Introducing the Dive of the Day

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
June 14 2010 11:57 AM

Introducing the Dive of the Day

The soccer hater's most frequent complaint about the World Cup usually goes something like this: There's too much diving! The players are a bunch of wimps! Some soccer lovers will defend diving to the death . Some hate it. But no matter how the fans feel, diving , a.k.a. flopping, a.k.a. playacting is not going anywhere. So why not embrace it? Or at least make fun of it.

For the duration of the World Cup, Slate will highlight the greatest dives by the world's greatest players. We'll score each dive in three categories: level of actual contact (1 if there's no contact at all, 10 for a huge collision), level of simulated contact (1 for a stoic response, 10 for acting like you've been shot), and dive duration (the time from first contact to when the player gets off the ground).


While there were many blatant dives in the World Cup's opening weekend–Germany's Mesut Özi l, for one, was yellow-carded for diving (or "simulation") against Australia—none was as spectacular as the flop performed by Serbia's Milan Jovanovic on Sunday.

The 28-year-old midfielder earns high marks for his grimace. After getting nudged by Ghana forward Prince Tagoe, Jovanovic jerks his head back like a snapping turtle and makes a face that would've been more appropriate if he were passing a kidney stone. In this case, the diver was rewarded: Despite the fact that Tagoe barely touched Jovanovic, the referee sprinted over and awarded a free kick to Serbia. The Black Stars, however, exacted their revenge, as they eventually won the match 1-0 .

Level of actual contact : 3
Level of simulated contact : 7.5
Dive duration : 5 seconds

If you see a particularly egregious dive in a World Cupmatch, please e-mail .Make sure to include the names of the players involved and the time of the gamewhen the dive occurred.  


Alan Siegel is a writer in Washington, D.C. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter.



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