Jun 27 2014

Best at Being Worst: World Cup Flopping Rankings

flopWhile we’re on the subject of soccer. What is with flopping? Holy crap. It seems like I remember news about players getting yellow carded for flopping back in South Africa. Why is it suddenly legal again?

All too often during matches, seemingly fit men fall to the ground in agony. They scream, wince, pound the grass with their fists and gesture to the sidelines for a stretcher. Some of them clutch a limb as if it was just freed from the jaws of a wood chipper.

But after a few moments, just as the priests arrive to administer last rites, they sit up on the gurney, shake it off, rise to their feet and run back on the field to play some more.

Here’s my suggestion. Flopping can be legal but the ref’s carry paintball guns and anyone who is being a girly-man and flopping like a wilty flower gets shot in the neck. That ought to stop that pretty quick.

Hit the jump for the full standings.

The Team Most Commonly Seen in Anguish: Brazil. There were 17 incidents in two games when a member of the Seleção was seen on the ground in pain—the most of any country. World Cup poster boy Neymar had five such “injuries,” the most on his team. In every case he was back on his feet within 15 seconds.

The Overall Writhing-Time Champions: Honduras. Los Catrachos spent the most time on the ground or being tended to by trainers: seven minutes and 40 seconds to be exact. Naturally, five minutes and 10 seconds of that came in the first half against France when the match was tied (which would have been good enough for them).

The Team Most Likely to Grin and Bear it: Bosnia and Herzegovina. These World Cup newbies obviously don’t get how this works. They only had two “injuries” in two games for a total of 24 seconds of writhing time.

The Team With the Most Carnage in One Game: Chile. While they protected an early lead against Spain, the Chileans tallied 11 “injuries,” more than 24 other teams had in two games.

The Fastest “Injury” Yet: Enner Valencia, Ecuador. Against Honduras, Valencia was on the ground, clutching his leg after four seconds.

Worst Use of a Stretcher: 5 players (tie) Of the nine players carried off in these matches, five returned—all in less than 90 seconds, including American DaMarcus Beasley.

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Oh the shame.

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