WORLD CUP: Ahhhh. Yes. No matter who is playing, that rhythmic, sing-song ebbing and flowing behind the commentators and the gasps and screams-- nothing like it in the world. With that said, I have a real problem with the 'feigned death' that seems to permeate and slow the game. You know, the guy gets touched by the 110 lb other guy and flops to the ground as if shot. Writhing and grimacing and holding various parts of his body--often a different part than he tells the medical crew when they eventually arrive. Next time you see a player hit the moss and get carried off on a stretcher (the reason the stretcher patrol is so quick and available in world cup is there is no other way to get these babies off the lawn) watch how long after this stretcher crosses the sideline before said injured player pops up and runs back on. You see, there are no immediate subs in soccer, so if they take you off for an injury, your team plays down a man. I have seen dozens of players pop up as if on a spring the second they cross that line. So why do they bother flopping in the first place? It's called 'spin.' If they fly to the ground perhaps the ref will penalize the other guy. The longer they writhe in pain, the better the chance for a penalty and the more severe that penalty might be. The problem is that everyone flops and it's just a joke now. Next time two guys collide and one goes down, watch the other one try and out-Oscar him in a hilariously funny writhe-a-thon. And then remember that these are grown men. A few years ago the NHL realized that 'diving' was embarrassing to everyone concerned and instituted a penalty for doing exactly that. If you go down in a flaggrant dive, YOU go to the penalty box. I would love to see that in soccer. Yellow card for first, red for second dive. Might even speed up the game and attract a few more American viewers. Not that they care.
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