Flopping, as it’s known among soccer fans, is the face-contorted, blinded-by-tears, feigned agony suffered by players when tapped or brushed or touched or merely waved at by a player on the opposing team. If you don’t feel pain merely by watching them, then you are either heartless or you are an official of FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, whose officials hold the hellish task of suffering through these antics while deciding whether to call a foul on an offender.
The Wall Street Journal has been paying attention, and it appears that Brazil’s star, Neymar, is leading the pack in flops at 43 as of the team’s victory over Mexico last week. So legendary is the flop that a kids’ soccer team coach in Switzerland posted a video of his boys perfecting their group flops during practice. On Twitter, photos of Neymar in different stages of faked agony are now numbered according to seriousness so that patients can have a gauge to describe their level of pain.
Such is the transformative effect of World Cup soccer, and drama, on our daily lives.