Brett Smiley
Friday February 28th, 2014

Yesterday Jan Vertonghen of the Tottenham Hotspur committed one of the most egregious acts of flopping that I've seen in a long time. Granted I watch a lot more basketball than soccer, so I haven't witnessed too many soccer "simulations" as they call it across the pond (also FIFA's term).

In this case, Vertonghen initiated contact with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's Roman Zozulya, first with his knee, then his shoulder, until Zozulya grazed Vertonghen with his head (if that) and instinctively raised his elbow in response. Vertonghen hit the deck, and Zozulya caught a red card in the ensuing scrum when players were engaged in a real -- not simulated -- confrontation.

Let's go Zapruder on this. To my eye, Zozulya never even contacted Vertonghen with his elbow.

dive

But Vertonghen got the benefit of perspective. From this angle, it's harder to tell.

dive3

The more I think about the term "simulation" the more I like it. Whereas "flop" means to suddenly fall, perhaps in response to mild contact, "simulation" makes it clear that the player in question is actively faking, like the jerk that he is. [With Leather]

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