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Monday, December 31, 2012

Temper Temper: Best Sports Tantrums of 2012

Throughout the year, I have been gathering the best sports temper tantrums of each season on the calendar and compiling them in quarterly posts.  Well, today is the last day of 2012, so I put together a list of my favorite five temper tantrums from the 2012 sports year.  This list is so good that Meta World Peace's crushing elbow on Earth Day didn't even make the list.  And neither did the opening face off playoff fight between the Rangers and the Devils.  So, without further ado ...

#5.  Who do you think you are?  I am!  I'll be honest.  I'm not really sure if this is a temper tantrum or just a mental breakdown.  But, it involved a professional bowler, so it definitely makes the 2012 highlights.  The Iceman Pete Weber won the PBA's U.S. Open on February 26, 2012.  This was his 5th title.  And this is how he "celebrated."  

#4.  Kicking and Screaming.  Thanks to John McEnroe, tennis has long had a reputation for spoiled brat outbursts.  But, David Nalbandian took things to a whole new level back in June when he bloodied a line judge at the Aegon Championships at Queens.

#3.  Kurt Busch being Kurt Busch.  Back in the Spring, NASCAR had put Kurt Busch on probation.  After a Nationwide race at Dover in June, Kurt comments on how the sanctions have impacted him.

#2.  Minor League Game ... Major League Meltdown.  Clearly, the best baseball in America is played in the Major Leagues.  But, the minor leagues have given us some of the best baseball tantrums of all time.  Joe Mikulik, manager of the single A Asheville Tourists made name for himself back in 2006 with an epic tantrum.  Mikulik was back at it again this July when he lost control in a game against the Charleston River Dogs.  The best part about this video is the play-by-play commentary from the local news anchors.

#1.  Pit Road Brawl.  For the worst display of sportsmanship and self-control of 2012, we return to NASCAR.  In the next-to-last race of the season, Jeff Gordon took out a season's worth of frustration with Clint Bowyer by intentionally wrecking him with just two laps to go in the race.  That outrageous decision caused Clint Bowyer's team to seek some street justice on pit road.  The result was a brawl in the garage area.  Due to the access that NASCAR fans and media have to the pit area, there were a plethora of live tweets and pictures of the incident as it developed.  Apparently, Jeff Gordon was saved from harm when his own pit crew pinned him up against a tool box and surrounded him there.  And, according to reports, a nearby police officer kept this incident from getting really out of hand when he stopped two of the combatants from throwing a tire they had picked up.  All of this happened before Clint Bowyer got out of his car and sprinted to Gordon's hauler in hopes of settling things mano y mano.  Unfortunately, my favorite part of the whole chain of events is not on this video.  On the live TV broadcast, ESPN cut to commercial immediately after these events.  The commercial that aired was an ad for 5-Hour Energy.  In that commercial, Clint Bowyer is seen stalking through the woods in camouflage with a compound bow.  Classic timing.

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