The art of the flop
The month of June has provided me with a rare opportunity to examine this debate objectively. As a diehard fan of the New Orleans Hornets and U.S. soccer, neither of my teams is participating in the NBA Playoffs or Euro 2012. Therefore, I can truly examine the hot button issue of flopping in an unbiased manner.
If I can put my biased hat back on momentarily, the worst soccer flop I ever saw came in the 2011 Women's World Cup. With Brazil leading the U.S. late, a Brazil player flopped and clearly faked an injury. I know she was faking because she miraculously jumped off the stretcher on the sidelines. Fortunately, karma intervened, giving USA the win.
Soccer penalties are a much bigger deal than NBA fouls. If a soccer player flops and draws a red card, his opponent is immediately put out the game and that team must play the remainder of the game down a player. Even a second yellow card results in the same punishment in soccer.
The other thing I don't like about soccer flops is that the "injured" player often acts like he's just had a limb severed. I understand soccer players don't wear as much protective gear as American football players. But their shin guards offer more protection that NBA players are afforded.
Like any NBA fan, I've always believed that Eric Gordon's defender was moving when he tried to draw a charge on the Hornets' star guard. At the same, Chris Kaman's feet were set when his opponent was driving the lane to dunk on New Orleans' center.
However, flopping has seemed to draw the ire of all fans in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Some members of the national media have even called for NBA rules changes to penalize bogus flop attempts. The problem is that, whether we like it or not, most NBA flops come on legal attempts to draw charges.
All we need for NBA flops to be handled appropriately is for referees to call the game the right way. If the offensive player didn't lower his shoulder or push off or deliver an elbow, it's not a foul. Also, if the referees call the game correctly, NBA players will stop flopping because it creates a 5-on-4 disadvantage.
Soccer players are unequivocally worse floppers than NBA players. The consequences of committing a foul are much greater in soccer which leads to the dramatic histrionics. Drawing a charge is part of the game in the NBA which often looks like a flop. All we need is for referees to call soccer and NBA games correctly to appropriately deal with flopping.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
Brooks Peck, "U.S. overcomes controversial ref decisions to beat Brazil on PKs," yahoo.com
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