David Beckham Latest to Battle on the Frontlines Against Flopping
LA Galaxy (they’re a Major League Soccer team if you’re wondering) mega-star David Beckham has become the latest – if not unusual — warrior in the battle against flopping, and according to the MLS Disciplinary Committee will pay the price for his actions.
In a June 30 match against the San Jose Earthquakes (again for the non-MLS initiated, the Galaxy and Earthquakes are rivals from the earliest days of the league); Becks took exception to the behavior of Earthquakes midfielder Sam Cronin. Late in a one-goal game (it was 4-3, not 1-0, soccer haters), Cronin goes to the ground chasing a ball in his own penalty area and stays there after minimal (maybe no) contact. The move is a classic soccer “simulation” meant to run time off the clock and preserve the win.
Beckham took exception to Cronin’s patheticness and drop-kicked the ball at him. First of all, go back and watch that video again. I can’t begin to tell you enough how great Beckham’s aim is on that ball. He threads it between two other San Jose players, arcs it just enough and drops it right on Cronin. It’s a thing of petulant beauty. (It’s also embarrassing that the ESPN guy doing the highlight says he doesn’t know what got it started. Know enough about what you’re talking about to understand the context.)
Now go back and watch the “injured” Cronin’s reaction. The poor little baby suddenly finds life, pops up to the seat of his pants, whines to the official and then hops up to chase after Beckham and demand that the Englishman be carded. Now, from an “everything that’s wrong about soccer” standpoint, somebody should have been allowed to punch Cronin right in the face without penalty at that moment. What he was doing goes against everything that sports is supposed to be. Maybe you win, maybe you lose (actually more likely tie here), but get up and win or tie on your feet like a man.
Instead, nobody punches Cronin (although Beckham seems MORE than willing to). What happens is the official DOES card Beckham (Instead of shaking his hand and thanking him for his protection of the integrity of the game and all sports everywhere). Now MLS has suspended Beckham for the Galaxy’s next game (the yellow card put him over his accumulated card limit, so that was automatic) and fined him. And despite simulating an injury or a foul being a cardable offense, Cronin walks away scot free (assuming the poor little guy didn’t have a relapse of his horrific non-injury).
Can Beckham behave like an obnoxious, entitled jackass? Absolutely. In fact it may be just about his only gear. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get one right every once in a while, and he got this one right. It’s hysterical that the “injured” Cronin leaps to his feet and gets upset. What was he, indignant that he’d been exposed as the loser flopping daisy he was being? That’s the only explanation for his anger.
David Beckham is the REAL victim here. Add him to the list of anti-flopping generals with Jeff Van Gundy. And if you happen to be at an MLS game, feel free to boo Sam Cronin mercilessly. Hell, boo him on your TV.
(c) 2012 meisterblogger.wordpress.com