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No Diving Please!

No Diving warning signLets face it.  Being a fan of soccer rather then football here in the States is like preferring brunettes to blonds if you live in Sweden.

In other words it is a battle you are destinied to lose. 

And here in America most of my  friends ask me while they watch the World Cup, “Why do so many guys flop around on the ground pretending their hurt.”

The flopper is one of my least favorite things about the game and to many Americans they see the act as a discredit to the entire sport.  Sure in football players sometimes pretend to be hurt in order to stop the clock in the fourth quarter and in baseball any pitch on the inside corner usually results in a batter dramatically lunging out of the way and hisses from the crowd and the NBA is filled with actors who flop and flail their way into getting to the foul line or drawing a charge, so is soccer really that much different?

The truth is that the likelihood of a footballer flopping or diving is greater because the possibility of an illegal collision between two players might be more likely then any other sport.  There are many grey areas in soccer and unfortunately diving has become a part of the game.  I think that the Ronaldo’s of the world take it a bit too far, but that is just the way it is and nothing can really be done to stop it.

In fact in Ronaldo’s first match against the Ivory Coast, he was wrongly given a yellow card when roughly tackled near the box simply because he had already dived a few times in the match and had gotten in a heated debate with a few Ivory Coast players that didn’t take to kindly to his falling act. 

The Real Madrid star voiced his disapproval of the call and card following the match and even claimed that star players should receive special consideration when it comes to such fouls.  In reality if the guy had not pretended to go down multiple times in the initial minutes of the match then he would have likely received the foul call near the box and not gotten into a tussle over the issue. 

But when you grow accustomed to flopping then that is a potentially bad situation you can find yourself in.  The players on the other team will call you out and they might want to knock you to the ground for real too.  In other words diving will only get you so far and at the end of the day it is hard to make a big play when you are lying on the ground hoping for a call from the official. 

I know you love penalty kicks Mr. Ronaldo, but some of you footballers need to stay on your feet.  You know for the love of the game and all. 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Loren Sztajer