We all need to take some time to complain every now and then, and although sports are a huge part of my life, there are some things that need to change.

These are things that have honestly bugged me for awhile, even though I’ve never directly encountered them myself.

If there is one way to put it, they are quality of life changes that can make the respective sport a little better, and the other one is just simply a complaint I want to get off my chest.

Soccer Flops

Unfortunately, the sport nearest and dearest to my heart is taking the heat first, and also unfortunately, it is probably the biggest gripe I have in this piece.

To preface this flopping I am referring to, it is a strategy, if you will, for a winning team to sort of embellish late in the match with a lead.

For example, if you collide with an opposing player, you may stay on the ground a few seconds longer to run some clock even if you’re fine; during a substitution, you may jog a little slower off the field to do the same.

But what I’m tired of seeing is a guy getting tapped by an opposing player and rolling on the ground for three minutes trying to draw a foul.

Fortunately, referees are good enough to either not call a foul or penalize the player who flopped, but unfortunately referees sometimes do reward the flops with a foul on the opposing player.

I get it. You want to win, and a foul call is also nice to get against the other team.

Personally, though, I think if you have enough integrity and really want to win, you can just get right back up and get back in the play and make an impact that way.

Please don’t flop kids, no matter what sport it is.

Pump Fake Fouls

This one pertains to basketball because it’s something National Basketball Association players get away with all the time and really irks me.

What I’m referring to is when a player pump fakes a shot to get their defender up in the air trying to block it.

The really simple thing to do when your defender is in the air and vulnerable would be to simply step back and shoot or drive around him easily and get a shot or pass off.

Instead, players see their defender jump and lean forward, INTO the defender, and put up some half-hearted heave they call a shot. Pretty much every time I’ve seen, the referee gives the shooter free throws.

Now, I don’t claim to be a rule aficionado, but to me, the shooter is the one initiating the contact. The defender could jump straight up into the air, which they are allowed to, but the shooter is the one lowering their body into the defender and getting rewarded.

It seems like a cheap way to get free throws, just taking advantage of a judgement call on the ref’s part. Also, lowering your body into a person who’s vulnerable like that can be dangerous.

The NBA tries to not give that call to shooters, but it still happens. Let’s stop that please.

The “Scoreboard” Comeback

I’ll be honest, I’ve done my share of trash talking when I played sports in high school.

Of course I’d do the small stuff, like telling an opponent to shut up when they complained about a call or saying “nice pass” when it was a completely bad pass, stuff like that. On occasion, I’d just start hammering someone I was guarding to try and get under their skin.

But the one thing I heard a few times and still see used to this day is the scoreboard retaliation.

You know, the cop out of, “I’m winning so your trash talk is pointless.”

Yes, of course you’re winning, I’m just trying to get under your skin.

More often than not, when you hear your opponent just say scoreboard back to you it’s because they can’t actually say anything meaningful to reply to your trash talk.

Sure, it sounds petty to trash talk someone you’re losing to, but just because their team is beating yours doesn’t mean it can’t be a 0-0 tie between you two. For example, your team could be getting blown out 70-40 in basketball, but if you scored 30 points on your defender, you have every right to let him know you’ve been dominating him the whole game.

Keep an ear out for the scoreboard comebacks, and if you hear it, just know you’ve won the mental battle for that game.

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