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10 Epic Moments of Sports Rage

10. Sergio Garcias Shoe Toss

Golf is generally thought of as a gentlemans game, with a genteel atmosphere of hushed

voices and verdant greens. Until its not. Throughout his career, Spanish golfer Sergio

Garcia has had trouble keeping his cool when the game isnt going his way. Perhaps his

most famous tantrum came early in his career, at 1999s World Match Play Wentworth tournament.

He was only 19 at the time, but the rising golf star was playing at a high level. However,

it didnt take much to bring out his inner bratty teenager. After missing a shot that

had bedeviled him all week, sending his ball off the tee of the 15th hole and into the

trees in what was a very tight contest with Retief Goosen, Garcias rage bubbled over.

He took off one of his shoes and hurled it into a spectator area. When it was returned,

courtesy of his manager, Garcia kicked the shoe, narrowly missing the head of match referee

John Grant.

9. Roger Clemens Throws a Bat at Mike Piazza

Tensions were already high in Game 2 of the 2000subway seriesWorld Series between

the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, with the previous evenings game having

gone into extra innings, when Metscatcher Mike Piazza came up to bat in the first inning.

Adding to the drama, earlier that summer, Roger Clemens had hit Piazza in the head with

a fastball, resulting in a concussion that forced Piazza to skip the All-Star game. Piazza

described that pitch, which could have caused even more serious injury, asdefinitely


As Piazza swung to hit the pitch, his bat shattered, sending wooden pieces toward the

pitching mound. Clemens picked up a shard and threw it in the direction of Piazza, who

was running for first base. While Clemens claimed, “there was no intent [to hit Piazza]

there,” the benches emptied, and the moment would become one of the most memorable, and

infamous, of the Subway Series, which the Yankees would go on to win.

8. Serena Williams Chews Out a Line Judge

The second set of the 2009 US Open womenssemifinals was a hotly contested battle between

defending champion Serena Williams and unseeded, unranked Kim Clijsters. Clijstersadvance

in the tournament had come as a bit of surprise. While she had won the 2005 US Open, the 2009

tournament was only her third since emerging from retirement. Nonetheless, Clijsters was

off to a strong start, taking the first set 6-4.

The second set appeared to be leaning toward Clijsters as well, as Williams was serving

at 5-6, 15-30. Williams faulted on her first serve. On the second serve, a line judge called

a foot fault, making it a double-fault, a call rarely seen in tennis matches at this

level. An angry Williams advanced toward the line judge, shaking the ball at her and unleashing

an f-bomb laden rant, screaming, “I swear to God Im [expletive] going to take this

[expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.” Williams was an assessed a code

violation with a mandatory point penalty, and since this was match point, Clijsters

won the match as a result. Williams, who apologized for her reaction but who also maintains that

the call was a bad one, was fined $10,500 by the US Open for her outburst.

7. John McEnroes Swedish Meltdown

In 1984, John McEnroe was at the top of the tennis world, winning 78 out of 80 of the

matches in which he competed. In addition to his spectacular record, his scrappy style

(many tennis experts felt he lacked proper form) and angry demeanor, with several on-court

outbursts, combined to make him a focal point in menstennis.

While McEnroes explosive temper was demonstrated on numerous occasions, perhaps the most infamous

display came at the 1984 Swedish Open. When the chair umpire calls McEnroes serve out,

he approaches the judge and fumes, “That ball was right on the line, right on the line,”

he yells. “Youve made no mistakes in this match yet, right? No mistakes whatsoever?”

When the umpire doesnt respond, McEnroe continues, “Answer the question! The question

jerk!” A few moments later, after losing his serve, McEnroe violently explodes, striking

his tennis bag with his racket, swiping his racket across a table holding water before

almost sitting down, then returning to strike the table, splashing spectators, which McEnroe

claims included the King of Sweden, in the front row. McEnroe calls this tantrum his

most embarrassing tennis moment, though he did ultimately win the tournament where it

took place.

6. Jose Offermans Bat Attack

Exactly what happened during an infamous 2007 independent league baseball game between the

Long Island Ducks and the Bridgeport Bluefish is still debated. Jose Offerman, a former

All-Star in the latter stages of his baseball career, was hit by a pitch in the second inning.

Bat in hand, Offerman charged the pitching mound. “I lost it for about 10 seconds,”

Offerman would subsequently report.

Offerman claims that while he did charge the mound, he had a last minute change of heart

and never swung his bat. John Nathans, catcher for the Bluefish, tells a different a different

story. He says that when he ran to the mound to defend his pitcher, Offerman cracked him

in the head with a baseball bat, causing postconcussion syndrome and ending Nathansprofessional

baseball career. While the lack of video footage made determining the facts difficult, Offerman

was arrested after the game based on witness statements. A jury later convicted him of

assault (though found him not liable for battery), awarding Nathans $940,000 for his injuries.

5. Bobby Knight Throws a Chair

College basketball coach Bobby Knight was never known for his calm, detached demeanor

during his teams games. Angry pacing and aggressive yelling were the hallmarks of his

coaching style. Thats how the 1985 game between Knights Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue

began as well. After one of Knights players, forward Daryl Thomas, was whistled for his

second (questionable) foul of the game, Knight Knight exploded. Cursing audibly from the

sideline, he was given a technical foul.

Continuing to the berate the referee, Knight furiously picks up a chair and chucks it across

the court. The outburst would earn him a total of three technical fouls and ejection from

the game. Knight departed to cheers from the crowd and the Indiana fight song, though the

Hoosiers subsequently lost the game. Knights temper would eventually be his undoing; after

being placed onzero toleranceprobation after choking a student, Knight allegedly

grabbed another student and lectured him about the need to show respect. IU President Myles

Brand promptly fired Knight.

4. Mike Tyson Bites Evander Holyfields Ear

Boxing is, by nature, a violent sport. However, even boxing fans were shocked by what they

witnessed in 1997s World Boxing Association heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, NV.

The fight was a rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. The two fighters had

last met in the ring the previous November, where Holyfield had badly beaten Tyson.

The match was not going Tysons way. In the first two rounds, all official cards showed

Holyfield ahead. Tyson had sustained a gash over his eye and was angry that what he saw

as head-butts from Holyfield (including the exchange that had produced the gash) were

not addressed by the referee. Speaking about the fight subsequently, Tyson explained his

anger, saying, “He butted me in the second round and he butted me againnobody would

help me. This is my career? What am I supposed to do?” Definitely not what he ended up

doing: biting Holyfield in the ear, tearing out a portion. Warned by the referee, Tyson

then bit Holyfield again and was disqualified. He exited the arena to boos and had to be

restrained from confronting a fan who threw a bottle at him.

3. Izzy Alcantaras Face Kick

One of baseballs most infamous brawls occurred during a July 2001 minor league game between

the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. Red Sox player Izzy Alcantara,

the league home run and batting average leader, came up to bat and became enraged when Red

Barons pitcher Blas Cedeno brushed him back with an inside pitch.

While its not entirely unheard-of for batters to charge the mound after being hit by a pitch,

Alcantara took his revenge to a whole new level. Alcantara did head toward the mound

to take a swing at Cedeno, but not before karate kicking Red Barons catcher Jeremy Salazar

in the facemask. A benches-clearing brawl ensued and 4 players, including Cedeno and

Alcantara, received fines and suspensions for their participation in the melee.

2. Zenedine Zidanes Headbutt

Zenedine Zidane had a long and distinguished professional football career, having been

recognized for his unparalleled technical prowess as an attacking midfielder. His 2001

contract with Real Madrid, made him the most expensive footballer in the world at the time.

So when Zidane emerged from retirement to play for his native France in the 2006 World

Cup, it seemed like the perfect capstone to his storied football career. The fairy tale

ending appeared within reach as France advanced, eventually facing off with Italy in the finals.

Zidane played admirably throughout the match, but regulation time ended with the fairly

evenly matched teams tied at 1.

As the game moved into extra time, things started to go wrong for Zidane. Italian defender

Marco Materazzi had dogged the French squad throughout the game with his persistent and

aggressive style. After Zidane and Materazzi tangled just outside Frances 18 yard box,

the trash talk between the two players escalated, with Materazzi allegedly insulting Zidanes

sister. Zidane lost it, leveling Materazzi with a headbutt to the chest. Zidane received

a red card for his actions, ejected minutes before he could realize what he had no doubt

envisioned as a triumphant end to his professional career. In his absence, France fell 5-3 to

Italy on penalties.

1. Ron Artest and theMalice at the PalaceBrawl

On November 19, 2004, the Detroit Pistons were on the cusp of losing to their division

rivals, the Indiana Pacers. With less than a minute left, the Pistons were down by 15.

Pistons center Ben Wallace headed for a layup, only to be bumped from behind by the Pacers

Ron Artest (who now goes byMetta World Peace”). Wallace responded by hitting Artest

in the throat, sending him backwards. Though the situation seemed volatile, Artest had

moved to the scorerstable while the referees attempted to restore order.

Thats when the fans got involved, with one tossing a cup of beer that hit Artest.

Furious, Artest, along with several other players, entered the stands, throwing punches

and looking for retribution. The 90-second brawl that ensued would result in a total

of 146 games worth of suspensions for nine players on both teams, with the toughest penalty

falling on Artest, who was suspended for the rest of the season, missing out on 86 games

and nearly $5 million in lost salary. Confronted with negative press, including video footage

of the scary and volatile atmosphere of the incident that would be known asMalice

at the Palace,” the NBA implemented changes, increasing security, adding a new fan code

of conduct, and restricting the sale of alcohol late

in the game.

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