The “soccer flopper”/Big-Brother-Ref format works because the construct is already highly dependent upon “official” intervention. Scores are so few and far between, and there are no differences in points awarded according to difficulty of a score, that it is cause (apparently) for frenzied exultation whenever one occurs. Over-regulation exists “for fairness.” Players are forbidden to use their hands, for example ? those with exceptional manual dexterity never get the chance to put those skills to the test, at least not on offense. Also, an offensive player who anticipates a pass too well and gets behind the opponent’s defense is “offsides.” Lots of energy and effort are expended in this system, but there is comparatively little to show for it.

In this heavily regulated, centralized officiating format, it’s to be expected that passive-aggressive namby-pambies will invest extra effort to make the central authority suspect unfairness on the part of his competitor, and that such efforts will succeed by and large.