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Friday, December 20, 2013

Temper, Temper: Sports Tantrums of Fall

It's weirdly warm here in the Mid Atlantic, but I checked my calendar five times.  It's officially winter.  That means that it's time to post the fall sports tantrums column.  As usual, Banshee Sports needs to thank hockey for returning so that we can end the year with a bang.

1.  Fight Night in Toronto.  This video is long enough that I don't want to waste your time with too much writing.  But, just keep this in mind: this is a preseason game.  A PRESEASON game.  And, if you stick with this to the end, you'll get to see one of the greatest treats in hockey: a full-fledged goalie fight.  This is why hockey is the greatest gift to this column.

2.  Beautiful Game ... Ugly Incident.  Fights between fans happen all the time at professional sporting events.  And we've seen a few fights between players and fans.  But a coach fighting a fan?  Now that is pretty rare.  This video comes to us from soccer-crazed continent of South America.  Nelson Vivas, head coach of Quilmes in the Argentine Primera Division, had heard more lip from a disgruntled fan than he could endure.  I don't know what is more surprising here:  The fact that Vivas could hear and identify the fan or that, while presumably sober, Vivas thought it would be acceptable to fight the fan?  In case you missed it, Vivas successfully rushes the heckler and punches him in the face.  You can catch the replay of the blow at the 1:50 mark.  The incident happened on Friday, October 18, 2013.  By Monday, Vivas was fired.

3.  Truck Race Tantrum.  It's not just the big boys of NASCAR that have blog-worthy meltdowns.  This clip comes from the truck series at Martinsville on October 27, 2013.  There is a lot of back-story business and politics that contributed to all of this.  If you want to know about that, send me an email.  But, this clip stands alone as a great temper tantrum because it involves guys trying to wreck each other under caution, a guy in a truck stopping to taunt a pit crew, a pit crew assaulting a truck while they were actually needed to to their job, and ... a sledge hammer thrown at the open window of Sprint Cup Chase contender, Kevin Harvick.

4.  Hitting a Defenseless Player.  Typically, we hear that phrase in the context of a safety laying out a wide receiver on the football field.  Well, in this case, we're talking about hockey.  Mayhem broke out on in the 3rd period as the Flyers decided to take out their aggressions on the Washington Capitals during a 7-0 beat-down on their home ice.  This starts out as an evenly matched fight between two willing position players.  It devolves into a line brawl.  And, in the middle, the Flyers' Ray Emery assaults the Caps goalie, Braden Holtby.  It's clear from the start that Holtby isn't interested in fighting.  Nonetheless, Emery lands 13 punches to Holtby's head with nary a counter-punch even attempted.  If you've got the time, watch this video all the way through because the most compelling footage comes near the end.

5.  College Class.  The Michigan-Ohio State game is always an emotional game.  This year's contest actually featured a first half brawl.  The fight includes a helmet being ripped off and haymaker to the facemask.  But, the most memorable part of this video happens after Brian Floyd is ejected.  After the initial fight, you can go ahead and skip ahead to the 3:00 mark.  Let's just say, Floyd did not have warm and fuzzy feelings towards the fans at the Big House.

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