If you’ve watched any of the 2006 World Cup you’ve become acquainted with the World Cup Stretcher Flop. This occurs when a soccer player suffers such a blow that the begin flopping around on the ground. You have to look closely for the offending hit by the opponent, since opponents in the World Cup move at the speed of light. Sometimes, you won’t see a hit at all. Don’t worry, the soccer players feel it.
When they feel that light speed hit they immediately drop to the ground and do the World Cup Stretcher Flop. This is usually accompanied by the sleek clutching of their knee or the fluid rubbing of their ankle. Shame on you if you feel that they are faking or embellishing their injury in any way. Tsk tsk if you feel they are just wasting time. This is a serious response to hard contact that no one saw since it happened so fast.
Flopping on the ground as they do, the player will grovel to the referee and then out comes the medical team. These lads are well equipped to handle the situation. A crew of six emerges out of the sidelines and onto the pitch. They quickly spring into action looking at the player, listening to the cries of pain and moving to help. Eventually they will decide that this injury is bad. This is where the fun starts.
They roll the player onto a stretcher and carry them off the pitch and onto the sidelines. You’ll notice as they do this that the match continues. Now, watch the sidelines closely. No TV tricks are used. You will see the Miraculous Recovery Dance right before your eyes. The six lads on the sidelines heal the player using arcane magic. The player pops up off the stretcher, runs a little and starts the Miraculous Recovery Dance. Within moments of balancing on the edge of a career limiting injury, the player is back and ready to play. It’s a miracle.
Not for a second should you think the players are “taking a dive” or “faking the referee.” I mean, FIFA has rules against taking dives and faking injuries, right?