The Craziest Bench Clearing Brawls in Sports

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJune 13, 2012

The Craziest Bench Clearing Brawls in Sports

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    In the heat of the moment, sparks begin to fly, tempers begin to run high, fists begin to clench.

    And like a ticking time bomb, these athletes, coaches and fans are moments away from tossing those fisticuffs, bumping those chests and tossing those ferocious leg kicks at whoever is willing to engage.

    It's a vicious cycle, and certainly an uglier side to sports. But dare we say, fighting is sometimes very necessary. And always entertaining.

    Let's look at the craziest bench clearing brawls in sports.

    Now before we do this, let's go over the ground rules.

25. Kyle Farnsworth vs. Paul Wilson

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    Kyle Farnsworth pre-fight report: 6'4", 230 pounds, black belt in tae kwon do, owns two bulldogs (Strike and Rambo), scrapes 100 miles per hour on the radar gun.

    Paul Wilson pre-fight report: 6'5", 235 pounds, first-overall pick who never panned out, vulnerable to body tackles.

    Result: Farnsworth with the deflating slam and the memorable victory.

24. Dayton Dragon vs. Peroia Chiefs

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    On July 24, 2008, the affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs engaged in one of the most ridiculous brawls in history.

    Minor League pitcher Julio Castillo eventually received 30 days in jail for his throw into the stands. One we can only hope was a changeup.

    And we'd like to assume his sentence was lengthened because he missed the opposing dugout completely. Heinous.

23. Carmelo Anthony vs. Mardy Collins

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    Thank you Carmelo Anthony for introducing us to the eloquent hit and run.

    After J.R. Smith gets fouled hard by former Knicks guard Mardy Collins, fisticuffs pop out all over the court.

    Nate Robinson is seen soaring into the stands, David Lee is seen being responsible and 'Melo is seen creeping around looking for an opportunity to punch...and then sprint for his life. A true warrior.

22. Nottingham Panthers vs. Coventry Blaze

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    Strikes 1-3: Don't approach the goalie when you're being escorted off the ice.

    Following Brad Cruikshank's attack on Panthers goalie Craig Kowalski, mayhem was only to be expected.

    But in the end, 220 minutes in penalties almost seemed generous.

21. Pedro Martinez vs. Don Zimmer

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    A Hall-of-Fame hurler against an aging coach with less-than-stellar mobility. A slight step to the right or left could've sufficed, but this was surely more epic.

    Game 3 of the ALCS in 2003 was the sight, Pedro and Don the combatants. History will be made.

20. South Charleston vs. Hurricane

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    A bout between these two West Virginia high school clubs in the AAA playoffs turned into a juvenile frenzy that looked ready to blossom into pure violence.

    After a quick analysis, we'll blame the fight on feisty No. 2.

19. China vs. Brazil

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    This gets more awkward by the second.

    An innocent exhibition turned into pure chaos for all parties involved. Like the first moments out of the womb, these ballers experienced plenty of flailing and drooling.

18. Terrence Leather vs. Jondan Salvador

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    As these two ballers battled for position, it was clear madness was moments away.

    After a pushing match, Talk and Text Import Terrence Leather is seen chucking the ball at Jondan Salvador, who then has to be separated from his 6'9" counterpart. 

    But entertainment greatness is finally achieved when James Yap comes from behind and kicks Leather. He is then seen scampering for his life like a young boy caught in the women's locker room. Classic stuff.

17. West Michigan Whitecaps vs. Lansing Lugnuts

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    In the midst of the melee, brutal roundhouses find their mark.

    If you're going to charge the mound, go hard. This dude decides to pull back, toss a subtle fist, miss completely and get knocked out by a vicious counter punch.

    Who says Class A isn't full of brutal beasts?

16. New Jersey Devils vs. Buffalo Sabres

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    Mullets, punching and shirt tossing. It doesn't get better than the '90s.

    It also doesn't get stranger.

15. New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

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    Fast forward 30 seconds. Enjoy.

    After allowing his usual lead-surrendering homerun in 1998 (a three-run shot to center fielder Bernie Williams in the eighth), Armando Benitez had no choice but to plunk first baseman Tino Martinez in retaliation.

    While the accuracy of the beanball was remarkable for Benitez, the length of the brawl was something we'd never seen before.

    10 minutes of Darryl Strawberry and Graeme Lloyd sucker punches, and both teams being dragged into the dugouts. Epic.

14. Ottawa Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    It's only natural that former enforcer Donald Brashear began this icy melee.

    A NHL-record 419 penalty minutes capped quite the night between the Sens and Flyers.

    Gloves, helmets, body parts flooding the ice.

13. Jeff Van Gundy vs. Alonzo Mourning's Leg

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    Despite being the shortest guy on the court, former coach Jeff Van Gundy somehow always manages to steal the spotlight.

    Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Conference first round saw Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning toss up those fisticuffs. Heat vs. Knicks...a rivalry for the ages.

    But good old Van Gundy couldn't help but preach peace. Unsuccessfully of course.

12. Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks

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    Nearing the end of this feisty Game 6 of the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals, things began to unravel.

    A little shoving turns into a massive slugfest. A necessary therapy session for these two clubs.

11. Izzy Alcantara vs. Jeremy Salazar

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    The infamous Izzy Alcantara is known best for his time in the minor leagues, especially with his professional career never fully developing into anything significant.

    During his time with Boston's AAA affiliate Pawtucket Red Sox, Alcantara believed he had a brilliant plan for victory.

    But the tae kwon do extension didn't quite work out as he had expected.

10. Korea vs. Comedy

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    Introducing the refined, the improved, the modern-day "brawl etiquette."

    An epic and scintillating start is finished with a hilarious chicken dance.

    There's not a lot to say.

9. Avangard vs. Vityaz

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    A record 840 penalty minutes in this KHL game would set the standard for modern day fighting.

    Even NHL legend Jaromir Jagr had to fight, and he wasn't pleased.

8. Canada vs. USSR

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    The infamous Punch-up in Piestany occurred during the final game of the 1987 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Czechoslovakia and featured the ejection of both nations (costing Canada a certain medal and a potential gold).

    Referees eventually flipped the script and shut off the lights in an attempt to stifle the 20-minute melee.

7. Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings

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    He may have lost his shirt first, but Chris Osgood got the best of Patrick Roy with a ferocious bullrush.

    In retaliation of Claude Lemieux's face-into-the-boards hit on Red Wings center Kris Draper from behind during the '96 Western Conference Finals, the Wings made it clear they were ready for war the following year.

    46 penalties for 228 minutes became historic.

6. Georgetown Hoyas vs. Bayi Military Rockets

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    Culture shock at its finest for the Georgetown basketball team back in 2011.

    Chairs ready to be chucked, full water bottles soaring through the air and one khaki-clad kid stomping on Georgetown ballers. This was a tainted masterpiece for the record books.

    And while many believe this brawl was "a grand metaphor" for the political tensions between these two cultures, we believe it was simply a chance to spotlight the infamous khaki kid.

5. Barcelona vs Atletico Bilbao

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    After returning from a broken leg he suffered in another matchup between these two teams, Argentine legend Diego Maradona was in no mood for cheap shots.

    He took no prisoners on this day.

4. Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura

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    Respect your elders would seem like the proper message following this epic 1993 bout.

    After getting drilled by a still-fiery fastball from 46-year-old Nolan Ryan, third baseman Robin Ventura was seen charging the mound with purpose.

    And fail moments later. Watch here.

3. Minnesota North Stars vs. Boston Bruins

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    All it took was seven seconds for this '81 battle to escalate into madness.

    341 minutes in the first period became the first NHL record broken. 84 penalties for 406 penalty minutes in the entire game became the next.

    The hour-and-a-half first period should've been a sign of things to come.

2. Miami vs. Florida International

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    The body-slamming, stomping and tossing of bodies all paled in comparison to Anthony Reddick's helmet slamming antics.

    Perhaps the announcer puts it best. As dicey as dicey gets.

1. Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers

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    Note to self, never throw a cup of beer at Ron Artest or Metta World Peace.

    The Malice at the Palace saw nine players get suspended for a total of 146 games, five players get charged with assault and five fans being banned from the arena for life.

    A historically embarrassing night on the hardwood.