Running up the score…

    I couldn’t believe it but WIKIPEDIA actually had an entry for this phrase. I’m sure it was put in there by some guy whose high school football team was beat 77-0 back in the day.

Can you run up the score in professional sports? It happens a lot in college and even more in high school. But is does this apply to the pros? When the Pats are up 30 can they tell their players to play at 3/4 speed? Wouln’t you feel worse if you felt that the other team was easing up on you?

Also, Cris Collinsworth said the other day there’s something to dominating your opponent so you can install some sense of doubt in your NEXT opponent.

If you think the Pats are running things up…doing it the wrong way. I’m all ears.


21 Responses

  1. I believe the Pats are running up the score, but I also believe they have every right to do so. The teams they’re facing all operate under the same rules and regulations, the same salary cap, the same opportunities. If they can’t put their team together well enough to compete with the “elite” then I think the Patriots have every right to show what they’ve got and what they can do.

    On the flip side, though, part of me wishes that Belichek would at least pull some starters when the score got out of hand late in the game. Regardless of what the score is, I’d hate to see Brady helped off the field when the Pats are up by 35…


  2. Someone said this best the other day… It might have been Collinsworth. Basically, the Pats are putting their season in jeopardy by leaving their starters in there after the game is won (or putting them back in, as was the case a couple of weeks ago).

    Defenses around the league have the responsibility to try and make them pay for it. Not by taking cheap shots, of course, but simply by getting EXTREMELY aggressive/risky on defense and trying to get to the QB. If he beats you over the top for the TD that makes it 49-0 instead of 42-0, who cares? But you at least want to make sure that he knows you are there. And, while I never cheer for an injury, or hope for an injury, for that matter, if a guy like Brady gets hit on a heavy blitz and gets hurt… whose fault is that? You got it – the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff.

    So – Can you run up the score in pro sports? Of course you can! But one of the big reasons that people don’t is that they want to protect their starters and also protect their lead. With a big lead, you pull your studs and typically install a more conservative offense in order to milk away clock and not risk turnovers. But you aren’t doing that for your opponent… you do it for yourself. The Pats simply aren’t looking out for themselves right now, and instead are trying to intimidate. We’ll see as the season wears on if they end up paying for it.

  3. -In pro sports their is no such thing as running up the score.. To insinuate that a team should loaf or just kind of go threw the motions because they are kicking some teams ars, seems illegal to me. Or putting in second or third teams. Their are point spreads and all kinds of bets that rely on the score.

    -Scott Boras and the dodgers haven’t spoken since JD “brittleboy” Drew left the dodgers. Angels look like the front runners. If they want him and word is that they dont want to tie up so much money. Imagine if dodgers did get him they would have a new manager, New 3rd Basemen and new toilets… WOW…

    -You and Marshall Faulk were funny this morning… Why was he so agitated. LOL

    -Magic is so right about KOBE. If he wasn’t such a baby we would still have Shack and sooo many more championships.. Sad. So Sad. Good Riddance.

    -Little couldn’t manage the bullpen and had other questionable coaching strategies.. Glad to see him gone. Unfortunately Torre is also known for not handling the bullpen very well. That makes me nervous.

    Redondo Beach

  4. Yes, they’re running up the score. And normally I’d care, but I don’t.

    What the Pats are doing to their opponents really is no worse than any end zone celebration. They’re showing off.

    Why are they running it up? Personally, I think it comes from a place that says, “Look-at-how-strong-we are (without cheating).” I get it, but I think it’s a bit sad.

    There are many good reasons not to run up the score, just as there are many good reasons not to draw attention to yourself after scoring a touchdown. Don’t bother telling those reasons to the Patriots, or to T.O.

    They both like the attention.


  5. When Vegas keeps pushing the line, it takes a lot to cover.

  6. What a great problem to have! Hay Dan your ratings are so high we want you to take it down a notch or we are going to put in an intern.

    Taking cheap shots at Brady? “you can’t hit what you can’t catch”

    Sunset Blvd

  7. I think it’s great that they run up the score that way next time those teams play the Pats they can return the favor.

  8. What was Bill supposed to do? Punt on 3rd down? Give me a break. Please read my “What did he do wrong?” post at

  9. The Pats have the right to score the points they they can, and they probably should do that. However, the game was so boring I turned it off after the first quarter. A full season of these guys would make want to turn to a mudbowl of the Dolphins and Giants, or a game with the Cardinals and the Rams before watching any of their games. The Pat and teams that run up the score are just not very entertaining and harm their sports because people first turn away from the games, and then the sports themselves.

  10. Last year everyone jumped on the Celtics for tanking at the end of the season to get a better chance at the first pick in the draft. Now the Patriots are suppose to stop playing because the other teams can’t keep up. As a fan I should be able to see my favorite teams best players on the field this is not pre-season. If you don’t want them to score stop them.

  11. Like you said, you cant have players play 3/4 as hard as they can. But you can put in your backups who play 3/4 or even less as good as your starts. when you are up 38-0 there is no reason at all for your starting QB to be in there risking his health. On top of that, going for it on 4th down and 1 on your opponents 7 yard line is a spit in the face. Take a field goal and get off the field. You get the ball back? Keep going. I think its disrespectful to the NFL, the other teams and the fans.

    Sure, if you cant stop them than thats the teams fault. But going for it on 4th is a disrespectful move.

  12. Yes they are running up the score, and the solution is for the other teams to quit laying down. Washington gave up at halftime, New England didn’t, and it as simple as that. I’m tired of hearing about this.

  13. What happens if you put in your back ups and they start scoring points?

  14. If you don’t like it as a player Then do something about it. I don’t remember which Redskins player was whineing but if is was so anxious to see the Patriots again then why didn’t he do something about it in the 60 minutes that he was dealing with them on the field that day. The way that everyone piled up on the Patriots after “Videogate” was taken as a “calling out” and guess what? The sheriff answered the call. It is really funny how all of those people who were calling them cheaters, suddenly got quiet. In my experience, the way you prove something is to make a statement ON THE FIELD.
    Hey Dan, if you are reading this, Do you need a George or a Ringo for your group? Can’t wait to see you back. I have missed your radio show.

  15. The Pats can’t help but to run up the score when they are that good.

  16. tony…going for 4th down isn’t disrespectful. kicking the FG isn’t much better, you’re just adding on useless points regardless. at least you get your main goal done if you stay on the field…that’s killing time. the point of the end of game drives is to play keep-a-way with the ball. you’d rather not be on defense to try and finish a game

  17. It’s fairly comical combining “Running up the Score” + National Football League. It’s even more humorous that those making such a combination are the atypical “bleeding heart liberal”. Listen liberals, these guys go out on a field, muddy, wet, snowy, hot or cold and beat the crap out of each other. They go to this field to ‘Own’ the other team. They don’t go out with happy touchy-feely gloves & their politically correct ego’s. No they go out there to create pain.
    Listen you’ve hamstrung how this nation engages conflict…. You will NOT put the pansy gloves on MY football game.
    Run up the score. Pound ‘em in the dirt. Own the other team. This is football.

  18. As someone whose team just lost 44-7 (thank goodness for the saving the shut-out thing) to the freakin’ Lions (I know, I know, but it’s still hard to get used to thinking of them as anything other than Marty Mornhinweg’s kitty toy), I still have to admit that there’s no such thing as running up the score PER SE.

    However, if the team that’s up 37-0 (*ahem*) feels a need to bring out big fancy trick plays, or onside kick, or do well-choreographed line dances on the 50 after every score… well, that’s just poor sportsmanship.

    Whether it’s a function of intimidation for future opponents or simply a way to keep from being the also-ran in one of those “they put up 35 points in the last six minutes of the game” stories, any pro is being paid to do his best. And if that means “running up the score,” go ahead. Beat my Broncos by 37 points.

  19. Yes they’re running up the score. Yes, it’s up to other teams to stop them. And if you’re them or someone who enjoys watching them do so…then that speaks to lack of class.

    I’ve always been taller/bigger/faster than my peers. Growing up, it was easy for me to beat my classmates in whatever sport I tried. You know what, it was boring.

    If winning 100 to 0 makes YOU feel better than easing up, showing some class/respect for your opponent and winning 50 to 0. Then YOU are insecure.

    “If you aint cheating, you aint trying” is the cry of the mental and emotional midgets. If I beat someone one on one…it doesnt mean $hit if I cheated.

    The Patriots are the best team in the NFL. They arent the classiest nor do I hold them up as worthy of respect. I point them out to my children and explain that might doesnt make right, that being talented doesnt equal being a good person and that I’d rather have them be class people than head of the class.

  20. You run the whole playbook from starting gun to final gun. 50 to 0 isn’t any more classy than 100 to 0 and nobody expects you to send the cheerleaders into the game just to make it fair to the other team do they?

    Why is this even an issue? If we care so much about this then here’s a suggestion. Have any team with a lead of 21 points or more kickoff after every score. That way you’ll never have to debate this.

  21. The problem isn’t that they are running up the score, the problem is, how their running up the score. If your up by 38 in the fourth quarter and face a fourth down in field goal range, you don’t kick a field goal, you go for it, which is what New England did. But you also don’t throw it, which is also what New England did. You run a draw and if you get the first down you gave the other team every oppertunity they needed to stop you. But you don’t throw on fourth and short. Especially with the starters in.

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