Flopping comes in two basic varieties:
(1) The Flop Proper is when a player simulates having been fouled in order to draw an unmerited penalty on the opponent.
(2) The Secondary Flop is when a player simulates having been injured by a foul, which may or may not have been committed.
I find it interesting is that, in the extremely violent and dangerous world of American football, there is very little of (1), while (2) is practically unknown.
As for (1), you’ll occasionally for instance see a receiver who realizes he’s not going to be able to catch the ball exaggerate the extent to which the defensive back is affecting his route, even going so far as to intentionally fall down, like a Duke basketball player who is within two feet of point guard driving the lane. But even here I see much less of this kind of thing than I would expect, given the practices in other sports.
But what I almost literally never see are examples of (2). Check out Bradley Chubb — a 265-pound block of muscle moving at a very high speed — inflicting an egregious cheap shot on a Cincinnati player yesterday:
The refs missed this call, in part because the battered Bengal didn’t start writhing and thrashing around and screaming like an Italian soccer player who has been breathed on. If he had, the play probably would have been reviewed, and then 15-yard penalty would have been imposed against Denver, and Chubb might even conceivably have gotten tossed.
Now what interests me is, why hasn’t flopping become part of the strategic behavior of American football players, especially the second kind, given how dangerous cheap shots are, in a game that’s extremely dangerous even when it’s played strictly within the rules?
Is some sort of macho ethic responsible? Do American football coaches not watch any soccer? Will this change as the practice of replay review becomes more venerable, and concerns about player safety, especially CTE-related issues, become increasingly prominent?
Anyway, it’s not something I’ve seen discussed anywhere.