27 June 2014

"Writhing time" at World Cup matches

From an article in the Wall Street Journal:
All too often during matches, seemingly fit men fall to the ground in agony. They scream, wince, pound the grass with their fists and gesture to the sidelines for a stretcher. Some of them clutch a limb as if it was just freed from the jaws of a wood chipper. But after a few moments, just as the priests arrive to administer last rites, they sit up on the gurney, shake it off, rise to their feet and run back on the field to play some more.

Fans of the world's most popular game know that this is just one of soccer's oldest and most universally despised tactics. Turning a small foul into a death performance worthy of La Scala can draw cards for opposing players, kill time from the clock or just give one's winded teammates a breather...

The study showed one thing emphatically: The amount of histrionics your players display during a match correlates strongly to what the scoreboard says. Players on teams that were losing their games accounted for 40 "injuries" and nearly 12.5 minutes of writhing time. But players on teams that were winning—the ones who have the most incentive to run out the clock—accounted for 103 "injuries" and almost four times as much writhing
Details at the link, via Reddit.


  1. Well now, how despicable.
    Players of "American Football " would never sink so low now would they.
    Pot Kettle Black.

  2. So there really are people out there who think the constant diving in soccer is ok and just as prevalent in other sports? That's hard to believe, but if someone has only seen soccer it would explain why they love it so - they just don't have exposure to anything else.

    And that's kinda sad. Maybe we could start a foundation or something to help them. "Don't Fret, Not All Sports Suck."

    DFNASP? Doesn't have much of a ring to it.

  3. At least for the USA, a lot of that time may be from Dempsey. He didn't miss much time, but he indeed did break his nose. As did his replacement, Jones.

    Didn't see much flopping for the Americans. And not a lot from any team they played.

    1. Also for Italy, most of that time is from the infamous Suarez bite incident. Maybe not a serious injury, but the Italian made sure everyone knew what Suarez had done. And rightfully so. Suarez is a head-case.

    2. Taking the case of Suarez aside, Uruguay has the best counter-exemple for the "writhing rule" in the competition yet: Álvaro Pereira, who having been knocked out in the match against England (he passed out for over a minute) came back to the game, fighting his team's paramedic and insisting to be kept on the field. He ended up making an excelent match.


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