by TOM WEPPEL
It seems in every single professional sport, there is one distinct factor they all don’t feel comfortable allowing to be shown…
No matter what the case…no matter what the cause…no matter what the situation…if there is any altercation or degree of fighting that cranks up, whether it happens on the field of play, or on the sidelines, the officials governing the action will not feel good about any fighting that goes on…between players, teams, or coaches.
In the NFL, if a fight breaks out on the field between players, play will be stopped and officials will come in to break things up. There might even be a penalty or two that can and will be handed out during the game. Later on, the heads of the League will hand out fines or suspensions, depending on the degree of instigation.
The fighting is all a wash, in most cases, anyway, since all players are fully-padded and will usually NOT be able to harm each other in any way via punches thrown, or whatever.
In the NBA, a fight will certainly stop play. Action during games can and does indeed get quite physical, no matter what the case. Players simply don’t stand for any type of bumping and grinding. Technical fouls are often handed out, and players are suspended a certain number of games.
If you’ve watched any of those altercations, however, you will notice most players cannot be considered boxers or wrestlers or anything else that resembles fighting! Their talents sincerely lie ONLY in playing roundball!
Major League Baseball certainly has its share of altercations, especially if Pitchers buzz the hitters they face during at-bats. If a batter gets hit, it takes a lot of reluctance for him NOT to go out and get after the Pitcher. If and when he might or does, it can mean other players will get in on the fracas. We certainly have seem teams get into shoving matches in the middle of a game every so often.
When you think about it, it is not fun getting nailed by a baseball while trying to hit. You can consider it a one-sided affair, for all intents! It is painful. The problem is…batters will NEVER be able to retaliate in the same way or fashion!
Of course, if there is one sport where fighting is somewhat allowed, it would be in the National Hockey League, where physical play between teams can certainly lead into some personal battles on the ice! Hockey fans, to an extent, almost enjoy getting into a fight on the ice as much as they do when the teams are scoring goals!
And it isn’t easy to prevent fighting in the NHL. The ice certainly has something to do with that. It is more of a situation, though, where officials feel if they let the players take care of their business, they can handle the game and anything else that might occur.
But that is NOT the case, for all intents, in NASCAR, as we witnessed last weekend!
In the next-to-last race of the season, we saw a situation where two well-known drivers…Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer…get into a mess of a wreck at the very end of the day. This after, according to Gordon, Bowyer had been bumping him for quite a while throughout the race. After the wreck between the two drivers occurred, things continued, when the crews of the two teams got after each other in the pits and the truck area.
All the activity was pure pandemonium. After the dust settled, we heard everybody and their friends give us their feelings, as well as an opinion, including points-leader Brad Keselowski. NASCAR handed out some fines, and now, we will find out if these two drivers will get back into it when they both get on the track again this weekend in Homestead for the last race of the season.
And so, overall, fighting is certainly not looked upon as a good thing in all sports, even though it is certainly an aspect that will draw attention and excitement within the course of play, no matter what the sport, no matter what the situation.
Which leads to my open question I would pose to all sports fans…should fighting be more allowable in sports? Should altercations not be as looked down-upon as they currently are?
Look…while there is no question fighting on the playing field is not necessarily a good thing…virtually all officials of all major sports consider it a negative aspect…the other point that needs to be brought out is this…no matter what the case, fans will get into fighting on the field! They will talk about it during and after the contest! The media will certainly cover it and talk about it from all angles and points of view, simply because people are intrigued and entertained by what they have seen!
And there have been plenty of cases where fans will remember the fight they saw during a game, including who did what to whom and who ‘won’…before they might remember who actually prevailed in winning during the contest itself!
Human beings are certainly attracted by physical altercations within sports. It cannot and will not go without getting someone’s attention. We certainly saw that this weekend in Phoenix for that NASCAR race!
The leaders of all the major sports will always try to stop any fighting from happening (except, of course, in WWE, MMA, or Boxing!). But my feeling is we will always end up getting an opportunity to see battles break out during sports…no matter hard officials come down and police their fields of play.