September 18, 2013

Epidemic of Faking Injuries Descends on the NFL

By - Brad Heerschop

If it weren't enough that soccer players embarrass themselves and their sport each game by pretending to be hurt, the despicable habit of "flopping" in sports has now trickled down to what was once a game for warriors; the NFL.

Photo by: Louis DeLuca
A friend of mine referred to it as "the wussification of America," and I can't help but agree with him. There is nothing that disgusts me more than an athlete who pretends to be hurt to help their team save a timeout, or to get the opposition flagged, or even just to catch his or her breath.

Faking injuries, faking contact and faking pain is something that was once reserved for soccer. Frankly, it's a huge part of the reason why I don't particularly care for the world's most popular sport.

It started to appear in the NBA a long time ago, but in a game that has very little legal contact, it's not much of a surprise. Soon, NHL players began to flop as well, despite the fact that the league penalizes for such actions.

Once this gutless epidemic hit the NHL, it was only a matter of time before you started seeing it in the National Football League. Whether these allegations are legitimate or not, it's ridiculous that the topic has to be brought up at all.

The NFL has already undergone serious alteration to protect the players. The rule changes have not only made the game softer (and honestly, less entertaining), but they've made it even more complex than it already was. Fines are handed out and players are suspended for hits that at one time were not only legal, but encouraged.

In particular, defensive players seem confused as to what they can and can't do. The way these guys have been taught to play the game their entire life is now an archaic form of football. Players of the past would not be able to play the way they did in their day under the new regime of Roger Goodell.

And now, we have this. Guys pretending to be hurt in an attempt to grant their team some sort of edge.

In Week 1, both Jerry Jones and Tony Romo alleged that the New York Giants had committed the heinous act of faking injuries against the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL has since investigated whether Dan Connor and Cullen Jenkins deliberately impeded Dallas' no-huddle offense by flopping. Although the league concluded that they have no basis for punishment for the alleged offence, it still raised some eyebrows.

While Connor didn't return to the game, Jenkins did, and the Giants have not since mentioned what the extent of his supposed injury was.

I don't necessarily think New York faked injuries in the game, but what immediately rolled through my mind at the time was genuine concern that this could become a major issue.

The league office sent warnings to all 32 teams following Week 1, cautioning players that "disciplinary action" would be taken if they decided to fake injuries.

That, in itself, is not enough, though. How can the commish and his peers truly discern between what is a legit reason for the stoppage of play and what is "faking it," exactly?

Truth is, the higher ups that run the NFL probably have no way of stopping this deplorable behavior, and their idle threats will do little to stop players from flopping. As long as they manage to put on a good act and people buy the show, there is no foreseeable solution to this problem.

I don't have an answer, but it's not my place to find one. To the people that hold that responsibility, it's time to take action.

Let's take back our game before it's too late.


  1. To be fair, they do ho the defense every year with rule changes that benefit the offense. Then throw in that tempo and its a wrap. I get it that the defense has to do something, but faking injuries is bullshit though LOL

    1. Exactly Darrell. The solution is to stop changing rules to benefit the offence, and let these guys start playing football again, the way it was meant to be played.

  2. I agree with what your saying, but this is nothing new. Guys have been faking injuries to slow down their opponents momentum forever.

  3. True. It isn't new, but it's becoming more and more apparent.

  4. Not sure I count this as "wussification". They're not doing it to get other players penalised or crying about being hit. It's a tactical move, pure and simple.

    1. If faking injuries isn't a wussy move, regardless of the motivation behind it, what exactly is a wussy move in your book? You're hoping for sympathy from refs and fans, for something that didn't actually hurt. If you do that, you sir are a wussy.

  5. There's no reason to be layed out for five on the feild, then walk off holding your wrist. Seen someone do that this weekend.. can't remember who tho..

    1. No kidding Allen. I don't know who you're referring to, but it's got to the point that fans are booing real injuries, assuming they're faked. See last Thursday night's game.