bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: New York Giants players hilariously fake injuries

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Honesty and sports do not necessarily go together. The stakes involved in the major sports certainly lend themselves to participants trying to get an edge any way they can. That is not to say that everyone cheats, of course, but there is no doubt that finding an advantage is often the key to winning. Sometimes, this does involve various kinds of subterfuge and even cheating. One of the reasons I have never been a big fan of soccer is the way that players fake injuries in attempts to get penalties called on their opponents. I have long assumed that this happens in other sports as well, but it seems particularly obvious in soccer. This week, this phenomenon became a hot topic of conversation in the NFL, as the New York Giants seemed to take a page out of the sport’s namesake, with not one but two players faking injury at the exact same time.

Early in their game against the St. Louis Rams on Monday night, the defense of the Giants was being serious challenged by the Rams’ offense, led by young quarterback Sam Bradford. The Rams were utilizing a no-huddle offense, which moves so quickly that it generally prevents the opponent from substituting players to account for mismatches. As the Rams neared the end zone, both Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams simultaneously collapsed as if they had been shot. It was an obvious attempt to bring a stoppage of play so that the defense could catch its breath and swap in some players. The best thing about it was the fact that, after he realized that Grant had also gone down, Williams got right up, figuring there was no need for them both to be down, I guess. If you watch the video and see him crumple, you will be truly amazed by his miraculous, nearly instantaneous recovery. Grant remained on the ground, allowing himself to be ministered to by the Giants’ training staff in order to complete the charade.

I am not saying that the Giants are the first NFL team to do this, certainly. I am sure it goes on all the time. That it was so obvious is really the key here. The whole scene was so comical that the ESPN announcers calling the game did not try to sugarcoat it at all. They spoke openly about the obviousness of the cheating. There was no punishment issued to the Giants, but the league sent a letter to all 32 teams later in the week, stating that there could be future punishments for this kind of behavior. I have to think it is going to be a major challenge to try to enforce this kind of thing in most cases, as I do not know how the league will determine if a player was faking the injury. Most incidents will not be as obvious as the one on Monday night was, as evidenced by the fact that this has rarely been discussed in the past, although it was most assuredly occurring. In the meantime, the Giants may want to bring in an acting coach to work with their players. Porn actors would have laughed at the performances of Grant and Williams.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Former major leaguer Manny Ramirez, a cheater several times over and an all-around bad guy, stated this week that he is seeking reinstatement to Major League Baseball. If some team is dumb enough to sign him, he is facing a 100 game suspension for his second failed test for performance-enhancing drugs, which happened last year. He retired from the Tampa Bay Rays rather than serve that suspension.

3) Former NFL offensive lineman Orlando Brown, best known for being hit in the eye with a thrown penalty flag back in 1999, temporarily losing sight in that eye, was found dead at his home in Baltimore on Friday. He was 40 years old.

4) Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Vince Young took to Twitter this week to alert people to the existence of a man who was posing as him in the D.C. area. The impostor was then found and arrested on Friday.

5) Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson is being investigated after police intercepted a package containing over two pounds of marijuana that was being shipped to his house. The initial search turned up six more pounds of pot at Simpson’s residence. He has not yet been arrested, but that would appear to be just a matter of time. Simpson is no Nate Newton, but 8.5 pounds is still pretty impressive.

6) Steve Gleason, who retired from the NFL in 2008 after playing most of his career with the New Orleans Saints, has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Gleason is 34.

7) Diana Nyad’s third attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida ended the same way the first two did: she needed to be pulled from the water by rescue crews after she failed to make the distance. I admire her willingness to attempt it, particularly at 62 years of age, but at some point she should probably give it up.

Good sports:

1) The world record time for completion of a marathon was broken on Sunday, when Patrick Makau of Kenya finished the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds. The previous record was 21 seconds slower than that, and was held by Haile Gebrselassie, whom Makau outran in Berlin to set the new record.

2) New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera set Major League Baseball’s all-time saves record on Monday when he recorded the 602nd save of his career. At 41 years old, Rivera is still going strong.

3) Mike Danton, who spent five years in jail for conspiracy to commit murder after playing hockey in the NFL for the St. Louis Blues, used some skills he learned in prison to great effect last week. As he played his first game with a Swedish team in his return to professional hockey, one of his teammates went into convulsions after hitting his head on the ice. Danton immediately assisted the injured player, keeping him from choking on his tongue until the medical staff could tend to him.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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