I was reading about the recent bench clearing brawl between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. I had missed the fight and went to youtube to watch it.
It was a rather average brawl, but it got me in the mood to watch other sports brawls.
After about the fifth video I started to form definite opinions about which sports have the best brawls, and which sports are the most conducive to fighting.
Here is my list. I have left out sports where the intent is to fight, such as MMA, Wrestling, Boxing, etc. I am concerned with sports where a fight is an added bonus to the game.
Hope you enjoy!
Basketball players get in each others faces a lot. But they very seldom act on their threats.
Yet every once in a while there is a great brawl, such as the "Malice in the Palace" between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
Any fight that combines a bench clearing brawl with fan interaction is destined to be a classic. In terms of actual sports brawls, this one is up there with the best. But fighting in basketball is such a rare occurrence that the sport barely registers on this list.
Football does feature a lot of scuffles. But the fact that all of that padding makes fighting pointless drops the sport down on my list.
Yet the sheer numbers involved in a bench clearing brawl in football is enough to put it ahead of basketball.
One of the most memorable football brawls occurred between Miami and FIU. It featured helmets being used as weapons, gang stomping, and wrestling style body slams.
I searched for a picture of this fight for the article, but settled for a shot of Bill Romanowski, who's 'roid rage made him susceptible to many football fights.
Aah! The good old fashioned bench clearing brawl.
Baseball fights are fun because even coaches can take part in the festivities.
One of my all time favorites is a recent Minor League game where a batter Karate kicks the catcher before storming the mound to fight the pitcher. Since the catcher was in his catching stance he made a perfect target for a cleat to the face. It's a good thing they wear those masks.
The other great fight occurred when Robin Ventura stormed the mound against a 50-year-old Noland Ryan. Ryan dodged his punch, put him in a head lock, and got off five clean head shots before the melee engulfed them.
That'll teach the young whipper-snapper!
Any sport that includes fighting as an acceptable part of the game and gives penalty time instead of ejections for most fights has to be high on this list.
There has been some talk recently of banning fighting, but I am against it.
For one thing it is part of the game. Also, if the NHL thinks it's ratings are low now, just wait until they ban fighting. Their games might be reduced to being broadcast on ESPN 8, "The Ocho"!
The best hockey fights are when each player gets in simultaneous one on one fights, while each goalie skates to center ice to duke it out, shedding padding along the way.
Soccer players rarely fight. Most even fake injury at the slightest contact in the hopes of gaining a free kick.
Despite that, soccer has to rank high on my list for what goes on in the stands.
Fires, riot police, tear gas, stadium collapses, murders! Soccer fans engage in the most vicious sports fighting ever witnessed.
For this reason alone they rank high on the list.
For those of you who don't watch rugby, imagine a sport that combines football, soccer, and greco-roman wrestling without pads.
The game itself resembles a brawl, but very often an actual brawl occurs.
These guys not only punch, but they very often come at each other with a cleated jump kick to the face.
If you need a visual imaging group kick boxing.
If rugby were the NFL, then Australian rules football would be the XFL.
Any sport where clotheslining is legal, and players where no pads but hit as hard as football players, is brutal to begin with.
When you add bench clearing brawls that include coaches, referees, and fans you get mayhem in a sports environment. Other sports don't even come close.
If you want to see these sports brawls in action go to youtube.com. You can witness these fights in all their bloody glory with soundtracks added for your listening pleasure!