Oh, athletes. Over the weekend, tennis player David Nalbandian invited a storm of criticism after a little tennis tantrum, during which he kicked at a line judge’s platform. Bad move: The judge came away with a bloody shin, and now Nalbandian may face charges.
Blame it on the competition, the heat of the moment, the “zone,” whatever, but athletes do have a reputation for being a little, well, touchy. Or punchy. Or possibly kicky, bite-y and generally ornery. Here's a crop of angry athletes and their game-time crimes against innocent bystanders and each other:
The Ryan/Ventura Punchfest Royale: Possibly one of the most unintentionally hilarious Base-brawls in history, fans will never forget the day Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura got tangled up in each others’ angry, punch-filled embrace, when Ventura rushed the mound after taking a pitch to the side from Ryan. Though it is one for the scrapbooks, the men recently made up, and say there are no hard feelings almost ten years later. WATCH IT!
Dennis Rodman violates the man code: In 1997, one of the NBA’s most colorful creatures smote a cameraman in that area no cameraman should ever be smote. After tripping over some camera equipment, an injured Rodman delivered a swift kick to the groin region of Eugene Amos. The act of aggression cost Rodman an 11-game suspension and a $200,000 dollar settlement. Not cool, bro... WATCH IT!
The Knicks-Nuggets flash mob: Like a swarm of angry, muscular bees, the Knicks and the Nuggets descended upon one another near the end of a 2006 meeting at Madison Square Gardens. A flagrant foul by Knicks guard Mardy Collins led to a punch thrown by Nuggets player Carmelo Anthony, which led to a giant, court-wide debacle, and, ultimately, seven player suspensions. The incident is one of the most highly-penalized on-court fights in NBA history. Go big or go home, we guess? WATCH IT!
Metta World Peace and his elbow of fury: Mr. World Peace treated Oklahoma City’s James Harden to an elbow to the face in April. He was slapped with a suspension, and seemingly undid some of the goodwill he had cultivated to rehab his volatile image. Remember "Malice in the Palace," Metta? People don’t tend to forget stuff like that, especially when you’ve got a strong elbow to remind them. WATCH IT!
Zinedine Zidane imitates an angry bison: French soccer star Zinedine Zidane is hardly known for his subtlety, but he made himself a player of legend when he dismissed Italian player Marco Materazzi with a headbutt to the chest. The efficiency with which he floored Materazzi was nearly poetic, but still -- ow! WATCH IT!
Mike Tyson has a snack: No chronicle of sports-related bodily harm is complete without boxing great Mike Tyson, who infamously nibbled off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a legendary 1997 fight. Obviously, Tyson was disqualified, but his likeness still resides in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, and in all of our hearts as a classic example of sports weirdness. WATCH IT!
Do you have any injurious sports tantrums that stick in your mind? Are brawls just part of the game sometimes, or do things get a little too physical for your taste?