The skirmish between the Los Angeles Sparks and Detroit Shock brings to mind other throw-downs in sports. Here are five of the most memorable. Some are humorous and some decidedly not.
Blogmarichalroseboro 1. Juan Marichal and John Roseboro: During a game in 1965, Marichal, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants thought Roseboro, the Los Angeles Dodgers catcher, threw too close to his ear when he was returning a pitch to the mound. He turned and hit the catcher in the head with his bat. A 15-minute brawl ensued and ended when the Giants Willie Mays escorted Roseboro to safety. It remains one of the ugliest episodes in Major League history. Marichal was suspended for eight games. Roseboro sued Marichal but later the two would become close. (Photo by Charles Doherty, AP)
2. Minnesota-Ohio State basketball: For this 1972 incident to be called one of the worst incidents in sports history would not be hyperbole. When it was over, the Minnesota program would have a black eye as three Ohio State players were taken to the hospital. With less than a minute left in the game, Ohio State's Luke Witte was fouled and knocked to the floor. Corky Taylor of Minnesota feigned like he was going to help Witte up and then kneed him in the groin. Ron Behagan of the Gophers would come off the bench and kick Witte in the head. Before it was over, fans and players, including Hall of Fame baseball player Dave Winfield, would beat up other Buckeyes. Here is some video.
Blogmourningvangundy 3. Alonzo Mourning and Jeff Van Gundy: This was one was strictly for laughs. In 1998, Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat and Larry Johnson of the New York Knicks began doing the macho dance. Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy tried to break it up. What he did was grab Mourning's leg and the 6-foot-10 Mourning waved the 5-foot-6 coach around like a rag doll. Said Van Gundy: "''He's always whining about the contact he takes. But you never hear about the contact he dishes out. If you're going to bang and bump, bang and bump like a man and quit whining about it.'' (Photo by Mark Lennihan, AP)
4. Miami-Florida International: It would start in pregame warmups and break out into a full scale brawl by the third quarter. By the next day, 31 college football players would be suspended for their role in the dust up in this 2006 game. There would be punches thrown as well as blind-side kicks and helmet swinging. The two schools, less than 10 miles apart, were meeting for the first time. Miami won the game 35-0. Here is the video.
5. Don Zimmer-Pedro Martinez: During a playoff game in 2003 between the Yankees and Red Sox there would be hit batters and brush back pitches. That led to the benches being cleared twice for fights. That would have been routine in baseball except for the 72-year-old Zimmer charging the mound and being wrestled to the ground by Martinez. Neither was hurt and it become comic fodder.
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