In re: A pink card?

Americans who dislike soccer often point to one area, besides the low scores when expressing their disdain–the antics of diving, that being when players flop to the ground pretending to be fouled and hurt to some exaggerated degree, sometimes an absurdly exaggerated degree.  Moments after their crying show is over and the ‘magic spray'(what is that anyway?) is applied they pop up and are good to play. 

One can always find criticisms of diving, so it was nice to see an article that explained “Why Diving Makes Soccer Great,” The article argues that diving evens out the field among the bigger, stronger defenders and the smaller & more skilled players, forcing the less agile to be careful to stay away or possibly succumb to the theatrically based yellow-card.  While there are many arguments against diving, the article points out that many are based on masculinity, and that diving isn’t manly, such that a pink card should be awarded for divers.  Even if I don’t really agree with diving and feel it needlessly slows down the game, and it would be better to see players playing, rather than writhing on the ground, that said I don’t necessarily go full tilt against it as Dave Eggers did:

“Americans may generally be arrogant, but there is one stance I … stand behind, and that is the intense loathing of penalty-fakers. There are few examples of American sports where flopping is part of the game, much less accepted as such… Flopping is essentially a combination of acting, lying, begging, and cheating, and these four behaviors make for an unappealing mix. The sheer theatricality of flopping is distasteful, as is the slow-motion way the chicanery unfolds. First there will be some incidental contact, and then there will be a long moment—enough to allow you to go and wash the car and return—after the contact and before the flopper decides to flop. When you’ve returned from washing the car and around the time you’re making yourself a mini-bagel grilled cheese, the flopper will be leaping forward, his mouth Munch-wide and oval, bracing himself for contact with the earth beneath him. But this is just the beginning. Go and do the grocery shopping and perhaps open a new money-market account at the bank, and when you return, our flopper will still be on the ground, holding his shin, his head thrown back in mock-agony… Once the referees have decided either to issue a penalty or not to our Fakey McChumpland, he will jump up, suddenly and spectacularly uninjured—excelsior!” (The True Story of American Soccer by Dave Eggers, excerpt from The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup, an anthology,partially available on Slate

But a pink card?  The world cup blog takes this idea on:

 “The idea is to award players who dive with a pink card. Two pink cards in a match and the player would be ejected. In other words it would be the same thing as a yellow card, except it would be pink. Apparently the stigma of the color pink would be so humiliating and such an affront to a player’s masculinity that it would make players think twice before they resort to diving. Huh?
I’ve read a lot of dumb things and lord know I have written my share of idiotic ideas, but this one is almost in a class by itself. I can only imagine that after the Pink Card Solution doesn’t work – and it won’t – the next proposal will be to make all pink card recipients wear a dress and sing Britney Spears songs at halftime.”

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2 Responses

  1. How about a yellow card with pink polka dots?

  2. Our company, Go Far Post, sells pink cards. They are for the supporters in the stands, not the referees. The pink card will give the supporters a “visual voice” toward those who cheapen the game by diving. If we rely on those whose teams may benefit from diving to help police it, nothing will change. The supporters will have to lead the way and be heard.

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