On the heels of the fight that broke out during the Miami Hurricanes-Florida International football game, SI.com has put together a gallery of some memorable brawls, listed in no particular order. Tell us which ones you'd add to the list.
What about the Detroit Red Wings and Colorodo Avalanche brawl in which Darren MaCarty exacted revenge on Claude Lemieux for his cowardly hit on Kris Draper, and which also saw Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy squaring off? That one was at least top five on this list.
While hard to say exactly which part of this brawl to include, the 1924 Olympic rugby match between France and the USA should be included. Throughout the match, the French players were more interested in pounding on their competition than scoring. During the match, French fans beat a few American fans and ambulances had to interrupt the match to bring the injured Americans out. At the conclusion, with the USA victorious 17-3, French fans stormed the field to beat on the US players. The French team and French police tried to protect the US players. The medal ceremony had to be conducted under police protection. This match is a big reason rugby is no longer a part of the Olympics. A more detailed story of the events leading up to the match can be found here http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s103/st94910.htm. The information I gave is from that story.
What about the World Junior Hockey Championship in the mid 80s where Team Canada and Team USSR brawled during the gold medal game. The game was cancelled and both teams were ejected from the tournament.
How 'bout George Brett vs Craig Nettles at Third base. After a hard slide from Brett, Nettles showed his displeasure with a cheap shot and Brett nearly blew a hemorrhoid on the spot. Brett was always great to watch wheather he was beating out an infield hit or a yankee third baseman!
Marquette - South Carolina basketball game in the early 70's. It was much worse than the Ohio State - Minnesota brawl with players going in the stands but didn't have the benifit of being on national TV.
I'd include the Ohio State-Clemson football bowl game where Woody Hayes punched the Clemson player for intercepting a pass. It was completely unexpected, both sidelines cleared, and the next morning Ohio State fired the coach. A very unexpected sequence of events!
Andre Dawson was hit in the head with a pitch by Eric Show. Dawson charged the mound, both benches emptied and Show ended up running to his team's dugout with Dawson in hot pursuit. I don't know what happpened inside, but Show was out of the league, not long afterwards.
There was a AHL brawl that occurred around the same time as the Ottawa - Philadelphia brawl on the list. Ironically, the two AHL teams involved were Binghamton Senators and the Philadelphia Phantoms, the affiliate teams for Ottawa and Philadelphia.
This brawl featured one of the goalies flying over the pile of players. They dropped the puck, did another 5 man brawl. Dropped the puck and had another brawl. In all there was 1 6-man brawl (goalies) and 2 5-man brawls.
LSU and Tulane had a pretty good brawl in Tiger Stadium in 1984... Tulane players had ganged up on an LSU player in the South End Zone. LSU Captain Shawn Burks, an All-SEC linebacker, sprinted from the 20 yard line into the End Zone and launched himself like a missile into the pile. The brawl ended shortly after that move...Video of the brawl was shown in Baton Rouge Sports Bars for quite a few years after the incident.
In 1997, about an hour before the game started, ole miss and mississippi state players got in a melee and there were even a couple of recruits who got into it. Of course it was pretty stupid of them to get into it since they weren't wearing pads and a helmet. Ole Miss won the fight and the game.
The Raiders and Broncos when the idiot paraglider landed on the pitch. I cannot remember when it was but I suspect around 2000 when ex-Raiders coach was going to make something of the Broncos and things were very heated.
Mets vs. Giants, Willie Mays took on Elio Chacon at 2nd base, and Orlando Cepeda went to the mound and pounded pitcher Roger Craig. What about Pinella vs. his pitcher, or Billy Martin vs. Jimmy Piersal (it was off hours) and Piersal was soon commited to a mental hospital.
St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers in 1972. It was a mess. The players brawled on the ice then moved up into the stands after being taunted while heading to the locker rooms between periods. It was bad enough that the NHL started using covered walkways the following year to prevent a recurrence. If memory serves, one of the Flyers thugs was tried and convicted of assault in a civilian court.
Padres / Braves without a doubt AND the Good Friday brawl in Montreal between the Quebec Nordiques and les Habitants on April 14, 1984. One of the ugliest in history that started at the end of the second period and never stopped when the puck was dropped in the third. Future Habs coach Mario Tremblay tried to intervene in one battle and caused his teammate Jean Hamel to be carried off unconscious. How bad was it? Guy Lafleur fought. Petr Stastny had his nose broken. The goalies squared off. Legendary bad boys Dale Hunter and Chris Nilan were at their worst. Referee Bruce Hood never officiated another game after those playoffs. Known in la province de Quebec as the Game of Shame.
I'll second the Braves-Padres game in 1984. It was actually four brawls that erupted at various points in the game, and even a few fans ran onto the field and were led away in handcuffs. Some Padres charged the Atlanta dugout. Afterwards, one umpire credited Braves manager Joe Torre with trying to keep things calm (although they were forced to eject him and many others). After lauding Torre, the ump was asked about Padres manager Dick Williams. The response was a curt "No comment."
How could you not include the pre-playoff match brawl in '87 between the Flyers and Canadiens!?! What a sight! Players half dressed and in sandals spilling out of the locker room and fighting while the officials were clueless in their dressing room
January, 1972 - St. Louis Blues vs. Philadelphia Flyers, at the Spectrum. Several Blues players climbed into the stands to "persuade" Flyer fans to see their side of an argument. At least three Blues players (Jean Arbour, Jack Egers) and the then-coach (Al Arbour, no relation to Jean) were taken to jail. After arrests, the game continued (which the Flyers won).
June, 1974 - Ten-Cent Beer night in Cleveland. 20,000 fans in the stands - all but two or three there for the suds - and a fight erupted in the stands in the middle innings over a disputed call. Cleveland forfeited the game.
I suppose this wasn't an actual "brawl," but I've never forgotten the sight (on live TV) of Jimmy Piersol kicking the daylights out of two idiot fans who attacked him in center field in the middle of a game at Yankee Stadium. This would have been in the late 50s or early 60s.
May 1995, "Strike Out Domestic Violence Night" (no kidding)at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Durham Bulls vs. Winston Salem Warthogs. Warthog pitcher hit 3 batters by the third inning and a brawl errupted. 10 players ejected, 1 broken jaw, 5 teeth lost, one player sent to the E.R. Over $6,000.00 (thats a lot for the minors especially in '95) in fines.
How about when Bobby Hull was being shadowed by Watson of the Detroit Red Wings (during the playoffs) and the Refs finally let them go at it. Everyone had been waiting since the beginning of the series (3 or 4 games) for this fight.
Minnesota vs. Ohio State basketball, early '70's. Ohio State was upsetting the Gophers who had three future pros AND Dave Winfield on the team. Luke Witte threw an elbow and promptly jumped by three guys, was stomped and kicked by Ron Behagen and punched by the others, the game was forfeited, a true riot condition. It was a premeditated vicious attack, Witte was hospitalized, it ruined a potential national championship season for the Gophers, and was EASILY more violent and dangerous than anything on this list. Far worse in every aspect than
I can't remember the year, but during the playoff series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques there were several fights and penalties, culminating with a complete bench-clearing brawl before the game even started.
How about another college football brawl with the "U" in I believe 1993 vs. Colorado, in Boulder. I have two lasting images from the fight, one was two Colorado players literally ripping the facemask off the DE for Miami, and former NFL WR Michael Westbrook actually drop-kicking a Miami player.
How can the Lakers-Rockets brawl that nearly ended the life of Rudy Tomjanovich not be mentioned. Kermit Washington broke every bone in Rudy's face. Also, the brawl between North Carolina and South Carolina during the 71-72 B'ball season started by George Karl.
The hockey brawls in this list are NOTHING compared to the Good Friday brawl between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques in the 1984 playoffs. It was April 20th, 1984. The backup goalies were even fighting. Over 11 players were ejected. Even the coaches were yelling at each other.
I was young, but back in the early 70's there was an NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and the (then) St. Louis Cardinals. One team was putting the hurt on the other on the scoreboard pretty bad (I think Miami was winning). I believe it was the week after the Cards upset the Cowboys. There were several bench-clearing brawls that continued to break out during this game. I was really expecting to see a picture of this one.
I'm adding in another vote for the "Punch-up in Piestany," Jan. 4, 1987 at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Team Canada vs. the USSR. The officials tried to turn off the lights to stop them, and even that didn't work.
I was 15 years old and at the 1984 Padres/Braves game in Atlanta. It was better in person than anyone can describe. Bob Horner was on the DL and was fighting guys with a cast on his broken arm. Kurt Bevacqua charging into the stands after numerous cups of beer were thrown at him. Pascual Perez was one crazy dude. When he drilled Wiggins with the first pitch of the game, you just knew it was on. When Perez finally came to bat (he hadn't been tossed), the Padres pitcher threw two high and tight ones before planting one in Perez's back. I don't know if there is anything on youtube about this one, but it was a classic.
How about the brawl involving the Orioles and Mariners in 1993 in which Bill Hasselman charged the mound on Mike Mussina with numerous players sprawled on the ground? That was particularly significant because Cal Ripken injured his ankle during this brawl and almost sat out the next day which would have ended his consecutive game streak right then and there (there might have been an open date on the schedule the next day which allowed him to recuperate but I cannot recall at this moment). Who would have saved baseball after the strike season of 1994 if that had been the case?
Can OSU fans get a "dishonorable" mention for their riot after OSU's national championship victory? Multitudinous fires started, businesses vandalized, cars overturned, women assaulted, police and fire fighters attacked, massive property damage and many people hurt... all over a football game.
Machine-gun Lanny McDonald beating Jim Wiemer from the Kings one punch at a time in, I think, the '89 Campbell Conference finals. They were the last pair fighting and the old-timer kept the young buck tied up, saving his own life in the process. But Lanny would break one fist free, smash Wiemer in the face and lock up so he couldn't be hit in return. I think the turning point of the Cup drive for them
I remember a game...February 28th, 1990 between the Oilers and Kings...
It started with a Roughing penalty. The game went on to have 9 fights (3 of which occurred at the same time) culminating in a full ice brawl which saw Edmonton goalie, Bill Ranford get ejected for being the 3rd man into a fight (to go with his leaving the crease penalty) and the Kings goalie, Ron Scott, come barrelling down the ice to throw players off the dogpile on Marty McSorely who had jumped Esa Tikkanen (this got him a Fighting DOUBLE major and a DOUBLE game misconduct). I think this game ended up with the most penalty minutes in history at the time.
The 1st Raiders/Chiefs game in 1970 when all the Chiefs needed was a 1st down to run out the clock. Lenny Dawson did a bootleg for 17 yards gave himself up, Big Ben Davidson speared him, Otis Taylor clocked Big Ben & a bench claering melee was on. After several minutes the refs called offsetting penalties on Davidson & Taylor, replayed the down & the Raiders held. George Blanda then kicked a 48 yd field goal as time expired which was the 1st of his miracle finishes that year.
In the mid 70's, Virginia Tech and VMI met in Richmond for the "Tobacco" Football Bowl. As I believe it was half-time and the cadets of VMI rushed into the Tech band and then the cadets from Virginia Tech rushed in and a melee insued. I can't even remember who won but the Bowl wasn't played by them again.
It's ridiculous how many brawls there are in professional baseball. These guys are a bunch of rich, whiney babies. You don't see this at other levels of baseball (college and below). I can at least understand why you might have fights in football, basketball, hockey, and soccer, where there's alot of contact throughout the game which can easily escalate. It's hard to respect these professional baseball players. Maybe if they would suspend people for the season without pay, it would help. But, of course the player's union would have a problem with any serious discipline. The only time baseball players act like real men is in the playoffs...no brawls there. Which is one reason playoff baseball is actually fun to watch.
Notre Dame, despite its pristine image was involved in a few, 2 were actually back to back in the tunnel of their own stadium. First came one with Miami (1988) and then the second a week later. In the former, ND was talking smack and calling the players convicts, trash, racial epithets and THE U responded in kind....kicking their asses in the tunnel. The next week, ND also got cocky and also started yet another fight. Good times for ND!!
84 habs - nordiques brawl definitely the best of them all - slugfest at the time when this was the best hockey rivlary there was - nords had upset the habs a year earlier and this brawl was the turning point in a habs upset in the series
I don't remember the year, but the Bears and I believe the Patriots or packers got into during a regular season game with fights going on all over the field. I distinctly remember the fridge picking up a guy and body slamming him. anyone else remember this?
A few years back, after a Texas A&M / Texas Tech football game, for some reason the fans and players engaged in a post-game brawl. I don't know why, I think one team disrespected the other team's grass, or something. Anyway, the most memorable photo from that brawl was one featuring a Red Raider fan getting beaten over the head by an Aggie fan wielding a pair of binoculars.
That Aggie fan was the Chief of Staff of the Governor of the State of Texas at the time.
1972: Ohio State leads Minnesota 50-44 with 36 seconds left when the Buckeyes' Luke Witte is fouled hard while driving for a layup. Minnesota's Corky Taylor punches Witte in the head and then knees him in the groin. Gophers reserve Ron Behagen then stomps Witte on the neck and head.
There's also the Minnesota-Michigan football games which had to be cancelled for a period of years in the early 1900s because the fighting became so intense. Out of this the Little Brown Jug rivalry was born.
Hmmm. Most of these brawls seem to have been during baseball games. Is that just a coincidence? I find baseball to be the least "physical" sport, if you know what I mean. Yet more fights occur during a baseball game. On the contrary I find it also very surprising that not many fights break out during NFL games. When a game is so much physical and emotions run high it is hard to control oneself. Maybe it is a testament to the professionalism of the players.
I want to see the 1972 Minnesota-Ohio State basketball brawl. I have been trying to find it online for years but can't find it. It was the worst brawl in college basketball history. Ron Behagan, Jim Brewer, Dave Winfield, Luke Witte, Jim Clemons (longtime Phil Jackson assistant coach). The fans came out to beat the Buckeye players that weren't being beaten by the Gopher players.
The Braves and the Phillies brawled and engaged in a beanball war on Dale Murphy Night in 1991. Murph had been traded to Philly the year before and this was his "triumphant" return to Atlanta. After a beanball was thrown by the Phillies and both benches cleared, the inning ended and the Phils came up to bat - time for some payback from Braves' pitchers, right? Dale Murphy was the leadoff hitter that inning and the Braves' pitcher lobbed a weak sister of a pitch in his general direction. Asked after the game about that situation and that pitch, the pitcher said, "How can I throw at Dale Murphy? That'd be like throwing at Gandhi."
What about the Barkley vs. Laimbeer fights. I believe they may have fought a few times but the Pistons and Sixers had one big brawl at the end of the season (possibly 90 or 91?). Both teams got into it and I remember Jayson Williams (playing for the Sixers) getting accolades from Barkley during the post-fight, I mean post-game interview. In fact the Barkley-Laimbeer fights were so popular that they were actually lampooned on the Hot Shots movie.
How about the riot at a "wrestling match" at Madison Square Garden on November 19, 1967, involving Antonino Rocca, three other wrestlers, and about 500 fans. Two cops were injured, and there were several arrests.
canadiens-nordiques april 1984. rival cities, rival teams owned by rival breweries! only televised sporting event to come on air with both teams going toe to toe! notice how hockey has the most entries, it's the only sport where fighting is part of the game except for, well, boxing!
The USSR/Canada junior hockey brawl is in a class by itself. Every player was fighting. It was absolute mayhem. I guess many Americans have never seen it, or it would be on everyone's list. Also notable about the brawl was the TV commentary. Former Boston Bruins coach Don Cherry, now famous in Canada but just starting his TV career back then, looked like he was about to attack another commentator who was foolish enough to call the brawl an embarassment to Canadian hockey. As I remember it, Cherry was saying something like if ya gotta fight, ya gotta fight, and how he was proud of the young Canadian players. Don Cherry's finest moment!!
the major indoor lacrosse league - detroit @ philadelphia, 1994. all wussie stuff compared against this chestnut. the philadelphia wings squared off against the detroit turbos in the spectrum back in winter of 1994, and it is a game remembered by all. the wings had acquired gary & paul gait from detroit during the off-season and had become along with the buffalo bandits as the teams to beat. detroit still had some talent to spare so this was gonna be a classic. the wings pulled away in the 2nd half and alot of bad blood that had simmered below the surface boiled over into a brawl that even had the coach's going at each other. funny thing about this was that two of the main instigators were kevin dance & billy miller who despite being small - dance - or pencil-thin - miller - just drove each other's team crazy. the in-house security had to escort the teams off the floor and the game was called off.
here are the highlights from the philadelphia wings fansite and the unofficial official message board of the national lacrosse league
1969: Pre-season NHL game. Ted GREEN of the Boston Bruins and Wayne MAKI of the St.Louis Blues were embroiled in a stick-swinging fight that resulted in a fractured skull for GREEN. He needed three major operations to save his life and had a steel plate inserted in his head. The NHL suspended MAKI for 30 days and GREEN for 13 days. Assault charges were filed against both players, however, both were later acquitted.
On March 13, 1955 Montreal Canadiens "Rocket" RICHARD was given a match penalty for deliberately injuring Hal LAYCOE by tomahawking him over the head with his stick and punching a linesman. RICHARD was later suspended for the rest of the season. The following season, NHL president Clarence CAMPBELL was pelted with eggs while attending a game between the Canadiens and Detroit at the Montreal Forum. The game was forfeited and the arena evacuated due to an out-of-control crowd that took to the streets. A riot ensued, causing $500,000 in damage.
Suns-Knicks brawl in 92-93 season. After a hard pick by Kevin Johnson, Doc Rivers and John Starks went after KJ and mayhem ensued. Greg Anthony (injured and in street clothes) came off the bench and sucker punched KJ in the back of the head. I was afraid the fans were going to storm the court after that. One the few players who did not get fined was Charles Barkley.
1966-1967 Willis Reed vs. Lakers. This excerpt is from Howie Komives, Reeds' Knicks teammate.
"We fought in those days. If you were on Willis Reed's team, if there was a fight, Willis was right there with you. I never saw one guy take care of business like Willis did that time we fought the Lakers [during the 1966-67 season]. It happened at the foul line. Willis was lined up next to Rudy LaRusso. The shot was taken, the ball went up, and Rudy had the inside lane on Willis. As he stepped in to box out Willis, he threw an elbow and hit Willis in the chest. Willis warned him not to do it again. The second shot goes up, Rudy does it again, and that was it. Willis knocked Rudy out. Hit him twice. Darrall Imhoff came in. Willis hit him and knocked him down. And then John Block stepped in and tried to help Rudy and Willis unloaded on him and knocked him out. Willis was knocking out everybody that moved in purple and gold. I haven't seen a fight like that since on a basketball court."
how can we forget the Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers fight that proved the NBA is a league full of thugs...its sad when a league has to institute a rule to come to work dressed appropriately, why dont any other leagues have these issues !?