In a week that has seen and will continue to see four MLS teams compete in CONCACAF Champions League play — a competition and region that provides its fair share of diving and other anti-fair play antics — it seems only fitting that Comedy Central's sketch comedy show Key & Peele recently tackled the concept of simulation in soccer.
The scene is about as predictable as could be with non-soccer fans discussing soccer players diving, but serves as a fair step back to observe the overall pointlessness of the act.
When Key slide tackles into Peele in the above sketch video, the latter goes through a cartwheel/somersault routine that is blatantly obvious simulation of suffering a strong, painful foul. Peele then proceeds to go through a series of violent covulsions that seems to end with the expiration of his natural life.
Key is shown a red card as Peele's "afterlife" process then begins, finding himself at the gates of Heaven. But just as the Key is sent off by the referee and the home fans erupt in cheers, Peele suddenly regains control of his body and soul, and is well enough to get back on the playing field for the upcoming decisive free kick.
As far as depicting the game of soccer, Key & Peele is all in on the slapstick comedy aspect. But in terms of the diving and simulation that goes on in the game, they're not that far off in accurately depicting how fans and media view diving players.
And that is the shame in this sketch video, that as much as soccer fans want to say that "Key and Peele are stupid and obviously don't understand soccer," how can you?
Simulation and diving is obviously bad for the game of soccer and its public perception, so what course of action would you take to rid the game of it? What would an offenders punishment be? And repeat offenders?