The 25 Worst Cheap Shots in Sports

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIFebruary 15, 2012

The 25 Worst Cheap Shots in Sports

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    Big hits, aggressive play, and a fighter's mentality can all come in handy when playing sports. But, harnessing this type of play is what separates great athletes from those who can't control themselves.

    In this slideshow you'll see a wide variety of plays. Some are within the rules of the game but teeter on the moral side, while others are full blown law breaking stunts that land people in the hospital.

    Either way you look at it, the attackers are using cheap tactics to get their way.

    Here are the 25 worst cheap shots in sports history. 


25. Elizabeth Lambert Gets Fiesty

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    New Mexico women's soccer defender Elizabeth Lambert took the idea of defensive intensity to a whole new level.

    There is plenty of material here to work with, but I think that the biggest cheap shot is the pulling down by the pony tail. It takes a lot for a women's college soccer game to get noticed, so you know this was pretty nasty.

    Repercussion: One yellow card during the game but not much else.

24. Kevin Love Stomps on Luis Scola

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    Kevin Love is not a dirty player, but this was a dirty play.

    In the midst of the T-Wolves, Rockets game, Love and Rocket forward Luis Scola got tangled up under the basket, leaving Scola on the ground.

    Love apparently didn't see all 6'9'', 245 of Scola laying on the floor and stepped right on his face. 

    Repercussion: Love was suspended two games.

23. Randall Simon Hits a Sausage

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    On July 9, 2003 Pirates first baseman Randall Simon hit a person in a sausage suit during the daily sausage race. I can't make this up.

    There was no serious harm to the kid in the costume, and Simon turned the whole thing into a joke.

    Repercussion: Simon paid $432.10 for disorderly conduct and the MLB suspended him for 3 games. He was jokingly held back by teammates the next time he was in Miller Park.

22. Warren Sapp on Clifton

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    In 2002, Warren Sapp leveled an unsuspecting Chad Clifton during an interception. Clifton was away from the play when Sapp smashed the left tackle, sending him to the hospital for a week.

    After that, it took five more weeks for Clifton to walk under his own power. While the play was legal at the time, it was much maligned for the vicious nature of the seemingly unnecessary hit.

    Repercussion: No suspension for Sapp. A new NFL rule was put into place, eliminating open field hits far away from the play.

21. Robert Horry

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    During Game 5 of the 2007 playoffs, Robert Horry body checked Steven Nash into the scorers table in a game that was not close enough to foul anymore.

    A fight broke out and an infuriated Suns team came to the rescue. This would cost them more than they would know.

    Repercussions: Horry was suspended for games five and six, while Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw each were suspended a game for leaving the bench.

20. Varitek on a-Rod

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    After getting hit with a pitch by Bronson Arroyo, Alex Rodriguez took exception to the move and began chirping at the mound.

    Sometimes catchers play peacemaker. In this case, Jason Varitek smashed his glove into A-Rod's face, causing a benches clearing brawl.

    Repercussions: Rodriguez and Varitek were both ejected from the game.

19. Raja Bell Closelines Kobe

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    The Raja Bell/Kobe Bryant feud has gone back years, with the two having spats that would eventually come to a head. 

    In this instance, Bell took it one step too far by clotheslining Kobe at the end of a game that was well in hand. 

    Repercussion: One game suspension for Bell.

18. Andrew Golota Low-Blows Riddick Bowe

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    Go to 2:40

    After a completely illegal low blow knocked Riddick Bowe to the floor, the fight was over and Bowe was deemed the winner.

    But, soon after, many of Bowe's friends and handlers jumped into the ring to get revenge on Golota for this and several other low blows. This turned from a cheap shot into an all out melee.

    Repercussion: Golota forfeited the matched and caused a riot.

17. Dale Hunter Cheapshots Pierre Turgeon

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    Go to :40 seconds

    During Game 6 of the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinals, Pierre Turgeon stole the puck from Dale Hunter and scored the game sealing goal.

    Unhappy with the result, Hunter, an NHL tough guy, steamrolled Turgeon into the boards well after the play was over. Turgeon suffered a separated shoulder and missed the next series against the Penguins.

    Repercussion: Hunter was suspended 21 games, the longest on-ice suspension at that time.

16. Antwan Barnes Levels Punter Sav Rocca

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    Go to 1:00

    Preseason? Please. Give it your all on every play, or else you might just find yourself cut from the team. Unfortunately, Eagles punter Sav Rocca had to learn American football the hard way.

    In a play that definitely didn't need a clock cleaning hit, Barnes leveled Rocca who was nowhere near the play.

    Repercussion: 15 yard penalty for unnecessary roughness; knocks off his helmet.

15. Chris Simon Whacks Ryan Hollweg in the Face with His Stick

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    Don't get Chris Simon angry.

    After a check into the boards by Ryan Hollweg, Simon turned around and whacked Hollweg in the face with his stick.

    He used his stick like a clothes line, knocking Hollweg out.

    Repercussion: Simon was ejected from the game and was suspended indefinitely. The suspension ended up being for 25 games.

14. Bynum on Barea

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    Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, and the Lakers are about to be eliminated. JJ Barea drives to the basket and gets forearmed by Andrew Bynum.

    He and the team were very frustrated, but that was no excuse to the heinous act that could have really hurt Barea. Bynum walked right over the court without argument because he knew how intentional it was.

    Repercussions: Suspended four games and fined $25,000

13. Izzy Alcantara Kicks the Catcher

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    After getting brushed back by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Barons pitcher Blas Cedeño, Alcántara turned around, kicked catcher Jeremy Salazar in the chest, and rushed the mound.

    This video went viral after the over the top action taken by Alcantara, who crushed the unsuspecting catcher.

    Repercussion: Alcantara was suspended six games and lost his spot on the International League's All-Star team.

12. Mike Tyson Bits Holyfield's Ear

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    In 1997, Tyson and Holyfield met for their illustrious rematch. Tyson felt that he has been victimized in his prior fight from headbutts and was out to seek revenge.

    In the third round, Tyson took a sizeable chunk out Holyfield's ear, ending the match.

    Repercussion: Tyson lost his license for a few months, was forced to pay $3 million and of course was disqualified from the bout. His career would never be the same.

11. Bill Romanowski Breaks Dave Meggett’s Finger

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    This is an excerpt from his book “Romo: My Life on the Edge: Living Dreams and Slaying Dragons”

    “When I was at the bottom of the pile after another play in the same game, and I reached to rip the football out of the hand of Giants running back Dave Meggett, all I could get a good grip on was his finger. So I just grabbed it and crrraaaccckkk. Broke It Like a chicken bone. I could hear him scream in agony.”

    Repercussion: None

10. Mayweather on Ortiz

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    Protect yourself at all times! I don't care that you wanted to show your apologies to Mayweather for heabutting him. It's over, let's fight.

    And Mayweather: What a cheap shot. He obviously knew that Victor Ortiz was not ready to fight, but he smashed his face in anyway.

    Overall just a bad way to end a fight.

    Repercussions: None. It was completely legal but just bush league.

9. LeGarrette Blount Goes Nuts

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    Soooo don't taunt LeGarrette Blount after you beat him on your home field or else you'll get whacked.

    To some degree, there is a part of all of us that would want to punch that guy. He was getting in your face after a lose. That being said, keep your composure kid.

    Repercussion: Ten game suspension after initially being suspended for the entire season.

8. Woody Hayes

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    During the 1978 Gator Bowl, of all people, it was the Ohio State coach, Woody Hayes, who was behind one of the worst cheap shots in college football history.

    Clemson nose guard Charlie Bauman intercepted quarterback Art Schlichter late in the game to seal the victory for the Tigers, prompting Hayes to punch his opponent.

    Repercussion: Hayes was fired and subsequently coached his last game of his career. 

7. Juan Marichal vs. John Roseboro

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    On August 22, 1965, Sandy Koufax came high and inside on Marichal and after catcher Roseboro’s return throw to Koufax ticked Marichal’s ear, Juan turned and said something to the catcher.

    The intensive rivalry caused an erupting and as John took a step toward Marichal, who hit the enraged Roseboro with his bat.

    Repercussion: Marichal was suspended for eight playing dates and fined $1,750

6. Albert Haynesworth Stomps on Guroude

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    On October 1, 2006, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth stomped on Cowboys' center Andre Gurode's head. Yes, I said head.

    There were conflicting reports as to whether Haynesworth took his helmet off or not before the act, but either way, it was reprehensible. Jeff Fisher personally apologized for action amidst being very embarrassed. 

    Repercussion: Five game suspension without pay

5. Kermit Washington

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    Besides having one of the funnier names in sports history, he also packs a punch.

    In the midsts of a huge brawl, Washington saw Rudy Tomjanovich out the corner of his eye streaking into the middle of the fight.

    He was coming in to make the peace. Whoops!

    Repercussions: Washington was fined $10,000, and suspended for 60 days, missing 26 games. At the time is was the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history

4. Todd Bertuzzi Sucker Punches Steve Moore

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    After injuring teammate Markus Näslund days before, Steve Morre got the ultimate retaliation when Todd Bertuzzi came behind him and sucker punched him in the back of the head.

    Teammates came to the resscue to no avail, as Moore was knocked out. He experienced three fractured vertabrae in his neck, a grade three concussion, vertebral ligament damage, stretching of the brachial plexus nerves, and facial lacerations.

    Repercussions: Bertuzzi was suspended from all hockey for 17 months and has a pending and ongoing legal tril between he and Moore for damages caused by the event.

3. Zidane Headbutts Materazzi

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    After Marco Materazzi said something unflattering about Zidane's sister, he turned around and head butted him to the ground.

    In extra time of the World Cup final, you'd think there's nothing your opponent could say to get you off your game.

    Repercussion: He was given a red card and sent off. France lost the game and ZIdane was given a three game suspension; he retired after the game, leaving no real penalty in place.

2. Shane Stant Attacks Nancy Kerrigan

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    In 1994, Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee by Shane Stant, an attacker who was hired by by rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and friend Shawn Eckardt.

    The attack was in advance of the U.S. Championships. It became one of the more famous moments in sports history after footage of Kerrigan on the ground screaming, "Why, why, why."

    Repercussion: Harding pled guilty to hindering the investigation, but said she had no prior knowledge of the attack.

1. Marty McSorley Smashed Donald Brashir

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    With three seconds left in the game, Bruin Marty McSorley hit Vancouver Canuck Donal Brashir in the back of the head with his stick, knocking Brashir to the ground and knocking him out.

    While the referees tried to stop the inevitable from happening, the entire Canucks team went after McSorley. The protected him just enough to not receive a similar fate

    Repercussion: McSorley was suspended 23 games in addition to the entire 2000-2001 season. On October 4, 2000, a McSorley was found guilty of assault with a weapon and put on 18 months probation. He would never play in the NHL again.