Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup fake injuries rankings

With this in mind, the Count loaded 32 World Cup matches on the DVR and set out to perform a comprehensive empirical study aimed at determining one thing: Which World Cup participant nation is the world's floppiest? ...

To be fair, it is actually possible to get hurt playing soccer. ... There were nine injuries in total that forced players to be substituted from the game and to miss, or potentially miss, a match. These were discarded. ...

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. ...

The Team Most Commonly Seen in Anguish: Brazil. There were 17 incidents in two games when a member of the Seleção was seen on the ground in pain—the most of any country. World Cup poster boy Neymar had five such "injuries," the most on his team. In every case he was back on his feet within 15 seconds.

The Overall Writhing-Time Champions: Honduras. Los Catrachos spent the most time on the ground or being tended to by trainers: seven minutes and 40 seconds to be exact. Naturally, five minutes and 10 seconds of that came in the first half against France when the match was tied (which would have been good enough for them).

The Team Most Likely to Grin and Bear it: Bosnia and Herzegovina. These World Cup newbies obviously don't get how this works. They only had two "injuries" in two games for a total of 24 seconds of writhing time.

The Team With the Most Carnage in One Game: Chile. While they protected an early lead against Spain, the Chileans tallied 11 "injuries," more than 24 other teams had in two games.

The Fastest "Injury" Yet: Enner Valencia, Ecuador. Against Honduras, Valencia was on the ground, clutching his leg after four seconds.

Worst Use of a Stretcher: 5 players (tie) Of the nine players carried off in these matches, five returned—all in less than 90 seconds, including American DaMarcus Beasley.

--Geoff Foster, WSJ, on the worst part about soccer