Best Coach/Referee Throwdowns
Slam dunks and home runs are fun, but the greatest spectacle in sports occurs when an unhinged coach meets a terrified referee on the field for an old-fashioned throwdown. There's just something about pillow-soft fisticuffs between the two least athletic guys on the field that draws our undivided attention.
Meet the men who won't take a sideline warning sitting down in our collection of the best coach/referee throwdowns.
"Have Another Doughnut!"
After Game 3 of 1988's conference finals, New Jersey Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld races to the tunnel to confront referee Don Koharski.
The throwdown begins with a garden-variety chest bump that sends Koharski to the floor. Schoenfeld continues to flail about wildly, but he gathers himself long enough to deliver arguably the greatest coaching soliloquy in NHL history.
"You fell, you fat pig! Have another doughnut! Have another doughnut!"
The confrontation was enough to elicit an impromptu strike by series referees, forcing the NHL to use replacement officials in Game 4.
"You Are a Liar, Earl"
*Warning: NSFW language*
Earl Weaver combined the hair trigger temper of Lou Piniella with a Gordon Ramsay-like affinity for swearing. In sum, the Baltimore Orioles skipper was the Six Million Dollar Man of MLB managers.
The video quality of this clip isn't great, but the audio is legendary.
Youth Coach Attacks Referee
"Mom, why is Daddy in handcuffs?"
This Fort Lauderdale youth football game turned ugly when a coach popped an official in the mouth.
Becoming a professional referee sounds like a pretty great job—until you get a glimpse at the entry-level positions.
Wally Backman's Epic Meltdown
*Warning: NSFW language*
The face-to-face confrontation between managers and umpires is a kind of human interaction exclusive to baseball. It doesn't matter how angry you get at a reckless driver or a bad hairdresser, you'll never touch noses and scream obscenities in his or her face for minutes on end.
In this clip, Wally Backman defends one of his South Georgia Peanuts in an epically outrageous manager vs. umpire meltdown. We can say without qualification that this will be the most entertaining six minutes of your day.
Bill Belichick Gets Chesty
After a questionable game-clinching field goal gives the Baltimore Ravens a 31-30 win over the Patriots, New England head coach Bill Belichick sets his sights on the nearest referee. When the official blows him off, Belichick grabs at the referee's arm.
While decidedly less physical than most of the slides in this list, Belichick's "throwdown" is one of the most costly, evoking a $50,000 fine from the NFL.
Iranian Youth Soccer Match Gets Weird
Here, an Iranian youth soccer coach appeals his ejection the old-fashioned way—by coldcocking the referee that tossed him.
Gary Robinson Gets Ejected, Autographs First Base
In their competitive race to the bottom, minor league baseball coaches have to pull out all the stops during their flamboyant, seemingly concerted efforts to be YouTube sensations.
In this clip, Gary Robinson of the Class A State College Spikes punctuates his ejection by dislodging first base, autographing it and giving it to a fan.
This is why you shouldn't shotgun a six-pack of Four Loko before managing a baseball game.
Phil Wellman Stops Taking His Meds
Upon his ejection, Chattanooga Lookouts manager/unhinged psychopath Phil Wellman barrels out of the dugout and commences one of the truly great performance art pieces of the 21st century.
The second act opens with powerful grenade warfare scene. Bravo!
"You're Nuts, Dude!"
You know you've hit the big time when you're coaching an 11-year-old all-star team, which is presumably why this Connecticut man is so emotional.
He defends his position of high honor by repeatedly asking the umpire, "Are you insane?!"—which seems like a totally legitimate inquiry coming from an adult...in the middle of a meltdown...on a little league field.
Jim Playfair Snaps
After apparently funneling an entire case of 5-Hour Energy, Jim Playfair reacts to a penalty by ripping his jacket off, smashing hockey sticks and screaming toward the rafters like a primitive Dave Grohl.
Someone needs a warm cup of herbal tea, a little Bruno Mars in the headphones and a long walk around the block.
Only in Florida...
Sometimes, the best lessons are the ones coaches teach us on accident, like how the criminal justice system works.
In this sad example, a coach fights a referee, which triggers a brawl involving a handful of adults and at least one player.
Ultimately, three coaches and a player were charged with felony battery.
Bobby Knight Throws a Chair
Bobby Knight is arguably more famous for this chair toss than he is for coaching three national championship winners.
Let this be a lesson for the Tom Creans and Shaka Smarts of the world: It doesn't matter how many nets you cut down during your career, if you come totally undone and dropkick a referee during a Final Four game, that will be your "one shining moment."
A Youth Soccer Referee Cracks Under the Pressure
*Warning NSFW language*
We're not sure whose side to take in this one. On one hand, no one should give the referee of a youth soccer game flack. On the other hand, this referee reacts to adversity like a guy with a half dozen restraining orders...minimum.
The NSFW audio in this clip is off the charts, so adjust your computer speakers accordingly.
Joe Mikulik's Dramatic Exit
Joe Mikulik is the patron saint of epic manager meltdowns and the only coach on this list with multiple YouTube bangers.
In this clip, Mikulik gives a spirited demonstration of what it means to run outside of the baseline, complete with an exit bow to the crowd.
Despite leading the Asheville Tourists to an 88-52 campaign in 2012, Mikulik was removed from his position in the Rockies organization. We can't imagine why.
They're Not Called the Washington Wingnuts for Nothin'
Kash Beauchamp only knows one speed and it's balls to the wall.
The appropriately titled Washington Wingnuts manager delivers a tirade for the ages, which includes cleat spiking, tobacco tossing and one disgusting armpit-to-nose assault of an umpire.