When no one’s around, players play more and push less

Subjectively, as a fervent soccer fan, I can tell you that these days with the mostly empty soccer stands, without a crowd to witness the hit, most soccer players don’t roll over and pretend to be hurt much worse than they really are nearly as much as they used to do when 75,000 ardent supporters were on hand to taunt the ref about a missed foul or penalty call.

Anyway, more objectively, a study just published in the journal, Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, concluded that with soccer stadiums empty (or mostly so), soccer players (sorry, since this is a European study, they are called football players) are not nearly as likely any longer to get involved in what the Brits so beautifully refer to as argey-bargey – in hockey, Canadians called it a melee or scrum (most often in the goal crease after a goalie has been tapped by an opposing player).

Aren’t you just shocked, shocked to learn that there is no grand-standing in the casino when there are no bettors on hand?