We all know what a “flop” is. We also know how stupid and frustrating a “flop” can be (unless your team is the one awarded the penalty, then it is just a “smart play”). How many times have you been watching a match and seen a striker roll around on the ground and whine like a sick puppy even though no one came within five feet of him?
I, the STO Commish, detest flopping. It slows the pace of the game down. It creates unfair results. It makes grown men look ridiculous (and like ridiculously bad actors, like for example any of the Baldwin bros). Unfortunately, the practice of “flopping” has become even more prevalent in recent years. I guess once you flop, you can’t stop.
I’m sorry about that last Pringles pun.
But, I’m not sorry about the fact I am outraged every time I see a player flop. I know many US fans hate it too, and it is a big reason many folks say they don’t like soccer (even though flopping happens with just as much regularity in the NBA). So, as STO Commissioner, I have two suggestions for how to get rid of “flopping” (or as I call it “The Diva Dive”):
First, we start enforcing strict penalties for any player who fakes an injury. Now, the refs on the field can give cards for flops, but when was the last time you saw that happen? No, MLS and every league needs an official to review the week’s games and analyze if a player was really tackled hard or was just pulling a William Shatner 101 acting lesson.
Players who are caught flopping should then be fined, suspended, publicly humiliated and perhaps even flogged for their flops. Players who are repeatedly “sniped” by invisible defenders should be suspended longer than those who only enjoy the occasional flop (and who doesn’t?). I think fans would celebrate the removal of such a “pussy” move.
Also, if a player flops too many times in one season, perhaps his team should have to replace him in the lineup with William Shatner himself? Shatner would never flop because he is a man of honor. Even if he did flop, he would never get called for it because he is Shatner. Plus, I seem to remember from TV ads that he has good negotiation skills.
My second suggestion is a bit more primitive than the first, and – regrettably – does not involve William Shatner. What if we allowed soccer hooligans to heavily imbibe inside the stadium before the match, instead of just during it (wait a minute, maybe this does involve Shatner after all). The hooligans would likely engage in nefarious behavior, tear up the pitch, and leave shards of glass and piles of puke on the field.
How many brittle veterans (i.e. Blanco) and prima donna pretty boy soccer stars (i.e. Cristiano Ronaldo) do you think would think twice before hitting the deck if they knew that stuff was on the grass? Of course, one of the flaws of this theory is that once we got the hooligans on the pitch the night before, they may not want to move come kickoff time.
On second thought, this second suggestion is a terrible idea. As Commish, I cannot encourage hooligans to heavily drink on the pitch prior to the game. Regardless, “flopping” is one of the main reasons Americans hate soccer. You don’t have to look any further than the 2004 US Presidential Election to understand Americans hate “flip-floppers”. I, for one, would like to see the practice done away with for good. We may need a new “flop review” system to make this a reality though.
Or do we maybe just need Shatner?
You be the judge.
I’ll just be the Commish…
But I won’t ever look as sweet as Mr. Chiklis (or Mr. Shatner) did…