Okay, so we all saw the embarrassing flop job in the game Monday night. No, not the flop job the Rams pulled in losing, the other embarrassing flop job. The one the Giants pulled when the Rams' hurry-up offense was threatening to wash them off the field early.
Just in case anyone didn't witness the incident in question (above), here's the setup: late in the first quarter, the Rams were running a no-huddle, extreme hurry-up offense, and the Giants were struggling against it. Winded players, lots of hands on hips, couldn't get their substitutions in, all the hallmarks of a team back on its heels trying to figure out how to stop the hurry-up. So what did the Giants do?
Well, they claim they didn't do anything, but two Giants players hit the turf simultaneously, claiming injury and stopping play. And if that bit of fantastically coincidental timing wasn't enough to plant a seed of doubt, the fact one of the players, upon seeing he wasn't the only Giant on the ground, got back up and walked on as if nothing had happened didn't exactly help the credibility of the whole situation.
Now, first off, I have to say that's pretty damned pathetic. Vlade Divac nearly passed out watching that, angry he had been so upstaged. A whole group of French soccer players called the league offices in New York to declare the Giants pussies. New Coke came out of retirement to publicly distance itself from such an embarrassing flop.
In light of this incident, the NFL commissioner's office sent a strongly-worded letter to all 32 teams yesterday, warning them faking injuries will not be tolerated. Except, of course, for this one time, but only because apparently nobody knew you weren't supposed to resort to flailing about on the ground in order to slow the other team down. The Giants aren't going to receive any sort of fine or punishment, nor did they draw any kind of penalty. So, you know, nothing this time, but next time, look out. The memo concluded with, "Just wait until your father gets home."
And that's where I have kind of have a problem with all this. The NFL already has a rule on the books about flopping to stop the clock inside two minutes, as well as prohibiting players from laying on opposing players to slow them getting up and back into position. Any and all clock-stopping or -slowing shenanigans meets with a delay of game penalty. Why is the rule only applied within two minutes? It seems to me penalizing a team for slowing the other team's tempo at any point in the game should set a precedent, but apparently I'm wrong.
Sam Bradford had some harsh words about the Giants after the game, saying in part, "They couldn't get subbed, they couldn't line up. Someone said, 'Someone go down, someone go down,' so someone just went down and grabbed a cramp. And I was pretty frustrated about that." I would be frustrated too in Bradford's shoes.
For his part, Deon Grant -- the player who actually stayed on the ground -- denies any sort of fakery, and is rather defensive about it.
"I went out (and) came back in. I've been doing that my whole career. But you go and check my medical report. I (have) the injuries to speak for it. Two torn MCLs I never had surgery on. Wrist surgery. Shoulder surgery. (A) broken hip with a metal plate with screws in it, so I don't fake nothing. How can another person that's not in your body tell you when you're faking an injury?"
So, according to Grant, real injury, with a healing time of about 45 seconds, and the other dude going down was just coincidence. Must have had a cramp the same exact moment Grant's old war injury started kicking up on him. Never mind the huge logical hole in his statement; anyone who's ever been actually hurt is apparently incapable of lying about getting hurt thereafter.
Then again, I can't really blame him. If you can get away with it and it helps you win, hey, why not, right? But from now on, watch out. King Roger and his posse are on to your tricks, injury fakers, and they will take all appropriate action to stop your antics. If it's convenient for them, and doesn't negatively impact one of the teams they would prefer to protect, that is.
A bit more video on the matter, with commentary (warning, probably NSFW unless muted):