anyone who's ever pitched at any level could tell you, it is impossible to pitch on an injured leg, at least with any degree of competency. Pitching is not simply about throwing a ball; pitchers generate power from their legs and put a great deal of stress and weight on them when pitching. If you try to pitch on a bad leg, not only will you have difficulty controlling your pitches, it's a good bet you'll injure your arm also.
    • In one issue, the Riverdale team shows up to a football game, and the rival team is female. One Curb Stomp Battle later, Archie and Reggie are moping around, depressed, when Betty and Veronica ask to be shown how to "shoot baskets with this horse hide"[a football]. Reggie and Archie walk off with the girls in hand, going "When will you learn football is a man's game!" The girls wink at each other.
    • In another issue where Betty becomes a race car driver, the flag bearer at the racetrack waves a checkered flag at the start of her first race. The checkered flag is supposed to signal the end of a race.
  • During the Flashpoint event, the Hall of Doom flying super-prison just misses crashing into Joe Louis Arena during a Red Wings game. An establishing panel shows the ice level, where each team has eight men on the ice, nobody's wearing a helmet, the goaltenders don't look like goaltenders, and there are no officials visible.


Film Edit

  • The 1993 movie Rookie of the Year involves a 12-year-old boy making the major leagues due to a freak arm injury that allows him to throw 100+ MPH. In real life, sixteen is the minimum allowed age for a major leaguer (although certain circumstances once caused this to be overlooked). Obviously, this was a liberty that needed to be taken, or it wouldn't be much of a movie.
    • Of course, there were a few more liberties. First, when Henry throws the ball all the way back to home plate after the visitor hits a homer, everyone acts as if it's a live ball (it isn't). Second, it's unlikely that Little League Baseball would allow a now-professional player back into their league, even if he still meets the age requirement. Weirdly, however, Henry's last pitch, an underhand "floater", is permitted in Major League Baseball (although underhanders are rare, and sidearmers and submarine pitchers are uncommon, since a pitcher can get more velocity throwing overhand.)
      • The other plays he uses in the 9th are illegal; the pitcher can't be on the pitching rubber during a hidden-ball trick attempt (and play is not resumed from a timeout until the pitcher is on the rubber with the ball) and Henry's Nobody Calls Me Chicken gambit with the runner would not have taken place, as the ump would have called for time as soon as he left the pitching rubber.
    • Rather early in the film, Henry is testing his throwing accuracy, and he does the whole fake announcer narration bit, fabricating a scenario for himself. The scenario involves, among other things, a full count. Once he throws the ball and hits his target, he triumphantly shouts, "Strike one!"
  • Similarly, the 1994 movie Little Big League involves a 12-year-old boy who inherits ownership of a major league baseball team, and appoints himself manager. Even if the age issue could be overlooked (the team would probably be held in trust until he comes of age), while it once was common for major league managers like Connie Mack be owners as well, Major League Baseball has forbidden it since Ted Turner tried to appoint himself manager of the Atlanta Braves in 1977.
  • The Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard features a play at the end of the first half which starts with several seconds left on the clock. The announcers and players treat it as though the touchdown must be scored before the clock goes to triple zeroes. In real life, all that is required is for the play to begin before 0:00. Made especially baffling when you know that ESPN's Chris Berman is serving as one of the announcers.
  • Golf movie climaxes almost always involve the "golden rule of golf": Play the ball as it lies. This is customarily presented as an immutable law of physics, even when such a play would make a golfer's body contort in ways that would make a member of Cirque Du Soleil scream in pain. Apparently, the writers have never heard of the "unplayable-lie" rule, which, in real life, can be taken for any shot, even one safely in the fairway. It does carry with it a penalty stroke, and you can't use it to get yourself closer to the hole, but you can do it.
    • Used and subverted in Happy Gilmore, where Jerk Jock Shooter McGavin has to play the ball off the foot of the title character's former-boss-turned-fan (played by Richard "Jaws" Kiel). Later, when a broadcasting tower falls between Happy and the 18th hole, Shooter insists that Happy play it. Happy's friends tell him to use the unplayable-lie rule and win in the tiebreaker, but Happy plays the ball using his not-so-Training From Hell mini-golf skills to sink it.
    • Actually, the point in that scene is that he's told he can't use a drop, so instead he's advised to simply two-putt around the tower for the tie.
      • However, another rule that might have been of use is the "loose impediments" rule, which the fallen tower most likely was...which means it could've been removed without penalty. A famous example of this rule in action is a 1999 golf tournament. Tiger Woods put his shot behind a rather large boulder. Golf officials ruled the boulder a loose impediment because the boulder was not anchored to the ground and was not in the same hazard the ball was...which means a player and any spectators could move the boulder out of Tiger's line to the green...which a dozen of them did. No doubt a few of the more burly followers of Happy Gilmore would be only too...happy...to move the tower out of his way for him...
        • However, loose impediments are considered to be things like rocks, branches, twigs, etc. that you would normally find strewn about a golf course; a man-made object like the fallen tower would be considered an immovable obstruction.
  • Many boxing movies (most notably the later Rocky installments and Million Dollar Baby) have dramatic scenes when boxers throw cheap shots after the bell rings. But in a real boxing match, doing so will result in automatic disqualification. (This happened to Mike Tyson during one of his "comeback fights" a couple of years back.)
    • Actually, this happens fairly often in big boxing matches, especially in pre-mid 90s matches, and they often DON'T get disqualified, especially if, like the Rocky movies, it is both boxers throwing some late punches. (The ref is not about to stop the fight early for this with millions of PPV buys at stake for future matches.)
    • This concept was parodied in Scary Movie 4 during the Million Dollar Baby segment: one of the contenders bites the ref's ear off Mike Tyson style and only "got a point taken off." Tyson lost two points for the bite and was disqualified when he did it again.
    • As far as Million Dollar Baby goes, the most prominent example ended Maggie's career, so it really doesn't matter what the official record showed ?- although chances are, having to forfeit the match would be the least of the other boxer's concerns.
      • Also she was awarded the championship by default... even though she's a parallelogram.... I mean quadriplegic.
  • Days Of Thunder and Driven were extremely inaccurate depictions of NASCAR and CART racing. It's doubly bad, since the film crews spent months following the real series around while filming. You'd have thought they could have done some research, or at least omitted the scene of the main characters having an impromptu grudge match in their race cars through the evening Chicago rush hour; Not only would the average race driver be fired for such a reckless stunt but they certainly wouldn't be able to use their regular car. Most single seat race cars need a team of mechanics to operate the computer systems, heat the tires, start the car with an external starter, and to strap the driver's belts since he/she cannot do that themselves. Or realizing that a NASCAR team needs more than one car. This is not just a question of repairing damage but of suitability. A NASCAR road course car is vastly different to the standard speedway car and a restrictor plate track car. A team keeps several of each for the year. Or that even Tom Cruise couldn't pass everybody else in the race in the last three laps at Daytona. Unless he's an AI driver.
    • A more Egregious error was during the Darlington race earlier in the movie - the driver would have lost a lot more than just two positions with the extra time he spent on pit road.
  • Horsefeathers has to be deliberate, as there is no way anybody could possibly think that the ref would let somebody ride down the field in a chariot and use every spare football in said chariot as a separate touchdown, no matter how much bribery was involved.
    • Also, Groucho's team (Huxley College) received a kick-off from rival Darwin College after scoring a touchdown, as opposed to kicking off to Darwin. (This is actually a bit of Truth In Television, since some college all-star games used to do this to make the contests more competitive: in the Hawaii Bowl, for example, a team would get the ball back if they trailed by more than two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.)
  • Averted at the climax of Little Giants. The Giants' last play of the game, called "The Annexation of Puerto Rico" by its geeky play caller, was a legal play at the time better known as the "fumblerooski" (the ruling body of Pee-Wee football has since banned it).
  • An in-universe example is played for laughs in Roger Dodger in an exchange between the titular character and his nephew

 Roger: "Why give into a slump? Let's go down swinging."

Nick: "Yes. Like Michael Jordan."

Roger: "Right. That's the wrong sport, but I like your enthusiasm."

  • Used to very painful effect in the Wesley Snipes version of The Fan. Live video replay on the Jumbotron (which is not allowed), video of arguments between players or brawls (also not allowed), a player getting his number assigned on Opening Day (numbers are assigned during Spring Training), the climactic scene occurring at a baseball game played during a monsoon... it would be easier to list what the movie got right. Such things do NOT include the long shot featuring a batter from BOTH teams warming up in their respective on-deck circles, and then later showing Snipes's character go directly from the dugout to the batter's box.
  • In the 1963 Disney film Son of Flubber, Professor Brainard comes up with an ingenious way to help the local high school football team win: he'll fill up a player's uniform with his new discovery, "flubber gas", to make him light and buoyant. The other players, instead of passing just the ball, will throw him with the ball, so even if he is tackled, the team will retain possession of the ball. The only problem with such a ploy? It's illegal. Rule 17 section 6 of the official football rulebook, passed in 1910, specifically outlaws players on the offensive team from pushing, pulling, or holding the player carrying the ball. Nobody in the film, including the referees, seem to be aware of this.
  • Similarly, in its predecessor The Absent-Minded Professor, the same flubber gives basketball players shoes that allows them to take gigantic leaps. Unfortunately, by making several leaps in a row (as they do), without passing or dribbling the ball, they would be immediately called for travelling. Unlike a lot of the examples on this page, the opposing coach does realize that Medfield's game techniques are far from kosher, and complains about it loudly to the referee... whose only response is "Ain't no rule says one team can't jump higher than the other!"
    • Maybe these were NBA referees. Those guys never seem to call anyone for travelling any more.
    • But using artificial aids to jump higher can be called, certainly under "any equipment that is designed to increase a player's height or reach or in any other way give an unfair advantage is not permitted." Possibly as a technical foul under "sportsmanship and fair play", or because referees "have the power to make decisions on any point not specifically covered by these rules."
  • The movie It Happens Every Spring is about a college professor who discovers a wood-repellent compound and uses this discovery to become a successful major league pitcher. The movie never addresses the fact that applying any kind of foreign substance to the ball is cheating of the most blatant variety. Even more surprisingly, none of the umpires or opposing players seem the least bit suspicious of all the physics-defying things that the professor's pitches do. Fridge Logic makes this even worse - the rules also state that the balls used all come from the same pool, not that teams get to throw their own balls. If you coated the balls with a substance that made them dodge bats, they'd be dodging your team's bats, too. Enjoy that 0-0, extra inning game decided on walks, stolen bases, and wild pitches.
    • Provided that the umps never caught on - or ignored the constant complaints, it's far more likely that the game would be decided before that by the first team that realized that all they had to do was check-swing at the ball.
  • In The Waterboy, after it's discovered that the coach forged Bobby Boucher's high school transcript to get him on the team, making him an ineligible player, the NCAA allows Bobby to still play in the team's bowl game if he passes a high school equivalency exam. In reality, not only would the NCAA not allow that, the whole team would have been forbidden to play in the game, would have had to forfeit back all its wins on the season and probably would have been banned from future bowl games and lost several scholarships for a few years.
  • Not sports, but Game Shows: Slumdog Millionaire changes brutally how Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? works for the sake of drama (the show is not live, but recorded in studio some days before the actual broadcast - which is why they reread the hotline question on the phone and have a time limit on it; the hotline is never directed to a mobile number, to prevent connection troubles, and for the same reason it's never issued directly when the contestant asks for it; the call is first made in the very moment the contestant begins his round and it's then kept live - but soundless - until the contestant calls for the hotline).
    • Slumdog is a strange example, since the book the movie was based on did not have the rights to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and had to make changes to the game's format... only to have to make MORE changes when the movie gained the rights to Millionaire.
      • Maybe the rules varies by country. On the Malaysian version of the show, the call is indeed made only when the contestant requests it. One can even hear the connection tone. And there are times where the connection did not get through, in which case the host allows the contestant to pick a different number to call. Understandable because 1. The Malaysian format allows the contestant to specify a list of people he wishes to call instead of just one number, 2. Because none of the telcos signed on as a sponsor, so keeping a bunch of lines open throughout the show would've been extremely expensive, and 3. Sony Ericsson is a sponsor. They wanted the host to be able to whip out an Ericsson cellphone that's connected to the studio's PA system by Bluetooth. Remember that Slumdog takes place in India, and the Indian Millionaire may have slight variations in the rules as well.
  • A common way that authors get around this trope is to create their own league or tournament that is a lot like a well-known real world event, but technically isn't. One example is Blades of Glory. Critics point out the errors made in the rules points system for Pairs Figure Skating in the Winter Olympics -- except that these aren't the Winter Olympics, they're the "World Winter Sports Games."
  • Similarly for Speed Racer, incredibly anal critics will point how they're not following the rules of NASCAR/Formula One Racing, completely oblivious to the fact that the World Racing League obviously has very little to do with either NASCAR/Formula One.
    • The cars and tracks have more in common with F-Zero for starters, so it's just as well the rules do too.
  • In The Mighty Ducks, District Five takes the ice in its first game wearing a smattering of used or inappropriate pads (like a football helmet). Every league for kids mandates proper helmets with full face cages and they would never be allowed to take the ice that way. Later, Gordon tries to get Conway to take a dive and fake an injury in order to draw a penalty. Conway gets pinned to the boards, but refuses to act hurt. Amusingly, in that scene you can see the other player's stick jammed up under Conway's face mask, which is a legitimate penalty. Finally, one of the things they got right is the Flying V. Ordinarily, that would be called offside, but the movie quickly shows the carrier passing the puck forward right before the blue line, making it a legal play.
    • Also, since the Ducks entered the playoffs as the last seed, they should have faced the number-one seed Hawks first. (Possibly averted if the exact number of teams getting into the playoffs was not a multiple of eight; the exact number isn't stated in the film, just "all but the last two" in the league.)
    • And in the sequel, D2: The Mighty Ducks, one of the players gets a penalty for "roping." Um, what about the fact there were too many players on the ice? Or a game misconduct penalty for leaving the bench? Lampshaded a bit--the announcer did say, "Two minutes for... roping? That's a new one on me."
    • The more ludicrous example in the sequel is that the big heel team is the noted ice hockey power of... Iceland, whose men's team was, at the time of this writing, behind such noted hockey powers as Spain, Israel, Estonia, and South Korea.
      • They probably didn't want to hurt the movie's performance in any of the traditional hockey-playing countries such as Canada or Russia. In fact, Canada's the one game where none of the play is even shown.
    • D2 also has them playing Trinidad whose team is on the movie poster and DVD cover.
      • Trinidad's team also wears tie-dye jerseys. The national colors are red, white, and black.
    • D2 had another example with the final shootout.. never mind that Russ switched places with Goldberg to get the shot at the end of the game, which involved him wearing goalie equipment, but under ANY circumstances, nobody can take off their helmet while on the ice anymore!
    • In the final shootout to decide the tournament winner of D2, neither Fulton's nor Gunnar Stahl's penalty shots should have counted as they both clearly come to a complete stop and then shoot. During a shootout or penalty shot, the puck must always move forward.
  • David Mamet's Redbelt features a very antiquated and ill-informed version of Mixed Martial Arts. The main character is offered a chance to fight on the undercard of an event for a flat $50,000, though real fight purses are divided into a "show purse" for fighting and a "win purse" awarded only if the fighter wins. Also, the plot revolves around the concept of implementing randomly-assigned handicaps before each bout, which would never fly in the real world. The promoters state that the whole point is to make the handicapped fighter lose, but if every fight was determined by a randomly-assigned handicap, no one would bother watching. It defeats the entire point of athletic competition. Also, a system that handicaps fighters would never get past any athletic commissions, which do not allow fighters who cannot defend themselves properly to compete.
  • Nacho Libre takes a great many liberties with professional wrestling. Obviously, the most glaring issue is that it presents wrestling as real and not staged, but this can be forgiven for the sake of the plot. However, certain basic rules in professional wrestling (even in Kayfabe) are ignored. For example, to finish one match, the hero receives a tombstone piledriver, a move which is illegal in Mexico, where the story is set. In the climax of the film, he even pins his opponent..outside the ring. While there are special matches that allow pinning anywhere, this was an ordinary match, yet he does not pin his opponent in the ring. Rule of Cool doesn't even really apply here, as while the reason his opponent was outside the ring in the first place was so the hero could perform a physics defying dive attack from the turnbuckle, there's no reason he couldn't have thrown his dazed opponent into the ring to pin him legally.
  • Averted at the end of She's the Man, when the real Sebastian is has to play in the soccer match for which Sebastian!Viola had been training, because everybody thinks that Sebastian!Viola is Sebastian (It Makes Sense in Context). During the game, Sebastian is replaced because he couldn't play. Then after half-time, Sebastian!Viola shows up and (s)he convinces the coach to let her/him play again. If the game was played under FIFA rules, that would be illegal since a coach can only replace three players during the game and once a player has been replaced, he's out of the game. But High School soccer, like other high school sports, is played under the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); they emphasize participation and players may be subbed in and out without limit in soccer.
  • The film Agent for H.A.R.M. features a character heading to the "judo range". The film is best known for appearing on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Mike and the Bots tell her to grab her aikido rifle.
  • The Three Stooges parody the concept with shorts like "Three Little Beers" (golf) and "Three Little Pigskins" (football), with the Stooges just plain ignorant with the sport in question, usually using terms found in hunting and horse racing. Thus, this is Older Than Television.
  • Unlike other films in The Love Bug series, the last race of Herbie Fully Loaded takes place in what is, if not NASCAR itself, then a clearly NASCAR-like organization. Assuming Team Peyton could get permission to race a Volkswagon (not likely, given the time frame), Herbie is clearly A) Too old, B) (to the naked eye), has no racing modifications, C) possesses NO safety gear (Restraint harness? Roll cage? Nope!). Herbie shouldn't have passed a cursory pre-race inspection.


Literature Edit

  • The Black Stallion. Another one of those cases where something was within the rules when it was made, but not now... except it's a Long Runner, and the series kept following the obsolete rule. The rule in question? Allowing Arabians to race against Thoroughbreds. (It was prohibited between the release of the first and second books.)
    • Uh--the problem wasn't that the Black was an Arab (and as clarified in later books he's not in any case) but that he wasn't a registered ANYTHING. They get around this not because racing non-Thoroughbreds would have been allowed but because the Black, as "The Mystery Horse", enters a special match race that had been arranged between two champion racehorses, Cyclone and Sun Raider. Match races (Real Life examples include Seabiscuit vs War Admiral, Man o' War vs Sir Barton, Swaps vs. Nashua) weren't run under normal race rules. The Black later gets an identity and is glossed over as being admitted to the Jockey Club stud book (implausible, as it's a closed book, but not completely impossible--Thoroughbreds are descended from three Arab and Barb foundation stallions and if the Black were real a very strong argument could be made for his being a new foundation sire) and sires offspring on Thoroughbred mares. A problem of The Film of the Book is Alec throwing away his 'disguise' helmet. If the race had the same weight rules as regular racing, he just disqualified himself as he'd come up too light on the re-weigh jockeys must do AFTER a race, to make sure they're not cheating.
  • In Edward Bloor's "Tangerine", one of the climactic moments features protagonist and goalie Paul Fisher needing to stop a last second penalty kick so that his team will tie their rival and his former team, winning the league in the process. It's a fairly uplifting idea with one small problem: it completely gets wrong the way soccer leagues are scored. See, Paul's team is undefeated whereas the other team has won the same number of games but played one more game during the season which ended in a tie. The problem? According to the scoring rules for soccer leagues, the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the season, not just the highest winning percentage. Since a tie is worth one point and a win is worth three, Paul's team needs to win, not tie, in order to win the league. And to make matters worse, they could have done this if they had just had the climactic penalty kick occur with Paul's team up by one goal. But of course that would be less dramatic...
    • Either this example is badly explained, or there's some Writers Cannot Do Math going on as well. If Paul's team is undefeated, their combined number of wins and ties must be equal to the number of games played. So how can the other team possibly have the same number of wins and one more tie?
  • The closest example to the Trope namer may have come in the Gordon Korman Bruno and Boots book Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood. An American child star sneaks onto the hockey team of the Canadian boarding school during a game and gets hit in the eye with the puck at the very end. As he sits in the hospital, his manager screams, "It had to be my client to get hit with the ball!"
  • In Piers Anthony's Blue Adept, protagonist Stile is a marathon against the much larger Hulk [4] Stile set off, using a technique by which he kept his head down, concentrating on the race path and trying not to psych himself out with the looming distances. Any experienced runner will tell you this is a horrible idea: keeping your head down like that will cause you to lean forward, throwing your body out of optimal running posture, causing you to use more energy per stride, and pretty much negating any psychological advantage not looking up would bring. Granted, it's possible Stile knew that, but figured by the time things took their toll, the game would be won or lost. But most likely a case of Did Not Do the Research.


Live Action TV Edit

  • One Kirk bowling episode, "The Spare", has so many faults that even casual bowlers are screaming at the television. For instance, mistaking a 6-pin for a 10-pin; all four members of a team bowling one game together (usually they bowl games separately); one team is leading by one pin before the ninth, and all of a sudden in the 10th that team needs three strikes to win, even when the other team got two gutter balls in the ninth. Perhaps this example would've been shorter if we had listed the stuff about bowling they got right.
    • The 'one game together' might just be writed off as some weird variant of Scotch Double, where two players play a game together, one playing firstball, and the other the second, until a strike is made where they switch
  • Parodied on Scrubs, where JD's woefully ignorant view on sports (due to Flanderization) leads to the following mixed metaphor:

 JD: Unlikely, because what's waiting for me in my room is what's known in football terms as a slam-dunk. swings imaginary tennis racket

    • Also, in another scene, Elliot says that she'll be a bigger fraud than Barry Bonds; JD replies, "I love it when he wins at that game he plays."
    • Also also, in another episode, JD tosses his friend Turk's basketball down a hospital hallway only to have it popped on the security guard's hook hand. JD apologizes to Turk and comforts him with the line "Relax, they come three to a can."
      • The first and third examples don't make much sense when you remember that JD does play basketball multiple times on the show (with the implication that it also happens at other times not shown). You'd think, after playing the game enough, he'd know what a slam dunk is, or that basketballs are sold individually.
        • Not to mention in the first season when they are on the cusp of a no-one-died-today, uh, day, no one speaks of it aloud as to not jinx it, like one would refrain from doing during a perfect game in baseball. Even JD is aware of this despite his ineptitude in sports knowledge later.
        • Football and basketball do share at least one term (field goal), with different meanings in each, so someone with knowledge of one sport but not the other might very well think other terms from that sport that don't cross over should.
    • Also also also, there's one scene which opens with JD and Turk discussing sports and agreeing that with a certain player, New York could really win the title. Then Turk asks, "which sport are we talking about here?" J.D. thinks it's tennis. Not to mention this exchange that occurs when Arnold Palmer is brought up:

 JD: Incidentally, has anyone ever done less to become famous? I mean, "Yay for me, I mixed two drinks together!"

Dr. Cox: Arnold Palmer is a golfer.

JD: I'm sure he has lots of hobbies, Perry, the man's a drink mogul.

    • Also x4, at one point JD wears a T-shirt with a picture of an American Football and the caption "Soccer."
      • However, that can be attributed to the fact that, outside of the US, "soccer" is called "football" and therefore the shirt is a parody of that as calling American football "soccer" is the non-US equivalent of "football" being called "soccer" in the US.
    • There's also another scene in My Cake, where Cox and JD's brother try to cheer JD up by watching a sporting event with him. They wear Detroit Red Wings attire as they watch a college football game...between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, who are most definitely not college teams.
      • Tv Tropes example? Those two teams are absolutely not the Seahawks and 49ers.
  • Rebecca serves as an announcer to a hockey game that Joey participates in in an episode of Full House. Feeling the need to upstage her and potentially set some Double Standard that will fly under the viewer's nose, her husband Jesse attempts to join in. Keep in mind that Jesse is not athletic in any shape or form and knows nothing about sports, so naturally he looks like a complete idiot not knowing about the penalty box or even the game clock. This happens in another episode when he tries to play basketball to impress his children.
    • And keep in mind that Jesse is a horrible case of Characterization Marches On. Earlier seasons had him being as athletic and knowing about sports as Danny and Joey; after the fourth season, he has no athletic ability and claims to know nothing about sports at all (as demonstrated above.)
  • Despite ostensibly being a show about sports, Friday Night Lights is full of errors of this kind, albeit less severe ones than those made on some of the other shows listed here.
  • The "Turkey Day" version of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Night of the Blood Beast" does this intentionally in its first host segment. Mike and the bots make contradictory references as Gypsy tries to guess which sport they're talking about; when it comes back from commercial, it turns out that it was Australian Rules Football.
    • In the opening host segment for Alien From L.A., Mike is trying to teach the Bots Blackjack. Crow "hits" on two decks worth of cards, all without even looking at his cards. Even though, under some rules, you can go as high as eight hits (which is the most you can statistically draw before going over 21[5]), the standard rule is three (a "5-Card Charlie" is holding five cards without busting, counting as an automatic win for the player).
    • In the opening for Red Zone Cuba, Mike and The Bots are playing "high stakes" bingo and Magic Voice calls out "B-37." On standard Bingo cards, B holds numbers 1-15. 37 would be under "G".
    • This shows up in a riff for Wild Rebels. The protagonist, Rod Tillman (played by Steve Alaimo) arrives at the club by hitch-hiking with a rotund, older gentleman wearing a ballcap.

 TOM: "Hey! It's Tommy Lasorda!"(as Rod): "Gee, thanks, Mr. Lasorda!".

JOEL (as Lasorda): "Now, remember...Just a shake for breakfast...a shake for lunch...then a sensible..."[6].

TOM: "Yeah, whatever! Thanks for the ride! Good luck with the football team or whatever it is you do!".

  • Parodied in sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look, which features two completely incompetent film writers; the film, nominally about cricket, ends with an amateur team from Yorkshire ("Cricket? In Yorkshire?") making the final of the Ashes against a cheating German team (for those who don't know, The Ashes is a series of five matches between England and Australia; there is no 'final', it's just a best-of-five scenario).
    • Yugoslavia and the West Indies also couldn't compete, and the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits would have to join the England side to play.
    • There's also the assertion that, "There's no such thing as a draw in cricket!"
    • Let alone the lack of uniforms (mismatched casual clothing instead) and female members of the team.
    • Manchester United plays football, and the Dallas Cowboys play American football. Besides, the European Championship is played by national teams only, so Manchester United couldn't compete.
    • The players practice with Swingball toys, and swing the bats like swords or baseball bats. The German bowler windmills overhand, then stops and throws the ball underhanded.
    • The East Germans were famous cheaters, not the West Germans.
    • The umpire is obviously a football ref, and at one point the German bowler throws a football.
    • All the players have cricket bats, even the fielders and bowler
  • From the new Terminator series, in one episode John and Sarah are watching a chess game. When Sarah asks him to "explain what she's seeing", John replies that one of the players has just captured the other's queen, causing Sarah to demand "English, please!" Apparently, basic chess rules are far too technical for the average woman Sarah Connor.
    • Also, while the move might have had the bonus of putting the opponent in zugzwang, taking the Queen in itself is most certainly not zugzwang. (For the curious, zugzwang is when every move is worse than not moving, but you must.)
      • That's Zugzwang! would be a nice quip, were it not that the German Zugzwang is composed from Zug (a move) and Zwang (being forced), not from zugz and wang.
  • Parodied, like everything else, on The Colbert Report. After Senator Obama's acceptance speech, Stephen Colbert had former football player Tiki Barber assess the speech. He replied by saying, "As someone who knows a bit about football, I can safely say that Obama hit a home run."
  • In an episode of Myth Busters testing various baseball myths, one of the "myths" tested is whether or not sliding into a base is faster than running and stopping on it. The Mythbusters do not seem to understand that the point of sliding into a base is not because it's faster, it's to avoid a tag (and on plays at second and third, to avoid overrunning the base).
    • Note that sliding versus running past first base is a speed issue; you should run past unless sliding is the only way to avoid being tagged out. However, the Mythbusters were testing sliding versus running and stopping on a base.
      • This is actually a very good demonstration. Everyone (except some moronic Major Leaguers who STILL slide through first, even without threat of a tag play) knows running through a bag is faster than sliding, but when going to second or third, where overrunning is not usually desired, sliding will be faster, because if you stay up, you have to slow down in order to stop on the bag. Or at least, that's the theory they were testing.
  • Cricket enthusiast Aaron Sorkin included in Sports Night a line that in an Test (International) match, one of the bowlers had achieved the remarkable feat of taking all 10 wickets in a single innings (a feat only achieved twice in history - Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999), and compared it to a baseball pitcher throwing "3 straight perfect games." Whether that comparison is valid, the professional sports commentators can't understand how the bowler could have conceded any runs while doing this (which would be, in cricketing terms, a virtually miraculous occurrence). Even with absolutely no knowledge of the rules of cricket, you'd presume they'd realise that the standards of scoring in the two games were rather different.
  • The IT Crowd, when the ludicrously nerdy main characters become "real men" by learning stock football phrases off the internet.
    • I tested "the problem with Arsenal is they just walk it in" line and it works quite well.
    • Something similar happens in the first episode of The Armando Iannucci Shows, in which Iannucci discovers that everyone in Britain who discusses football in pubs is merely being fed information from experts who hide in the pubs' cellars. After breaking the earpiece connection, Iannucci is reassured that deep down, everyone is just as bewildered by the sport (and by social interaction) as he is.
  • Steve Coogan apparently wrote this segment from The Day Today with no knowledge of, or enthusiasm for, football, and it shows (in the best possible way). "That... was a goal!!!"
  • In the Wings episode "The Team Player", Antonio, temporarily running the Sandpiper counter while Joe and Brian are away at a Bruins hockey game, causes the Bruins' star player, Danny "Dead End" Connelly, to miss the game. The wrath of all of Massachusetts descends on Joe and Brian, but the airline is saved from disaster when the hockey star abruptly leaves the team to sign a huge contract with their rivals. In what sporting league is one able to walk out on one's contract and immediately join a rival in the middle of the season? Not the NHL, at least.
    • Not to mention for every pissed-off fan, there would've been two who would've ridiculed him for playing the "Do you know who I am?" card.
    • And on top of that, if it was that close to game time, shouldn't he have been at the arena already? If such a thing happened in the real world, the sports media would have been chewing him out mercilessly.
    • In "Blackout Buggins", the group goes to Fenway Park to watch Roy sing the national anthem. After Roy finishes the song, a Red Sox player with the name Casey on his jersey is seen taking the field. The Red Sox have never featured player names on the back of their home jerseys.
  • Seinfeld: "The Wink". After a promise to a sick child that Paul O'Neill will hit two home runs doesn't work out as planned, Kramer pacifies the child by promising that in the next game, O'Neill will catch a fly ball in his hat. This would be an incredibly stupid thing for O'Neill to do; intentionally touching the ball with a piece of equipment other than his glove is illegal for a fielder to do and would result in the batter automatically being given three bases.
    • Another Seinfeld example comes from the episode where Jerry dates an Olympic gymnast expecting acrobatic sex and being disappointed when the sex turns out to be extremely ordinary. After the encounter, Jerry describes his disappointment to Elaine saying that he expected her to use him as the apparatus. Elaine asks, "You mean like the uneven parallel bars? Or the balance beam? Not... the pommel horse?" This might explain why Jerry found the sex disappointing; his girlfriend would have no experience using a pommel horse since that particular apparatus only appears in men's gymnastics.
  • Sex and the City features an episode in which a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is purchased because it has "one leg shorter than the others" and shown at a Westminster-like dog show in that episode and without training, while in heat. There's a lot wrong here, starting with the fact that estrous is an immediate disqualification from dog shows. The idea that an unevenly hocked dog with no prior experience, an amateur handler and a disqualifying (as well as obvious and terribly disruptive to the other dogs) medical condition could win any sort of legitimate major dog show is as accurate as saying Carrie Bradshaw could enlist and play for the NFL. The only thing remotely justifying about it is that the judge was enamored with the handler- but even that wouldn't have helped her get all the way to the show ring.
    • Another episode had the four attending a Yankees game. When they take a visit to the locker room afterward, one unnamed player is seen wearing jersey number 9. The Yankees retired that number for Roger Maris.
      • That probably was not done on purpose in this case, but there's valid reason to avoid giving a fictitious player a number used by a real one. See also 555.
        • They might have used #42, since it's been retired throughout the Major Leagues for Jackie Robinson, but the Yankees' roster also contained Mariano Rivera, the last player still playing to wear #42 before the number was universally retired.
  • On an episode of Gilmore Girls, Lorelai says 'Nice save, Gretzky.' Wrong position.
  • In the Even Stevens episode "Head Games," Alan Twitty enters a baseball game as a relief pitcher. Coming straight from the dugout, he immediately steps on the mound and the game instantly resumes. Regardless of level of play, baseball never works like this. Pitchers always warm up by throwing several practice pitches off to the side before entering the game (in college and professional leagues, this is the bullpen, but many little league and high schools teams just use an open field that's out of the way), and are then allowed several more warmup pitches while on the mound. Throwing a baseball hard repeatedly is one of the most risky and injurious things you can do to your body and should only be done once the arm muscles have been properly exercised and loosened. Not doing so can easily cause you to permanently damage your arm. Obviously, this is also an example of The Law of Conservation of Detail.
  • Deliberately invoked in That 70s Show when Eric says the first time he strapped on a pair of skates was like "the first time Joe Namath laid his hands on a bat".
  • Done in a pair of Saturday Night Live sketches where the Wishmakers Foundation grants a child's desire to be a sports commentator at a professional game (football the first game, basketball the 2nd). The only football term he knows is "That'll move the chains!" and basketball, "Nothing but the bottom of the net!" This eventually gets taken to a hilarious extreme when the other commentators lets him take over to make up for complaining about the supposed disease (the kid said he had O.C.D. when asked, but this really stood for "Overwhelming Corpse Disease") and eventually begins shouting various sports terms and maneuvers all in the same sentence ending with "NOTHING BUT THE BOTTOM OF THE NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!" and then dies onscreen.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Lodger", the Eleventh Doctor's Wonka nature and Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure have been thrust Up to Eleven (so to speak), with lines like:

  "Now, football's the one with the sticks, isn't it?"

  • Stargate Atlantis has O'Neill using a sports metaphor on Weir at one point, leading to this exchange:

 Weir: "I'm sorry, I don't know much about football."

O'Neill: "Nor hockey, apparently."

  • In the "Stealing Home" episode of White Collar, everything about the heist during a Yankees game pretty much seems to be fine, until you see the date of the check handed to Neal, dated "3/7/12." Unless it was backdated, regular season games at the earliest start in late March, and normally at the beginning of April.
  • Played for laughs in Top Gear, with Jeremy Clarkson talking at one point about "golf bats".


Music Edit

  • Jonathan Coulton's song "Kenesaw Mountain Landis" invokes this intentionally for comic effect, as well as a complete misunderstanding of the historical facts surrounding the black sox scandal.
  • "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen. "Speedball", Bruce? Try fastball.
  • "The Ballad of Fizzball McCann" by Greg Champion (who really should have known better) lists one too many fielders in McCann's field setup (no wicket-keeper was mentioned, although a Cricket side playing without a wicket-keeper would be just as odd).


Newspaper Comics Edit

  • In addition to the quote at the top, FoxTrot has done this a zillion times. One memorable one has Jason at a basketball game complaining that he has to "watch a bunch of eight-foot geeks kick balls through goalposts for two hours" and asks which one is the quarterback.
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, when Calvin is teased into playing baseball at school, he says "Suppose they make me a halfback. Can I tackle the shortstop or not?"
    • When Calvin and Hobbes aren't playing Calvin Ball, they'll be making a mockery of any actual sport they try, usually baseball but also football, croquet and golf. As the boy himself puts it: "Our favourite games are ones we don't understand!" And sometimes, it's deliberate.

  "If you don't want to play with old geezers, you have to make golf a contact sport!"

  • Any time a sporting event is held in Safe Havens, it's a good bet that the rules of the game will be sacrificed to the Rule of Funny. Examples include the university band playing during game action in a basketball game (which would result in a bench technical - two free throws + possession for the other team - in real life) and Dave being allowed to wear sunglasses with a built-in MP3 player (Only protective or prescription eye wear is allowed).
  • In Peanuts, Charlie Brown's baseball team often lost games by lopsided margins like 100 to 1. However, American Little League Baseball has the Mercy Rule, which stops the game early to avoid such humiliation. While Charlie Brown is certainly stubborn enough to keep playing, there is no mention of the umpire enforcing, or even bringing up the rule.
    • It's made clear, though, that Charlie Brown's team doesn't play official Little League baseball, as various strips depict team managers calling each other and scheduling games, and even a plot arc where the baseball games were ended because the owner of the sandlot decided it was too much of a liability to have the kids playing on his property.


Video Games Edit

"Well, no matter, because I'm still holding all the cards. And guess what? They're all full houses."
—"Ace of fours! The best hand. Unbeatable! ...I would imagine."
  • There are several things odd about the boxing in Punch Out. To begin with, the series seem to have no concept of weight divisions, which results in the comparatively scrawny Glass Joe being in the same group as Fat Bastard King Hippo. And then there are characters like Hoy Quarlow who use weapons.
    • Similar to the 'Blades of Glory and Speed Racer examples above, the World Video Boxing Association is under no compulsion to obey standard boxing rules.
  • Blitz: The League. The entire game is devoted to the Rule of Cool, at the expense of any pretense of realism (are there any referees?). However, in this case, it is something of a Justified Trope, as the series' makers are on record calling the NFL the "No Fun League" for forcing their licensed football titles to be squeaky-clean in terms of content, which pretty much forbids developers from even alluding to any of the shadier aspects of American Football culture. When EA got exclusive rights to the NFL license, Midway was more than happy to go completely over the top with their latest Blitz title, bringing in notorious ex-linebacker Lawrence Taylor as their spokesman, and hiring the writers of ESPN's controversial hit Playmakers to write the story.
    • In fact, BTL actually was a Playmakers licensed game, until the NFL forced ESPN to kill the show. Also, take in mind that Blitz was not the first time Midway made a Aint No Rule style sports game: Arch Rivals is one of their earlier attempts at the genre, which they then followed with the popular NBA Jam series.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Moose, the Frankenstein's Monster-esque jock, talks vaguely sports related gibberish when you're fighting him.

 Moose: "Alright twerp! It's third down, the bases are loaded, and they're pullin' the goalie!"

Obscure Game Theatre: "That... that didn't make any sense!"

  • Practically all licensed sports titles avert this trope, due to their focus on providing the most realistic sports experiences possible for fans of the sport. A few, however, go in a less realistic, more arcade direction, realizing that some players feel that increased accessibility and the Rule of Cool are more important than a simulation experience. Examples include Midway's NBA Ballers games and EA's Street series of sports games. A former licensed example would be Midway's NFL Blitz series, until they lost the license to EA.
    • EA Sports' recently cancelled NBA Elite 11 is one glaring exception. Even when you put aside the visual glitches and gaffes that break the realistic feel, the game has some very fundamental problems with the rules, including one bug that increases the score counter before an attempted shot touches the basket. (This could simply be the game revealing that it had calculated the result of the shot before the graphical representation showed it, but it still breaks immersion badly.)
    • EA's Rugby 08 has several problems (e.g. with the rules too), like scrums going to the wrong team when the ball is unplayable in the ruck, and losing penalty advantage if the ball goes into touch... And other touches such as being able to kick the ball away when expecting a tackle (probably a limitation of the programming but still something one should be able to do). The commentators often seem lacking in insight, despite one of them being an actual former All-black, Grant Fox.
  • As seen in the image at the top of the page, Super Mario World 's "Chargin' Chuck" enemies wore American Football uniforms. While some attacked you with footballs, others would attack with baseballs. Even others resorted to non-sports activities, such as digging up large rocks with shovels, whistling underwater to summon a school of fish to swarm Mario, leaping through the air, or splitting into 3 copies of itself.
    • An official Nintendo of America strategy guide called the baseball-throwing Chuck a "Confused Chuck".
    • The large rocks guys might be playing lacrosse. Except for the large rocks part.
  • In Poker Night At the Inventory, Max's grasp of the rules and terminology of poker is shaky at best. His strategy is erratic, he sometimes believes he's playing Hearts, and will occasionally fold even when he knows he has a good hand. At one point he even asks the player if the little numbers on the cards mean anything.
  • The NCAA football series (Madden NFL's college-aged sister game) mistakenly has a hard roster limit, like the NFL. While the NCAA does have limits on the # of scholarships you can disburse and the # of players you can dress for games, the actual team is much larger than this and provides important reserves for training and injuries.
  • The NES ice hockey game Blades of Steel. Apart from milder stuff like doing away with offsides and the two-line pass rule (which was in effect in the NHL when the game was on the market), it has a few hilarious rules: when a fight breaks out (due to routine contact -- it was almost impossible to knock a player off the puck without starting a fight), the two players throw down their gloves and duke it out, and then whoever loses the fight is dragged off by the referee for a two-minute penalty while the clock resumes ticking and the play simply continues for the other (presumably gloveless) player where he left off. Also, starting a fight between the faceoff circles in your own zone granted the other team a penalty shot. Again, there was no real other way to play defense.
  • In Fortune Street, when Birdo is selected as an opponent on Mario Baseball, she proclaims that it's time to hit the gridiron before wondering if she got it right.


Web Animation Edit

  • According to The Other Wiki (link), Homestar Runner got its name from a friend of The Brothers Chaps having gotten his sports lingo all mixed up.
    • The Brother Chaps themselves gave Gretzky the ball in Issue 10 of the spinoff series Teen Girl Squad. In the cartoon, a Scotsman caber-tosses Cheerleader and is disgusted that his throw only goes 23 meters. Success in the caber toss is measured by straightness, not distance. The Chaps point out their mistake in the DVD commentary.


Web Comics Edit

  The ball is in your court. Er, no I mean, the ball is in your half of the court. Shouldn't that be the expression? I don't think there are any sports that use more than one court.

  • Maybe not the most glaring example, but in El Goonish Shive on this page, in the field shown, home plate is inverted.
  • In Homestuck, Dave's attempt to talk Rose out of her suicide mission devolves into a fantastic series of bungled sports metaphors; thoroughly lampshaded in that they're both aware that neither has any idea what they're talking about.
  • Every Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff comic involving sports lives and breathes this trope as part of its Stylistic Suck shtick.


Web Original Edit

  • Episode 54 of Awesome Video Games mixes references to game shows at one point. It's kicked off by Dad claiming that his historical knowledge "has been likened to one Pat Sajak".


Western Animation Edit

  • Parodied in Futurama by the legendary Zapp Brannigan, only with board and parlor games:

 Brannigan: If we can hit that bullseye, then the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

    • Also:

 Brannigan: In the game of chess, you can never let your adversary see your pieces.

    • Also from Futurama, in the episode A Leela of Her Own (parodying the film A League of Their Own), Leela becomes the first ever female professional Blernsball player, a game that is made out to be the future version of baseball. In the episode, it is mentioned that Leela has pitched 77.0 innings without recording a single out. In baseball, a pitcher is only credited with innings pitched if they record outs. Possibly handwaved, since it is blernsball, not baseball.
      • It's worth noting that Futurama isn't even consistent with its own rules. When blernsball is introduced in "Fear of a Bot Planet," Fry's knowledge of baseball rules and lingo make him seem like an idiot, since none of it is valid for blernsball. But in "A Leela of Their Own," blernsball's rules are almost identical to baseball, and much of the terminology used comes from baseball.
  • The South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft makes many, many errors with the game World of Warcraft. Just to name a few: a player-character human cannot attack another PC human; about 3000 players cannot be in one zone without some serious lag; and surely you cannot level up just by killing low-level boars. These errors, however, were deliberate on the part of the writers (Blizzard actually helped them make the episode), as if Calvin Ball but with a real-life game.
    • The ability to attack other PCs was one of the things that made the villain so dangerous, and the Blizzard staff was properly horrified by this development.
      • And since they mentioned he could break the rules because he had reached a level they thought unreachable, the rules of the game were actually being acknowledged at this point.
    • There is no way they didn't know exactly where the flaws were, there are even background references to earlier Warcraft games.
    • At least one example is so amazingly thick with errors it might be due to deliberate effort: Randy Marsh's character is a level two human hunter (this episode was created long before Blizzard was even planning to make that possible) who has defeated the bad guys at Jerod's landing, and he has just joined a big party of night elves to explore the tower of Azora together. It's amazing how there's so much in-game nonsense packed into such a small space.
      • It should be noted that, though Randy claimed his character was a hunter, his game's interface and the fact that his character was carrying a shield made it obvious he was actually a warrior. This may have been a Shout-Out to Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth, in which the titular character claimed to be a hunter by trade in the introductory episode, even though he was in the warrior class.
      • To point out the inaccuracies: the enemies around Jerod's landing are so high level that a level 2 hunter would have been trounced by a single mob of that area, had he made it alive through the spiders and defias bandits around it. Even if he had, he would have gotten enough experience in one chunk to make it at least two levels up. Finally, the tower of Azora has no hostile mobs that would attack an alliance character. A level 1 character can walk in, take a look around and leave unmolested.
      • We must acknowledge that part of the point of the episode was very likely to make some harmless (and some harmful) fun of the very people who would know what mistakes they made.
    • And while maybe killing JUST the boars in Elwynn forest wouldn't get you to max level, after this episode someone decided to try, and succeeded, at leveling a character to the then level cap of 70 killing nothing but boars.
    • Actually, it's impossible to get experience off of mobs that are more than 5 levels beneath you.
      • Boars come in more than one level, you know.
  • In the WITCH episode "V is for Victory", the writers got certain aspects of a swim meet wrong. All Will needed to do to win the gold was to get a good time in the semifinals (she didn't have to win it), then win the finals. Her coach told that she needed to win the next two races. Furthermore, Will should be in lane 3 or 4 in the finals, as she won the semis (she was in lane 2).
  • Dexter of Dexters Laboratory, being the overly stereotypical nerd he is, is quite naive when it comes to sports. One episode had him distract his dad by constantly asking inane questions in regards to a golf tournament they were watching:

 Dexter's Dad: What? What'd I miss? What just happened?

Dexter: Looked like a popfly into the endzone.

  • It's not clear how The Mighty Ducks haven't gotten reamed out by their league for having no coach, being below a minimum roster requirement, having a goalie in the role of captain, having a player wear #00, and other irregularities. But at least there Ain't No Rule against giant anthropomorphic ducks playing.
    • The goalie-captain rule is kind of relaxed, though: see Roberto Luongo.
      • Not Strictly true - Luongo was captain in an honorary position - hence why the 'C' is on his mask and not his Jersey
    • The rule banning #00 from use is league-specific. The NHL, for example, didn't have that rule until the late 1990s. The reason it was added to the books? The league bought a new statistic-tracking system that broke if a player's number was less than 1. Rather than fix the software they banned #00.
  • In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, at the climax of a football showdown with their rivals, Perfecto Prep, it looks like Buster kicks Plucky off the team for signaling plays to Perfecto. But as he reaches the sideline, he suddenly turns around catches a quick out from Buster, catching Perfecto off-guard and scoring the winning points. (It helped that they'd scammed Perfecto with a fake playbook). In reality, on every level of organized football there is, the play would've resulted in a five-yard Illegal Procedure penalty for Plucky being too far off the ball and for moving non-laterally when the ball was snapped.
      • Perfectly legal play under CFL rules.
    • There was also a Tiny Toons Sega Genesis game which pretty much thrived on Rule of Funny regarding this trope. Between soccer and basketball, the characters rode the ball around, flew across the court with it in their mouths, and, IIRC, could even run over the other players with a car.
    • On the other hand, a fairly uncommon but legal trick play is having the quarterback move towards the sideline, pantomiming something wrong to the sidelines, and while he does that, the ball is snapped to the running back to start the play. As long as the QB was the only man in motion, and following the motion rules (not running towards the line of scrimmage), that's a legal play.
  • Rocket Power: One episode has Reggie and her team winning a volleyball game 15-14. In volleyball (and for that matter, tennis and badminton), you have to win by two.
  • In Johnny Test, Johnny goes skiing and is denied access to a trail due to it being "NK-13", for no kids under age 13. Trail markers do not work that way, despite the size or difficulty. Though it's unlikely they'd want 10-year-olds going on double-diamond trails, they don't regulate it.
  • Parodied in an episode of the Casper animated series where the Ghostly Trio decide to participate in a golf tournament and Stretch vows they will "get the highest score ever seen!". Casper, of course points out that's not how it works.
  • The Simpsons episode "Lisa On Ice" takes a few liberties with Ice Hockey. No kids league allows checking, much less checking in the back and sending someone face first into the glass. That's illegal even in the NHL. The clock doesn't run on penalty shots, undermining the cute ending. And Bart is shown repeatedly skating past the entire defense only to stop outside the blue line for a slapshot. Technically, that's a legal play but incredibly insane. In this case there Aint No Rule but the Rule of Funny and Rule of Drama.
    • Keep in mind, this is Springfield we're talking about here...
    • At one point, Homer tried to cheat at golf giving himself higher scores. A passerby pointed this out.
  • In Kim Possible, there was one episode where they run a play called a flea flicker. Here's the thing: one, a flea flicker is a play where the quarterback gives the ball to the runningback, who fakes like he's going to run with it, but then turns around and tosses it back to the quarterback. Ron never even attempts a pass. Two, it was on a field goal, so it would've been more appropriate to call it a fake field goal. And three, they had Ron out there with a kicker and the placeholder, which meant the fake should've been seen a mile away.
  • In King of the Hill, Bill is Arlen High's record-holder for most touchdowns, until a kid ties him but injures himself on the play. In the next game, the opposing team lets him walk into the endzone on crutches to claim the record. Crutches are not allowed on the playing field. Then, the coach of Arlen High (who was Bill's coach and still respected him) and Hank realize that Bill never officially graduated because he left early to join the Army. So he suits up for one game to tie the record. Texas High School football has a hard age limit, regardless of academic status.
    • Truth in Television: this was a parody of a real-life incident involving University of Connecticut women's basketball star Nykesha Sales. [1]
  • Intentionally done in The Penguins of Madagascar when the penguins try to play hockey against the sewer rats. King Julien is assigned as a cheerleader, and tries to demoralise the rats;

 "You probably can't even get the ball into the hoopy-thingy!"

"It's called a puck."

"Oh, thanks ... You probably can't even get the ball into the puck thingy!"

 Peter: You're like the Arnold Palmer of golf!


Universal Edit

  • Chess. Any chess game played between over-competitive nerds is always done wrongly. There is never a clock. The players move absurdly quickly (especially as there is no clock!). They never record their moves (which is required in any competitive game). They do not shake hands before or after (even if they hate each other, they would still do it, in a snarky way). Worst of all, a player wins a decisive advantage by killing his/her opponent's queen. (This only really happens in beginner's games; in a game between talented players, a tiny material advantage or a slightly advantageous position would be enough.) The game always ends in checkmate, even though it's standard practice to resign when one's opponent is guaranteed to win. Finally, the game is never drawn, even though our heroes are supposedly both brilliant players, and perhaps 60% of top-level games are draws.
    • In fairness, in a casual game, much of the above can be ignored, such as not writing down moves or using a clock. There's no excuse if it's a tournament game, though.
    • Let's not forget the bit where one player puts his opponent in check and the opponent checkmates him on the next move. It's technically possible, but there are very few situations where a single move can put one's own king out of danger's way and completely trap the opposing king. It generally requires the losing player not to pay close attention, and the winning player almost always wins because of sheer luck rather than planning.
    • The "no draws" thing can be justified by the Rule of Drama, though. Unless it's an Evasive Fight Thread Episode, in which case you might see a draw.
    • Chess players always shout "check" when they deliver it; among professionals it would be rather rude.
      • It could be worse. The opening of one episode of Justice League Unlimited has Aquaman playing Hawkgirl at chess. At one point, Aquaman announces "check in 5". (That should be "mate in 5".)
    • Also the all-too common cases where a character is shown to be smart in that he can either win most games of chess in less than ____ moves or can think 10/20/you name it moves ahead.
    • Silliest of all: in Sailor Moon episode 71, Ami and Berthier replay a real-life game between Spassky and Fischer. Ami continues after the point at which Spassky resigned - and wins. (There have been cases where players resigned and analysts later discovered a possible winning continuation, but the game in question is not one of them.)
    • Oddly enough, this was Averted Trope in House, hand-shaking and all. Of course, the Patient Of The Week was one of the contestants, and his first showing symptom was that he leaped over the table and beat his opponent to a pulp with the clock, but that's neither here nor there.
      • There was an error in that very episode; they referred to blitz chess as "speed chess" at least once.
        • Not an error - perfectly valid alternative term - it incorporates blitz, and may, depending on context, incorporate rapidplay. (For those who are interested, "blitz" is when each player has less than 15 minutes for the entire game, "rapidplay" is when each player has at least 15 minutes but less than an hour, and "standard play" is when each player has at least an hour. For time settings with increment timing, these categories refer to the time available to reach move 60. Slightly different rules apply to each of the three forms of chess.)
    • A newspaper strip called Big Nate did an arc about the title character taking part in a middle school chess competition, and wonderfully averted the statement above about players never shaking hands. Each time he shook hands with an opponent, Nate psyched him with a different bit of trash talk, including the simple statement, "Your hands are all sweaty." (The other kid stammered that he had a glandular problem, and Nate thought, "He's mine.")
    • And the board positions (if shown) themselves! God, the positions on the board! Pawns on the eight ranks. Bishops on the same colors. Both kings in check simultaneously. Three of the same piece with all 8 pawns still on the board. Quadrupled and quintupled pawns. In general a mishmash of board configurations that are either completely illegal or even if just barely legal, mindblowingly unlikely to ever occur in any real game between actual real players.
    • Briefly parodied in an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (Series 5, Episode 3: Re-Animated), where the layout of pieces and the 'checkmate' is clearly wrong.
    • The episode of Family Ties where Alex plays chess against a Russian is an interesting case. They actually got many of the details right, including the use of the chess clock. But the presence of live commentary in the same room was more than a little silly, Alex's whole moral dilemma for the episode is created by ignoring the sealed-move rule for adjournments, and of course, for some reason the Russian who suddenly decides he wants to lose can't simply do so by resigning.
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey: HAL, playing chess with Bowman, gets a few details mixed up, but it's a very subtle error that could only be spotted by a chess wizard. It can also be taken as Foreshadowing that something's very, very, very wrong with HAL.
      • Stanely Kubrick was a borderline professional level chess player and the board position was taken directly from a masters level game. It seems pretty unlikely that HAL misreading the board was anything other than foreshadowing.
    • Played for laughs in Futurama where one of two robots playing chess declares: "Mate in 137 moves!" - from the opening position.
    • In the Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone movie, Harry starts out as the white-square bishop but clearly delivers checkmate while traveling on a black square diagonal. While his starting square is not directly shown, the king-side white bishop always starts on a white square.
  • Probably just about every work of fiction involving Cricket that wasn't written by a professional player or umpire.


Other Edit

  • Private Eye has the spoof sports columnist Sally Jockstrap. A typical Jockstrap column might say how pleased she is that Michael Owen (a footballer) is playing in the Six Nations (a rugby tournement) and she hopes he scores a six (a cricketing term) against Paraguay (not one of the six nations, but at this point it hardly matters).
    • Although there is a Welsh Rugby Union player called Michael Owen, which was confusing to overhear in recent commentary.
  • It's very rare for Professional Wrestling to be portrayed as anything less than 100% real in fiction. In fact, many wrestling movies even feature the hero's refusal to take a dive to satisfy a shady promoter as a pivotal plot point. This may have been forgivable back in the day, when the average film or TV show's "Technical Consultant" would be trying to uphold Kayfabe, but in the modern day, when even Vince McMahon himself admits it to be staged, one might think to take a look at the world behind the curtain...
    • Of particular note here is an episode of Quantum Leap in which Sam leaps into the body of a wrestler playing an Evil Russian; in this episode, it's confidently declared that wrestling actually is staged -- except for the title matches, and Sam and his partner's refusal to take a dive in a tag-team title match is the main conflict of the episode. If anybody can explain to us how this was supposed to work, it would be appreciated.
    • At best, I could see it being more of a people issue - a wrestler switching promotions or some such and unwilling to drop the title to someone else, for instance.
      • The conflict came about because the promoter was loathe to even take the chance that two "Communists" could be their champions (fearing the fans wouldn't accept it. A fair fear in 1950s Texas), so wanted them to take the dive. Crisis averted when one of the champions (played by legendary wrestler Terry Funk) insisted on playing things straight... mostly so he could pound on Sam without consequence (and Sam was barred from using any martial arts to defend himself).
    • What tends to annoy is the set up of the ring area: the ropes are almost always too loose and there's no gap between the ring and the fans, both of which would be detrimental to putting on a good match.
    • In Forrest Gump (the novel), Forrest spends some time as a professional wrestler during a time when the fact that wrestling is staged is a carefully guarded secret. He's supposed to lose an important match, but a friend of his tells Forrest to break the script and try to win for real so they can make money on a bet. And actually, this is a fairly accurate description of how wrestling worked back in the day, as some wrestlers would "go into business for themselves"; usually, though, this was for higher stakes than just a bet, as it tended to get a wrestler blackballed.
    • Somewhat averted, oddly enough, in an episode of Family Matters--a series of unfortunate events lead Carl and Steve to replace the Psycho Twins (including dressing in their costumes) in a match against the Bushwhackers. While they do take liberties--wrestlers exchanging friendly jokes and commentary isn't unheard of, but except in certain character-based situations they wouldn't shout it across the ring at each other--the Bushwhackers are portrayed as guys doing a job, and they're impressed at how Carl and Steve are doing well for "a couple of blokes off the street". However, when Steve mentions that Carl's a cop, suddenly It's Personal and the Bushwhackers stop pulling their punches, looking to actually hurt them. That this would get them suspended at the least if they were the top wrestler in the company and related to the boss isn't brought up afterward.
    • On the other hand, to perpetuate the "Wrestling is real" phenomenon, whenever someone yells "Wrestling is Fake" in a TV show, rest assured any wrestler who hears it will wade into the crowd and show him just how "fake" it is. Apparently blatant assault with hundreds to thousands of witnesses is pretty casual. Unless the guy's a plant...
      • Believe it or not, there is some Truth in Television to that. Back before guys like Vincent McMahon actually admitted wrestling was staged, that was company policy. If anyone was to ask a wrestler if what they did wasn't fake, they could expect to get body slammed. As a result, many wrestlers really did get arrested or sued.
        • This actually happened to journalist John Stossel. He even sued and won.
      • Also, many more extreme professional wrestlers do take offense to people calling it "fake" because it implies they aren't actually doing their impressive stunts. Yes, the matches are played up to look a lot more like real fights, and the winner is often pre-determined, but as Mick Foley would point out, there is no way to "fake" jumping twenty feet through a table covered in thumbtacks.
    • This is totally inverted by the fandom. Browse through the wrestling section at fanfiction.net and compare how much of it is based on Kayfabe to how much of it is basically Real Person Fic.
    • Naturally averted in The Wrestler, where Kayfabe at the lower levels of the game is quite accurately portrayed--and celebrated (sort of), being presented as its own kind of art, which Mickey Rourke's character is only too happy to risk his life for.
  • If Segata Sanshiro wants a football team to win, it will win. He did get called out for it in the second one.
  • In Mad's parody of The White Shadow, the coach goes on a date with a woman who tells him, "Oh, I love basketball! I just love it when the batter kicks a touchdown basket."
  • Pretty much every depiction of poker in film or TV features a line to the effect of, "I see your bet and raise you...". In real life, this is a 'string bet' and the player would be forced to only call.
  • This cake.


Real Life Edit

  • After the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals played to a tie in 2008, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb revealed after the game that he had no idea NFL games could end in a tie.
    • The truly hilarious part? That tie put the Eagles into the playoffs. If it was a loss, they would have been eliminated.
    • The whole thing was made worse[7] when other players stepped up to defend McNabb's gaffe. Most notably Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who stated that probably half the league's players wouldn't know that rule (Which has been in effect since 1974 and is spelled out - by the announcers AND the referee - at the beginning of any OT period) and Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who stated that he might not have realized it either, had he been in McNabb's place (doubly painful, since Ward played in the last tie game, four years earlier)
    • The best response was from ESPN, who did an entire video entry about "other things Donovan McNabb might not know": "a team earns a first down after going ten yards, a touchdown is worth six points...", etc.
  • In a 2009 game between the Bengals and the Browns, broadcaster Rich Gannon debated whether the Bengals should run down the clock before kicking an overtime field goal, so as not to allow the Browns time to return a kick. His broadcast partner helpfully reminded him that NFL overtime is sudden death.
    • In Gannon's defense, he came this close to making a salient point: He thought Cincinnati should run down the clock so that if they scored, Cleveland would be unable to return the kickoff (and then he was corrected). But Cincinnati should've run down the clock anyway in case they missed the field goal, as that would prevent Cleveland from driving the length of the field normally.
  • Check this quote from soccer player Lukas Podolski: 'Soccer is like chess, only without the dice'.
    • Although chess was played with dice in the 1400s (which led some churches to ban it due to considering it a form of gambling), one really doubts Podolski knew that.
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson had the puck in the form of House Member Christopher Shays' "In 1919 the Chicago Blackhawks Scandal...", apparently referring to the "Black Sox scandal" where players of the Chicago White Sox baseball team fixed the 1919 World Series. The Chicago Blackhawks is an ice hockey team founded in 1926.
  • When Sarah Palin resigned the Alaska governorship, she described herself as a "point guard"...and then it got weird.
    • The fact that her major in college was sports journalism just adds to the absurdity.
    • And she actually was a point guard when she played high school basketball. Though if you think about it, maybe her inability to properly understand how to defeat a full-court press is why she didn't play in college.
  • While competitions are rarely shown, plenty of visual media show Western fencing being practiced, especially by wealthy, WASPy Americans or Brits. Common mistakes include showing fencers wearing two gloves (fencers only wear one), fencers circling each other (fencers can only move within a narrow rectangular playing field called a piste) and, because presumably most people portraying them aren't actually fencers, really bad technique, like poking their arms out at each other hoping for a touch (in the sabre and foil subsets just about all offensive actions involve lunging, running or jumping at one's opponent).
    • Of course, non-competition movie fencing isn't very realistic, either...
    • Fencers who are prone to covering target (read: bad fencers) sometimes wear a backhand glove for protection.
  • More than one retired baseball umpire has admitted he had no idea how to correctly identify and call a balk on a pitcher.
    • For reference, Here's The Other Wiki's page on balks
    • Fans aren't any better at identifying balks. It's a sure bet that any time a pitcher for the visiting team does the fake-to-third-then-throw-to-first maneuver, the fans will be howling for the umpire to call a balk... even though this play is perfectly legal as long as the pitcher removes his foot from the pitching rubber before throwing to first.
  • The book "The Stupidest Things Ever Said By Politicians" gives us this beauty of an analogy:

 At the end of the field is a field goal and what if the referee were to move the field goal every inning and carry the ball over the finish line.

  • Many boxing fans don't seem to realize that the referee, the timekeeper, and their jobs have no official relationship during a fight, and thus unfairly accuse a ref of screwing a fighter with a decision that didn't take time into account. The most infamous examples:
    • The "Long Count Fight" of 1927 where Gene Tunney retained the heavyweight title against Jack Dempsey. Many people felt Dempsey was robbed of a knockout win when he floored Tunney in the seventh round because referee Dave Barry spent five seconds ordering Dempsey to go to a neutral corner before starting the count. By the rules, however, this was exactly what Barry should have done since Dempsey didn't immediately do so (many also don't realize this was the first title fight ever to use the neutral corner rule). Some boxing fans have suggested Barry was supposed to have checked with the timekeeper and adjusted his count accordingly; however, there is nothing in the rules saying that's what he should have done.
    • The 1990 Cesar Chavez-Medrick Taylor fight when referee Richard Steele declared Chavez the winner by TKO with two seconds remaining in the final round. Since many observers believed Taylor was ahead on points and would have won had the clock run out, they were appalled that Steele didn't check the clock and just let it run. But Steele's job was only to see if Chavez's last minute assault left Taylor unable to continue regardless of the time, and since Taylor didn't respond to Steele twice asking if he was okay, it was the right call.
  • Real life subversion: Wayne Gretzky's son Trevor has been signed by the Chicago Cubs, a baseball team, where he may, on occasion, actually have the ball.
  • There's a fad among German sports commentators of using "Stockfehler" to refer to misplays in football. It is not clear how high-sticking works in a game that isn't supposed to involve sticks at all.
    • Stockfehler means "stock error" or "basic error."
  • Brett Hull's goal that won the 1999 Stanley Cup for the Dallas Stars is regarded as one of the worst officiating moves in sports history on the claims that Hull was illegally in the goalie crease. Much of this is based on the Buffalo coach's accusation that the officials refused to review the goal because they didn't want to have to clear the ice and resume the game upon being proven wrong. While the goal itself is debatable, the officials have insisted they DID review the play and ruled that since Hull kicked the puck with his skate, he had possession and the goal was therefore legal.
    • When the NHL shortly thereafter announced that goals in the crease were no longer reviewable plays, everyone assumed they were covering their tracks because of the Hull goal, but the league had made that decision before the Stanley Cup Finals began.

Notes

  1. Rice and Montana played together for the 49ers for a while, but Montana was playing for the Chiefs at the time the strip was written.
  2. which uses a puck
  3. You know the drill.
  4. Which would've normally been an advantage for Stile, except due to his exploits in Phaze, he was in no condition to run any major distance.
  5. 4 aces, 4 deuces and 2 threes - at 100,000,000 to 1 odds
  6. Lasorda was a spokesman for Slim Fast diet shakes
  7. or better, depending on how funny you ridiculous you found it