On NFL Players Faking Injuries
Like Orlando Bloom, Brian Urlacher has ruined everything. At the beginning of the season—bursting with the aroma of sour grapes after being let go by the Bears—Urlacher let a surprise out of the bag: NFL players take dives.
Yes, believe it or not, the tough guy American sport has more dives than Delaware county.
What I don’t understand is the amount of shock and awe involved with the realization. As if for some reason football players—the guys who kill people drunk driving and drive drunk again or have more kids than they can name—are above the idea of gaining a competitive advantage through acting. It’s not like we’re finding out that Austin Powers and Dr. Evil are brothers here (SPOILER!). Of course taking dives happens and it has been for a long time. There’s no reason to be alarmed.
The problem that I have with all of this is the witch hunting that’s been going on ever since. Every time that anyone on the opposing defensive team goes down the fans boo him and assume he’s faking.
Jerry Jones did this week one when he accused Cullen Jenkins and Dan Connor of flopping to slow down the offense. He said,
“I thought us experts on football were the only ones who could see that. 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.”
The funny thing here? Connor hurt his neck on the play, didn’t return to the game in the second half, and was placed on IR for the year. Great call again, Jerry, as always.
The point is that football is a physical sport and for those who really watch the game it’s not easy to determine when a guy is hurt. Remember when Donovan McNabb tore his ACL in 2006? He was rolling out of the pocket and was bumped out of bounds by Kyle Vanden Bosch. It was a seemingly routine fall, but he was done for the year.
There’s no way to know when a player is injured and by booing every time a guy goes down you’re not changing anything, you just look like a huge dick (or worse—Jerry Jones) every time you’re wrong.
The other problem is that acting isn’t just with injuries. Players do it all the time in order to draw flags. Pass interference, holding, running into the kicker. Lots of those calls are over acted for the sake of winning the game…by every team.
For example, as an Eagles fan, it would be hilariously unrealistic to believe that our players don’t flop from time to time to draw a call (Flop, Eagles, Flop anyone?). In fact, there’s some fantastic video proof of it. Just watch the video below and you’ll see an eye opening example at the 1:40 mark.
Flopping is part of the game and always will be. So get over it (and stop using it as an excuse for not liking soccer).
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