The Top 10 Worst Sucker Punches in Sports

Greg RiotAnalyst IMarch 5, 2010

The Top 10 Worst Sucker Punches In Sports

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10. McLaren Takes Out Richard Zednik

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    During the 2002 NHL Playoffs, McLaren decided it was a good idea to clothesline Richard Zednik with just over a minute to go in the third period. Going after any team’s best scoring player in the playoffs is a strict “no no” in the NHL. That kind of stuff gets you your ass handed to you for the rest of your career by opposing teams. What’s even more mind boggling about the whole thing is that the Bruins were up 5-2! What possible need was there for him to do that to any other human being with a virtually guaranteed win in the playoffs? There’s a difference between sending a message to the opposing team that you’re going to play grinding, physical, no-nonsense hockey, and telegraphing to the whole universe that you’re a complete clown.

9. Shawn Michaels Superkicks Mart Jannety

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    It was the kick heard round the world, and whether you like wrestling as a grown man, the army of us that enjoyed it as kids in the 80’s and 90’s remember Marty crashing through The Barbershop window. It catapulted Shawn in to superstardom, but it virtually ended Jannety’s career. Can’t rank it any higher because the whole ordeal was staged and all, but if you’re the guy in the video below it was a crippling display of dastardly evil.

8. Woody Hayes Punches A Player (Not His Own)

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    When a coach is firing up his team in the locker room screaming things like “We’re gonna rip their dumb faces off!!!” or “You punch ‘em in the dirty mouth!!!” I think we all understand that these are just testosterone-tastic words of motivation. If you played for Woody Hayes, however, he probably meant it.

7. MMA Fighter Can’t Wait For The Bell…Literally

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    Fans of MMA are all too familiar with this comedic cheap shot. The reason that it’s so low on the totem pole is that nobody even knows who these two morons are, nor do I care to even bother researching what title they were even fighting for. Still, teeing off on your opponent during the ref’s spiel is low class, even for bush league cage fighting. The guy couldn’t wait another 15 seconds to have a crack at this guy? Really? You fight in a sport that allows you to break peoples limbs! I’d hate to see he’d react waiting in a grocery store line while the old guy in front of him is counting pennies to pay for his prunes.

6. Brittney Griner vs. Jordan Barncastle

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    Griner used to be better known as that high school women’s basketball player who could dunk. Now she’s just an anger-management candidate who can’t handle getting shoved around underneath the rim. Sports are violent enough as they are, but when Birttney Griner socked Jordan Barncastle in the nose while the two were battling for position in the paint. Barncastle never saw the punch coming, and why would she? They were playing basketball! Cranking someone in the face during play is just, plain stupid. Even Griner knows it. You can tell by the look on her face during the replay.

5. Carmelo Anthony’s Hit-and-Run

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    A brawl broke out when Mardy Collins hauled J.R. Smith down on a fast break in a Knicks-Nuggets tilt, and Carmelo Anthony came to the aid of his teammate which should be honorable. What’s not even remotely heroic about it is the fact that Melo waited until a coach was standing in front of Collins before he whacked him right in the face…then he tucked tail and ran away like a scared little brother who had just unleashed on his much older, bigger brother. And I thought guys with cornrows were supposed to be tough.

4. Kermit Washington punches Rudy Tomjonovich

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    "The sucker punch Rudy T took in the 70's is the worst of them all. His injuries from that punch were devastating."
    -Eric Murtaugh

3. The Malice At The Palace

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    When Ron Artest went ballistic and punched the fan who didn’t throw the beer at him, it was a life-changing moment for Artest and the NBA. After being shoved out of the stands by officials and players, Artest threw a second punch at another fan who was dumb enough to jaw off to the lunatic. Perhaps the best moment of the whole thing, however, was when Steven Jackson completely unloaded on a fat guy who looked curiously like “Turtle” from Entourage.

2. Zidane Heads Out Of Professional Soccer

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    Calling this one of the “worst” sucker punches isn’t exactly precise. First of all, it was a headbutt, not a punch. Second of all, nine times out of ten, anytime somebody can cave a man’s chest in using his forehead like he was E.Honda, it has to be considered nothing short of awesome.

    Unfortunately for Zidane, the circumstances are against him and the fact that France loss the World Cup Final in a shootout, Zidane’s known specialty, make this one of the dumbest decisions in sports history. Breached for comment, Zidane affirms that he’d still react the same way. But what would you rather have done: ended your career with a World Cup victory in a shootout, or walked out of the backdoor of soccer with your head hung in shame after you had just failed your entire country?

1. Todd Bertuzzi Breaks Steve Moore’s Neck

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    Moore had a target on his back for the very reason that the aforementioned McLaren did. In the last meeting between the Avalanche and Canucks, Moore went after Markus Naslund, the best player and captain of the Canucks. His best friend, Todd Bertuzzi, was one of the scariest men in hockey at the time and he decided he was going to take revenge on Moore in their next meeting.

    While getting hammered on the scoreboard, Bertuzzi crept up from behind and clocked Moore in the side of the helmet, but that wasn’t the worst part. In the split second afterwards, Bertuzzi drove Moore’s face in to the ice, serving Moore a severe neck injury and a concussion he never recovered from.

    Even worse was the black eye that Bertuzzi gave the NHL, a league which has battled a barbaric image until just recently. Sucker punches are a coward’s way in to a fight (and out of one too, I suppose) but ending a guy’s career is unforgivable. That’s why Bertuzzi’s is the worst offender of all.

Bonus: Lights Out Against the Ropes

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    I don't know who these boxers are but it looked like a grudge match. That guy got knocked into next Friday!

    If you liked this slide be sure to check out: Knockouts: Top10 Fastest and Funniest