A specter is haunting the NFL. With each passing game, it threatens to forever change the sport beloved by so many Americans.
Wait … what? You thought I was going to say concussions? That’s not a specter, friends; that’s a banshee, wailing right in the face of the league. This wraith works in a far more insidious fashion.
What’s with all the ghost references, you say? I don’t know, I thought I’d try it out … make this thing more dramatic. You don’t like it?
Well, tough shit, buddy. Because this latest scourge upon America’s game is ALL ABOUT DRAMA. That’s right, the latest issue to embarrass the NFL is the soon-to-be rampant flopping epidemic.
Flopping or diving, of course, isn’t anything all that new. It’s been around for a while now. You, the American sports fan, are probably most familiar with it in the other sport known as football and you detest it. No matter how much you hate it though, flopping is so deeply embedded in that sport that it’s not going anywhere. And it gets worse all the time. Take, for example, this spectacular flop by Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell against the USMNT on September 6th (skip to 5:40).
If only flopping would have been contained to soccer, we could easily enjoy videos like that one. But it’s spread like a really lame body snatcher to almost every other sport. It’s now in hockey and basketball. Somehow, even with the lack of physical contact, it’s made it’s way into baseball.
For a while, it looked like the NFL was safe. This is a MAN’S GAME, after all. No self-respecting football player would fake an injury, right? Wrong.
During an appearance on Fox Sports 1, former Chicago Bears’ linebacker Brian Urlacher revealed that the Bears would fake injuries to slow down opposing offenses. “We had a guy who was the designated dive guy,” he said. “It wasn’t coached, but it was part of our game plan.” The Chicago Sun Times would later confirm the story.
After Dallas beat the New York Giants on Sunday night, reporters asked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about the Giants faking injuries. “I thought us experts on football were the only ones who could see that,” Jones said. “I didn’t know everybody could. It was so obvious it was funny. It wasn’t humorous because we really wanted the advantage and knew we could get it if we could get the ball snapped.”
So, sorry football fans, flopping looks like it’s here to stay. You can blame the diving on the prevalence of the new no-huddle offense trend taking the league by storm, but it’d be misguided. Sure, defenses have more incentive than ever to slow down the pace of the game in order to switch into new personnel groups and get exhausted linemen off the field. Yet, even without this offensive innovation, flopping would have become a part of the game eventually. Anytime you take the world’s most competitive people and pit them against each other for their job security, they will look for any advantage they can get. And, no matter how you feel about it, flopping can bring a competitive advantage.
So good luck fixing this one, Roger Goodell. This is going to get very ugly or unbelievably funny, depending on how you look at it, real soon.
Previously from Charlie Crespo:
♦ Science Says You’re Happy With a 40-Hour Work Week
♦ Viral Video of the Week: Georgia Fan Sobs on the Radio
♦ Beertopia: Duvel Moortgat’s Duvel
♦ The Pavel Datsyuk Conundrum
♦ Monday’s Viral Video: Don’t Forget Your Phone