Note: The piece you are about to
read click away from touches on a gigantic and polarizing subject. I do not claim to have the time, expertise, or patience to cover every angle that may seem appropriate. This is a rant, mmmkay? Read the first one in the series here.
Crap decision #2: Diving
If you're already rolling your eyes, then click away, because you're liable to need a vomit bucket before this is over. Regular people and self-hating masochists, read on.
Diving in a soccer game is a crap decision, but let’s take a moment to define it.
From Urban Dictionary: “The voluntary act of a player of association football or soccer in the U.S where he or she falls unexpectedly as to gain the free kick or penalty for their own team. Divers are looked down upon in the community of football and will usually be given a card for their actions. If a very obvious dive is noticed, the player might even be fined by FIFA.”
The second and third sentences are quite obviously crap, because players the world over continue to do it with few, if any consequences.
Now, sometimes there are consequences, and they are pretty funny. Like getting memed by the savage LA Galaxy.
Ok, so Neymar got a card for that last one. Pretty sweet, eh?
Which leads me to the top ten reasons why diving in a soccer game is a crap decision:
10. You could get a yellow card
9. You could get a red card
8. You need more than that? Honestly, dude. You’re the reason I’m doing this.
7. Looking dumb on tv and/or in front of friends, relatives, SO’s, coaches, scouts, beer vendors, security personnel, politicians, police, school teachers, Opta, NASA, NATO, etc.
6. If you don’t get the call, you’re lying on the ground instead of finishing the play. SAD!
(Even if someone is hanging all over you, fight for your glory!)
5. Your opponents will bait you into doing it.
4. It’s un-American.
3. Referees will eventually catch on to you.
2. Throwing yourself to the ground can cause an injury worse than the one you’re faking. (How grown-ass men whose bodies are vital to their paychecks can possibly fail to recognize this is enough to squash my hope for the future of humanity.)
And the number 1 reason why diving in a soccer game is a crap decision:
1. If your coach has any stones at all, he or she will bench you.
Here’s a bonus one to really drive this home. If you dive, and truly expect people to believe it, you’re making a trade. You’re buying a foul, a penalty, or a card for your opponent, with your strength and your balance. You’re saying, “Hey coaches and fans, please take me seriously as a highly trained athlete even though I fall down a lot!” You can’t have it both ways.
Bryan Olivera of #LosDos earning boos here. Doesn't like the implication that he dives. Alternately, he may be too small for pro soccer.— Reckless Challenge (@RcklessChllenge) September 27, 2015
Hell, when I was a kid, I’d rather die than trip over someone or get muscled off the ball. And if I did fall, I would get up as many times as it took to finish the play, or risk the weeks of ridicule and shame that would so rightly be mine. Writhing on the ground and/or looking around for a foul in our league was worse than a scarlet letter. It was right out.
No. One. Dived.
I know I sound like your grandfather explaining his trips to school or the factory, barefoot through the snow uphill both ways, but that’s how ass-backwards the world looks to me when players dive.
These days, high-level matches are covered by more and more cameras - the better to document this unsightly pimple on the nose of the beautiful game. Unfortunately even when given time to review, a league will still let you get away with some sh!t.
Donadel catches Jones in the ribs (?) and he's shown straight red. pic.twitter.com/cqZQY6Nkle— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) April 8, 2017
There’s a small exception. It’s really small. Like, I’m not condoning it, but there has been one instance in which a guy dove and I didn’t want to quit soccer out of guilt by association. Anyway.
To sum up, diving is a crap decision that, had I done it when I was playing, my own father would have benched me for.