Floppers of the world unite!

ATHENS – After watching South Carolina beat Georgia for the fourth straight time Saturday I left Stegeman Coliseum to pack away my belongings in the car.

On the way to my car I saw three men with baseball hats on all getting into a car with out of state tags. I also noticed that the three men were trying to be as inconspicuous as possible – something was evident. I knew they were the officials that had just governed over the game between the Dawgs and Cocks.

I asked the most talkative one: "Has Carlos Powell always been that way?" Meaning – has he always been so angry for questionable reasons. The answer: "Yes, you always have to deal with him every game – Coach Odom knows about that."

Call me a homer, but I've played and watched enough basketball in my day to know what Carlos Powell is: a classic flopper.

Flopping is a basketball (and soccer) term for a player that claims or acts like he his hurt in order to draw attention from officials in order to get fouls called or to give his team an advantage. One of the best examples of a flopper is actually occurs in soccer. There flopping occurs when a player falls to the ground by themselves or with little help from their opponent (usually with their arms waving) after challenging for possession of the ball and losing it. They are hoping that the referee will give the player that won the ball a red or yellow card for rough play.

Former Georgia Tech and Marist star Matt Harpring, one of the best floppers of all time, wishes he could have given the flopping performance Powell gave the other afternoon. All day I had a front row seat and was able to watch Powell fall to the ground or show facial displeasure towards the officials when he didn't get the call he wanted. It got old. South Carolina partisans – taking up for their team – were not amused with the officials one bit. They may have been right in screaming at officials regrinding Carolina's three technical fouls, but complaining about how Powell was being treated was, again, just taking up for their side and not seeing what he was doing – flopping.

Now Dennis Felton has spent the last few days defending his team and their style of play. He is right to challenge those badmouthing his program for "physical" play. Sure, Georgia is raw, but they are not dirty.

"I know there are plenty of folks around here that would like little pitiful old Georgia to lie down and quit and not compete and just do what we're supposed to do, but that's not going to happen," said Felton.

Good for him. South Carolina was in a fight (figuratively) Saturday. Their win was no 20-point blow out like they had in Columbia in early January. Maybe Powell wasn't expecting that much effort from the Bulldogs; maybe he was throwing fits because he was not producing during the early and middle part of the game; or maybe this is just the way Powell plays.

For four years, Powell has glared down officials and pleaded with them when he didn't get his way – on Saturday he spent a few seconds pouting on the floor. After the game he called pitiful Georgia dirty when they were only playing hard – and that's just wrong.


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