As I spent the last few weeks watching the NBA finals, I was constantly reminded of one of the reasons football is by far my favorite spectator sport. It’s the contact. Basketball is supposed to be a non-contact sport, and with that rule of no contact comes the cringe-worthy flops on the court with even the slightest incidental bumping or brushing against each other.
The more I thought about it, I realized this is pretty rampant in the NFL as well. Quarterbacks, receivers, kickers….virtually anyone who has any sort of protection by penalty from contact are guilty of this. Quarterbacks flop with the slightest ruffling of their jerseys after the ball is gone. Receivers that are unable to reach the ball or bring down a pass flail through the air and throw themselves on the ground in an attempt to get an interference flag. Kickers, by far the most embarrassing, will routinely hit the field so hard I expect them to lose bodily function control, and the replay will reveal they weren’t even touched.
Where the NBA got it right was instituting a $5,000 fine when a player is decided to have blatantly and willfully thrown himself on the court with little or no contact in attempt to illicit a foul call, or as it has more commonly been called….the flop fine.
Now wouldn’t it be nice to see the NFL follow suit? The more they tweak the rules every year to help protect players from unnecessary and potentially dangerous hits, the more instances there will be of players faking contact in order to benefit from the penalties in place.
Wouldn’t you love to wake up Sept. 9 and read that Eli Manning was fined $15,000 for repeatedly throwing himself on the ground, like a child in a tantrum, while trying to gain a 15 yard penalty against the Cowboys’ defense?
I like the idea of a flop fine in the NFL. As long as we are going to continue to increase the rules and penalties for players’ protection, we absolutely should install rules and penalties for those that try to take advantage of them.
I know that instituting such a fine will not eliminate the occurrence of this in the NFL, $5,000 is not something that NFL players would really miss….well, kickers maybe. More importantly, this would call out the players most guilty of faking these infractions. It should serve to embarrass them, but even better to flag them publicly as someone who routinely attempts to fool the officials into throwing a flag. This could create a “boy who cried wolf” scenario, that would leave many players thinking it best to not develop that reputation.