When a player we don't like does it, we lambaste him. Call him a cheater. Say his theatrics are an attempt to compensate for lack of athletic skill. But when one of our favorites do it, we smirk and shake our heads and mumble something about how cunning he is. The faked injury—an aspect of the game that polarizes even our own selves.
In simpler times when the only lenses focused on games were in human eyes, getting away with a faked injury took little more than a some grimacing and rolling on the ground. Now, with the ability to capture every millimeter of the field and every nanosecond of the game on high definition video, getting away with it requires a great deal of wiliness. And frankly, most athletes just don't have what it takes. Not even close.
Click on to see the hammiest, most poorly coordinated, and just plain awful faked injury performances of all times.
MMA fighter Charles Rowan took the faking to a brand new level: allegedly he faked his own death. Reportedly his girlfriend told his promoter that he had died in a fatal car accident on the way to a bout.
Now I'm no expert in making oneself disappear, but it seems to me that priority number one would be keeping a low profile.
Getting charged with armed robbery and assault with intent to murder, having your mug shot flashed all over the news—yeah, that doesn't qualify as low profile.
This highly suspect leg cramp was ruled nonexistent by NFL officials and cost Sanders 15 large from his own coffers. It cost his team another 35K.
Um, Emmanuel, you might want to consider limping around for a bit longer next time. When you run "swiftly and effortlessly toward the punted ball" just two plays later, it tends to set folks wondering.
In this Copa Sudamericana final match, Tigre defender Alejandro Donatti goaded Sao Paulo's scoring machine Luis Fabiano into something of a skirmish. The Brazilian flicked a little kick at Donatti that failed to make contact and seemingly did no damage at first. But then it apparently shattered all 206 of Donatti's bones (including those tiny ones in the ear) and he fell to the ground in a pathetic heap.
The ref, who would be an awful Hollywood talent scout, red-carded Fabiano. Fabiano then went berseker at the injustice of it all.
Brian Walker of the Arkansas Razorbacks (later the Salt Lake Bees), should have paid attention in his physics, technology, anatomy and theater classes back in high school. Let's school him quickly.
Physics: A ball must actually impact your elbow to cause it damage
Technology: Cameras exist.
Anatomy: An arm walloped by a pitch, wouldn't be able to thrash about all hissy-fit like moments later.
Theater: Less is more.
Smith's flop in this Knicks-Pacers playoff game might have cost him $5,000, but surely ballet company scouts took notice, so it was worth it.
Scroll down in this article to see an animated GIF of the perfectly executed fouetté en tournant.
Victoria Azarenka's speculated-to-be-fake rib injury during a January 2013 Australian Open semifinal match was not about poor acting.
It was about poor timing.
Azarenka was serving for the match against Serena-Williams-upsetting Sloane Stephens and bungling it big time. In her own words: "I almost did the choke of the year. I just felt a little bit overwhelmed. I realized I’m one step away from the final, and nerves got into me, for sure."
Cue the injury time out.
After a few minutes of R&R, Azarenka closed out the victory.
Keanon Lowe might be the only person on this list who did some powerful bad acting for a powerful good cause.
Reportedly Oregon player Lowe faked an injury during the January 2013 Fiesta Bowl so that teammate Dane Ebanez could make a first and only Bowl appearance.
Though Ebanez made no spectacular plays, he was on the field for victorious Oregon's final play of the game.
"It was definitely my highlight," Ebanez said.
All articles on faked injuries lead here. With an apparent injury (that "necessitated" a wheel chair) during the 2008 NBA finals against the Lakers, Pierce earned himself a reputation of faker extraordinaire. And just as quickly as Sally Albright was back at her sandwich after groaning and writhing, Pierce was back in the game.
Apparently Grêmio defender Werley Ananias da Silva has a bionic leg that is so powerful a mere flick of it in the direction of an opponent, churns up a maelstrom of crippling pain.
Hi I'm Chris Bosh and I'm a flopaholic. I started flopping back in middle school. It seemed to fill a void in my life when I couldn't get any acting gigs. Most of the time I don't really fool anyone, but I can't seem to stop. Here is one of my more notorious flopping incidents from a game against the Chicago Bulls back in February 2011.
In the 115th minute of a 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup match between USA and Brazil, tragedy struck. A ferocious monocot leaf (yes, a blade of grass) dragged Brazilian defender Erika Christiano Dos Santos to the ground and tried to photosynthesize her. Were it not for the efforts of the medical team, who thinking quickly, tore her free from the leaf's tentacle grasp and rushed her off the field, she might have been reduced to a sludgy pool of glucose.
During a Philippine Basketball Association match between the Petron Blaze Boosters and Barako Bull Energy Cola, Petron's Will McDonald went all dodge ball on Barako player Mick Pennisi's bare pate. Doink!
Despite his epic delay, Pennisi won the day with a flop that got McDonald thrown out of the game. Pennisi later said he might seek a career in acting once his PBA days came to an end.
Aaaaaaagh! Eleven grains of silica about a quarter of a millimeter in diameter just pummeled my foot. Somebody save me. Or at least give me a base.
Here we have the logic map that played out in Ribeiro's head as this altercation at a 2013 Asian Champions League match unfolded:
1. You've been shoved in the face. Did it hurt? If yes, go to step 2. If no, go to step 3.
2. Fall to the ground and yelp in pain.
3. Do you seek revenge for the dis'? If yes, go to step 4. If no, go to step 5.
4. Is the ref watching? If yes, go to step 2. If no, go to step 6.
5. Laugh it off.
6. Bummer. You'll get him next time.
The problem with using blood capsules to fake a mouth injury? Once the on-site medical examiners clean you up, there is roughly, oh, let's say a 100% chance that they'll notice the lack of a laceration.
Ah, easily remedied: Simply beg the doc to cut your lip and make it real-ish.
On April 13, 2004 Mike Ribeiro trébuchet-ed himself into the FIHOS (Faked Injury Hall of Shame) with this blood-and-thunder moment during the final minute of a playoff game against the Boston Bruins.
Watch as the seizures of pain tear through his body, rendering him a crippled mass of agony...
Watch on, as momentarily he reclaims a spot on the Habs bench, smiles, and taunts the Bruins.
No, this wasn't an earthquake that knocked these two Giants off their feet. Winds were blowing at an anemic 5mph from the SE, so can't blame the toppling on a gust either. Weather was warm, but not overly so—let's rule out heat exhaustion then.
No, Grant and Williams are not victims of weather, but of a sporting ailment called notreadyyet-itis. Defensive players up against a no-huddle offense are the most commonly afflicted.
World Cup Qualifying Match: Chile vs. Brazil - 1989.
Chile is down by one goal and facing elimination.
The master plan: Chilean player Roberto Rojas slashes his own face with a concealed razor blade and blames it on a flare.
The foiler: Instant replay
Apparently Rojas forgot to execute step two of his plan: hijack all the footage, ship it off to Skywalker Ranch, have the flare added and the razor removed, get the footage back in the cameras before anyone notices its absence.
The result: Chile is disqualified and Rojas is banned for life.