Wow. Are these internationally known and televised, well-paid athletes ever going to stop their incessant flopping and bellyaching?
If you've watched any of this year's World Cup, the contrast between soccer and many other contact sports could not be more evident.
The behavior of players including feigning injury, contesting almost every call, and twisting the jerseys and rules into a new form of wrangling seems to run along cultural lines. The fact is, some teams flail waaaay more than others. Just ask Japan, as of yesterday!
Fair Play rules in effect. But not enough.
It seems every fourth or fifth tackle involves a foot being stepped on in a way that completely incapacitates a player for one or two minutes to and through the point of convulsion, and then suddenly, and of course, off-camera, the player is able to rise up and join the full speed game. Those of us who are amateur athletes can only imagine the strength and lucky non-breaks?
Guess what happens after almost every knock in the head, after the player seems to have permanently injured his skull? A bevy of qualified doctors running out or taking him to the sidelines to see if he's okay? Hmm, nope, you won't see any concussion protocol. If he gets up, he plays on.
We've heard a few footy fans 'splain (hint) that metal cleats hurt the top of a poor boy's foot. Well, sure they do. But if you can imagine these soccer boys getting hit and / or stepped on via a rugby match, falling down all over like a perverse game of full grown whack-a-mole, then you have a vivid imagination and you also have a belly laugh or two waiting for you. Close your eyes and have fun.
The use of pronoun here seems particularly apt. View any World Cup women's soccer match, and you will not see anywhere near this WC's amount of complaining, throwing themselves down, and whatever you call it when you're hurt and then you're not. We call it annoying. Then we go on to marvel about how women are that much tougher. And how they managed to make Teflon shoes for their ladiy feet.
We're hoping some rugby or soccer geek out there will run the real statistics, graphs that boldly go across cultural and gender divides, and hopefully shame these high-level players into actually playing a decent sport. The rolling around in some of these 2018 WC games, in particular, has been much more disruptive than the VAR.
Especially as true rugby fans, deigning to watch a soccer match with our buddies, we deserve better. If we wanted to see this kind of sporty acting mess, we'd be tuning in to reruns of Dancing With the Stars. Yeah, there is a little sub-point there about being paid a lot.
It betenderhooves FIFA to deliver better.
And in the interest of gloating about how great rugby is versus soccerm please enjoy this photo gallery if you have the time. It's a quickie.