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Five of the Craziest Fights in Sports History

By PJ Chandra

“I have no idea what I just saw on Thursday Night Football! How in the world can you be so unaware? How can u allow ur emotions to go unchecked & swing a helmet at another player’s head (who’s helmet you tore off to hit him with)?  I’m physically upset right now & I was watching on TV!” exclaims hall of fame quarterback Kurt Warner after watching NFL player and defensive end Myles Garrett stupidly take the helmet off of Mason Rudolph and swing it at him, just missing. For perspective, an NFL helmet weighs six pounds. A brick weighs five pounds. Imagine someone throwing a brick at your head. That’s what QB of the Pittsburgh Steelers felt on Thursday as he and Garrett got into it. This was certainly a wild fight in terms of NFL history, but was it the wildest fight in sports history? Let’s examine 5 of the craziest fights in sports history.

5. Red Sox vs. Yankees 2004

 

What Happened?

Whenever you have the Red Sox and the Yankees face off in the playoffs, you can always guarantee it is going to get heated. This wasn’t the playoffs, but everyone was thinking back to the 2003 ALCS when the Sox lost a heartbreaker to the Yanks. Bronson Arroyo threw a pitch that drilled Alex Rodriguez (who is married to Jennifer Lopez when she was doing the Super Bowl halftime show this year!) and as Rodriguez started walking to first base, he noticed Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek chirping at him. The two began to brawl, the benches cleared, and Varitek and Rodriguez were then ejected. 

 

What were the repercussions?

Both Varitek and Rodriguez were fined $2,000 and were suspended four games each. 

 

Why is this in the top five?

Many say this was the defining moment of the Red Sox season that led them to spark their season and win the World Series for the first time in 86 years. 

 

4. Georgetown vs. Bayi Military Rockets

What Happened?

A game between the Georgetown Hoyas and the Bayi Military Rockets, a professional team in China, turned ugly quick. This game was very physical from the start which resulted in punches and one player being hit by a chair. There were water bottles being thrown at each other along with other objects. At one point, a Bayi player pushed the Hoyas’ Aaron Bowen to the ground and kept punching him. 

 

What were the repercussions?

We can not suspend or fine Chinese professional players, but instead, there were gifts exchanged at the end of the meeting and there were no hard feelings on either side, according to Georgetown coach.

 

Why is this in the top five?

This is in the top five because this involved an international team dealing with a team from the United States. 


 

3. Team McGregor vs. Team Khabib

 

What happened?

It is no secret that Connor McGregor is one of the most notorious and if not the most entertainer fighter in all of sports, but he’s also a huge punk. Last year, Connor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov were fighting and usually, if you hear there was a post-fight brawl, you would think McGregor would be the instigator. However this time, Khabib was insulted and provoked into climbing out of the octagon and charged toward McGregor's cornerman Dillon Danis who was later alleged to have directed slurs towards Khabib. Punches were thrown and McGregor was then attacked by two of Khabib’s cornermen: Zubaira Tukhugov and Esed Emiragaev.

 

What were the repercussions?

Khabib’s payment for the fight was withheld by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) pending an investigation into his actions. On January 29, 2019, the NSAC announced a nine-month suspension for Nurmagomedov and a $500,000 fine. The agreement also includes a potential suspension reduction of up to three months if he delivers to the commission a public service announcement on anti-bullying

 

Why is this in the top five?

Most of the time when there are jaw-dropping, viral fights between teams or players, it takes place in random games or regular-season games or low-profile moments, but this was already a huge fight and the fact this occurred when so many eyeballs were already focused only magnifies how big this fight was.

 

2. Flyers vs. Senators 2004

 

What Happened?

Who doesn’t love a good hockey fight! Ottawa's Martin Havlat had swung his stick at Flyers Mark Recchi's head with a little over two minutes to go in the game and from there more individual fights ensued before an all-out bench-clearing brawl and the referees had to reset the point of play not once, not twice, but three times because of how often the teams were fighting. On the third time, there were boos from the crowd when a fight did not immediately start. 

 

What were the repercussions?

The only player to receive a fine or suspension as a result of the game was Danny Markov, who got a statutory one-game ban for collecting his third game misconduct of the season. Also, a rule was added which meant that any player being assessed for an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of a match would receive an automatic one-game ban and this was designed to avoid situations such as happened in-game between the Flyers and Senators.

 

Why is this in the top five?

The two teams combined for 419 penalty minutes, an NHL record, breaking the previous total of 406 in a 1981 game between the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars and due to the high amount of penalty minutes and punishments in-game, this is towards the top of the list.

 

1.Malice at the Palace

 

What happened? 

In an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons almost exactly 15 years ago, Pistons center Ben Wallace went for a layup but was unnecessarily fouled by Pacers player Ron Artest. The two scuffled a little and then Ron Artest got a drink thrown at him by a fan. Artest charged the fan, but hurt the wrong fan! Benches cleared, coaches got involved, and this went on for several minutes.

 

What were the repercussions?

The NBA suspended nine players for a total of 146 games, leading to the players losing $11 million in salary. Five players were charged with assault, and eventually sentenced to a year of probation and community service. Five fans also faced criminal charges and were banned from attending Pistons home games for life. The fight also led the NBA to increase security between players and fans and limit the sale of alcohol in games

Why is this in the top 5?

No fight in the history of sports has ever involved fans and the spectators as much as this and the number of criminal trials that ensued after this will and should never be replicated.