The Patriots are always looking for an edge, often in places where opponents would never think to look. The latest example of that thinking came during Week 17's matchup against the Jets when New England special teamer Johnson Bademosi was standing on the sidelines otherwise minding his own business, when New York wide receiver Robby Anderson ended up nearby, spiked the football, and hilarity ensued in the form of the worst flop you'll ever see:
Maybe the greatest flop of all time pic.twitter.com/aBBSDjnnc6— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 31, 2017
This led to plenty of good-natured ribbing from Bademosi's teammates.
Duron Harmon on the Bademosi play: "Flop of the year! Gonna be on Sportscenter for a long time" pic.twitter.com/VQK3UGKCS6— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) December 31, 2017
1st @j_bademosi24 is the worst actor of all time but I give him credit for trying! Hilarious!— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) December 31, 2017
@j_bademosi24 I give that flop a 10/10 👏🏻 😂😂😂— Shea McClellin (@mcckshea) December 31, 2017
Thankfully, Bademosi avoided serious injury, telling ESPN.com's Mike Reiss, "I'm all right. I got hit by the ball a little bit, but I'm doing OK. I think I'll be all right. I just got adjusted by the chiropractor."
But it turns out, Bademosi's instincts to flop for a flag were correct; the NFL now says Anderson should have been penalized. In video distributed to the media this week, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron confirmed as much.
"He spikes it inside the opponent's bench," Riveron began, according to Pro Football Talk. "That is a foul. That is a foul for a taunt, an unsportsmanlike conduct, and that is one of two fouls that will get you ejected from a game. You may not spike a ball in front of your opponent's bench, in front of an opponent, in front of your opponent's sideline."
Unlike soccer, however, there is no penalty for pretending to be hurt.