Top 25 Dirtiest Hits in Sports History (With Video)
James Harrison caught the attention of the NFL and the ire of Cleveland Browns fans with a pair of wicked hits in which he led with with his helmet.
Harrison is known as one of the most punishing hitters in the league and makes no secret about the fact that he wants to hurt people but not injure them.
However, injuries are sometimes the by-product when you come at the people with an intent to hurt them. And the NFL thought there was something to those hits by fining Harrison $75,000.
While we're on the subject of hitting, we might as well give you this video sideshow.
Here are 25 of the dirtiest hits we've seen in sports.
25. Dennis Rodman on Alonzo Mourning
Here's the Worm at his best.
Being a pest and taking cheap shots at opponents.
Rodman leans into Mourning's injured ribs.
24. Alexander Ovechkin On Brian Campbell
You know this was a bad hit because, Ovie didn't even make a case for himself.
He knew he was wrong. But this wasn't the first borderline dirty hit from Ovechkin and it certainly wasn't his last.
Ovechkin was levied a two-game suspension by the NHL.
23. Reggie Evans on Chris Kaman
There are really no words to describe this dirty play from Reggie Evans.
Not sure what he was thinking but reaching down into a man's private region with malicious intent is just not a way to play basketball.
Lucky for him Kaman has an even temperament.
22. Donald Brashear On Blair Betts
There's no explanation for what Brashear did in this play.
Blair Betts wasn't even handling the puck.
But Brashear just knocks Betts down like a rag doll.
21. Bakkies Botha on Stirling Mortlock
Bakkies Botha is known around the rugby world for his heavy hitting.
In this video, he decides to land his shoulder on top of an unsuspecting opponent.
Gotta love rugby.
20. Vince Young
This is a big Texas rivalry. And of course there are plenty of bragging rights at stake.
But here's a prime example of the negative effects of watching the Turkey Jones video, if you're a quarterback.
Defensive players will try to re-enact and relive that moment in their games.
And you will get slammed to the ground.
19. Patrice Cormier on Mikael Tam
A rogue elbow from top prospect Patrice Cormier for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies makes contact with Mikael Tam's head.
Tam was reportedly not breathing for 30 seconds as result of the hit.
18. Raja Bell on Kobe Bryant
There's no defense here.
Bell blatantly clotheslines Kobe Bryant.
He makes no play for the ball and just throws down Kobe with an extended left arm.
17. James Harrison on Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi
Harrison didn't lead with his helmet in just one hit.
He did it twice during this game.
Josh Cribbs may have been a runner who could have braced himself with a hit but Mohamed Massaquoi was a defenseless receiver that had no idea Harrison would knock him out.
Harrison subsequently took out two receivers by giving them concussions.
He was fined by the league $75,000 for his aggressive hitting.
16. Turkey Jones On Terry Bradshaw
Although, Browns fans love watching this video over and over again.
You have to admit that takedown of Bradshaw was a little excessive.
Poor Terry got knocked out with a concussion.
15. Derek Fisher On Luis Scola
This is playoff basketball.
Derek Fisher was hailed for this play in Los Angeles and standing up to the much bigger Luis Scola.
But he knew what he was doing—sending a message.
Fish planted his feet, and led with his shoulder and elbow to take out the 6'10" power forward with a crushing hit.
Fisher was ejected from the game and suspended by the league for the next game.
14. Kermit Washington on Rudy Tomjanovich
This punch pretty ended Rudy Tomjanovich's career, as he was unable to regain his old form after recovering from his injury.
Washington maintains that he felt someone creeping up behind him and reacted by throwing a punch.
The NBA suspended him for 60 days and fined him $10,000. Tomjanovich went on to have five reconstructive surgeries on his face.
13. Woody Hayes Punch
The dirty hit here didn't come from another player. It came from the coach.
Woody Hayes took a swing at a Clemson player for intercepting the ball and running out of bounds toward the OSU sideline.
Hayes was then fired after the incident.
12. Izzy Alcantara on Catcher
A dirty hit in baseball?
Watch Izzy dropkick the catcher and make a bee-line towards the pitcher.
Then act as if he was ready to take on the entire team.
Talk about premeditated.
11. Elizabeth Lambert on BYU Cougars
Here's not one but a series of cheap shots and dirty plays from Elizabeth Lambert of the New Mexico Lobos.
From punching someone in the back to pulling down someone down by her ponytail.
She was suspended indefinitely for her rough play.
The Lobos ended up losing to the BYU Cougars 1-0 in that game.
10. Jesse Boulerice on Ryan Kesler
Jesse Boulerice comes at Ryan Kesler with a crosscheck to the back of his head.
Then he lingers over him, ready to drop his gloves as if he was expecting him to pop back up and fight him.
No. You don't give a man a cheap shot and expect him to bounce right back up.
Boulerice was suspended for 25 games for that hit.
9. Dale Hunter on Pierre Turgeon
After you score a goal in hockey, most opponents usually take a step back and let you celebrate with your teammates.
Not Dale Hunter.
He proceeds to mow down an unsuspecting Pierre Turgeon who was too happy celebrating his goal that he didn't realize Hunter was hunting for his head.
8. Ulf Samuelsson on Cam Neely
Samuelsson is widely credited for shortening Cam Neely's career.
During the 1991 Prince of Wales Conference Finals between the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Samuelsson made it his mission to pester the Bruins' top player.
Knowing that Neely's knee was already ailing, Ulf made it his mission to purposely target the goal-scorer's leg in a subsequent hit.
Neely's injury ultimately got worse and he was only limited to 22 games in two years after that season.
7. Chris Simon on Ryan Hollweg
After getting hit with a solid check to the boards, Simon decided to retaliate.
He did so by using his hockey stick as a weapon and swinging it at Ryan Hollweg's face.
The hit was so brutal that the Nassau County district attorney considered filing criminal charges against Simon.
Simon was suspended by the NFL for 25 games.
6. Karl Malone on Isiah Thomas
Karl Malone may be the No. 2 scorer in the league's history but he's also known for dishing out vicious hits with his elbow.
In this play, Isiah gets to greet Karl's elbow. With his face.
For some reason Malone didn't really swipe at the basketball.
No wonder the rest of the Pistons were irate.
5. Chris Simon on Jarko Ruutu
After not learning anything about fair play in his last 25-game suspension for cross-checking an unsuspecting opponent, Simon continued on with his unsportsmanlike play.
He blatantly tries to use the blade of his skate to injure Jarko Ruutu.
With his past history in consideration, the NHL suspended him for 30 games.
4. Charles Martin on Jim McMahon
The Bears and Packers have a historic rivalry. And both teams don't have any love lost between them.
Charles Martin of the Packers, decides to pick up quarterback Jim McMahon, well after he has released the ball and body slam him into the ground.
3. Marty McSorley on Donald Brashear
Donald Brashear is often the guy that's dishing out the big hits but in this video he's the guy on the receiving end.
McSorley takes a blindside whack to the head of Brashear with his hockey stick.
This incident went to trial and McSorley was found guilty for hitting Brashear but avoided a jail sentence.
He was suspended by the NHL for one year but after missing the remaining 23 games that season, he would never play in the NHL again.
2. Albert Haynesworth on Andre Gurode
Stomping is not allowed in the NFL.
The NFL agreed and suspended Haynesworth for five games during the 2006 season.
1. Todd Bertuzzi on Steve Moore
There's complete malice on Bertuzzi's part with this hit.
He was latching on to Steve Moore, to find the opportune time to give him a hit.
Bertuzzi then proceeded to sucker punch him from his blind side.
Moore went down with a grade three concussion and fractured several vertebrae. He would not play professional hockey again.
Bertuzzi was charged with assault causing bodily harm, pleaded guilty, and avoided a jail sentence by serving probation.
He was suspended by the league indefinitely but later returned to play in the '05-'06 NHL season.