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).
Italy's Daniele De Rossi
takes top honors today. The midfielder, who
elbowed American forward Brian McBride in the face
during the 2006 World Cup, didn't look like a tough guy against Paraguay on Monday. In the 11th minute, De Rossi, galloping up field, suddenly went down like an injured racehorse. No Paraguay player had come close to touching him. To be fair, De Rossi may have hurt himself (he clutched his leg). But the way
(he's thought of as the future captain of the Azzurri) was barking afterward suggests that he blamed the fall on someone else.
"He's not happy, is he?" ESPN's Ian Darke said. The better question is whether De Rossi was really angry about falling or simply embarrassed that he did so in such ridiculous fashion.
Level of actual contact:
Level of simulated contact: 8
Dive duration: 12 seconds
If you see a particularly egregious dive in a World Cup match, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Make sure to include the names of the players involved and the time of the game when the dive occurred.