If you have not noticed, baseball had a huge spike in media coverage during late May. The reason for the spike is the attention Rougned Odor garnered for his MMA inspired punch to the chin of Jose Bautista. That punch was an accumulation of events between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Toronto Blue Jays, and in my opinion Joey Bats deserved the punch, but that is another story.
The main point here is that fights usually get a lot of media and fan attention. The fact that the two men got into fisticuffs on the field, in front of the world made it that much better. However, some of the most interesting and insane fights in sports history did not happen on the field of play, they happened in the locker room or behind the scenes.
As we count down the 12 most insane locker room brawls we will realize that sports teams are a mix of eclectic, diverse personalities. Even though players wear the same uniforms, it does not mean they are always friendly towards one and other. When you combine a dozen or more type "A" personalities and stuff them all in a small room after an emotional sporting contest, you will undoubtedly have varying results.
Odor has since received his suspension for the punch heard round the world, he was sentenced to miss eight games, while Bautista missed just a single game. Those punishments are mild compared to some of the suspensions, and other punishment the athletes on this list received.
As we get into the list, I should make one thing clear, I do not in any way condone violence in any way, however, the brawls and scuffles on this list are classic and well worth rediscovering.
As always feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section below, and let us know which fight stories were your favorites. Here are the most insane locker room brawls.
15 Terrell Owens vs. Hugh Douglas
Terrell Owens probably had a lot of teammates who wanted to deck him, particularly during his days in Philadelphia. Owens got into a fight with teammate Hugh Douglas, which contributed to a late-season suspension during his last year in Philly. Douglas reportedly claimed some players were faking injuries in the Eagles locker room. TO took this personally, and the fight was on. This seems like just another factor in why Owens eventually played himself out of Philly.
14 John Tortorella vs. The Calgary Flames
When John Tortorella was hired as the Vancouver Canucks' head coach, he claimed he had learned a lot about being hot tempered and that he was going to change his ways. The fiery tempered Torts would suffer a huge relapse in that vow. In a January 2014 game against the rival Calgary Flames, Tortorella went to the Flames' dressing room at intermission to confront coach Bob Hartley. Torts accused Hartley of sending a player out to injure one of the Canucks' stars. It took several Flames players and staff to restrain Tortorella. Torts was suspended for 15 days following the incident and was fired at the end of the season.
13 Trojan War
The USC Trojans were once a college football powerhouse but that has not been the case since Pete Carroll's departure. A few seasons ago, Matt Barkley was the star at USC. He returned for his senior year, thinking the Trojans could be contenders for the BCS Championship. Unfortunately, the team fell well short of expectations, and lost the Sun Bowl to Georgia Tech to end a disappointing season with a 7-6 record. A report from ESPN detailed a brawl that took place following the loss when the younger players started trashing Barkley and the veterans came to his defense, causing a "chaotic scene". Coach Lane Kiffin denied a brawl took place, but are we really supposed to believe Lane Kiffin?
12 Michael Jordan vs. Will Perdue
The greatest basketball player of all time once punched his own teammate in the face. I will let former Jordan teammate Steve Kerr tell the story:
"MJ walks up to Will -- boom. Lit him up. It was over; we grabbed Will -- you're not going to hurt MJ. MJ can take care of himself. The next day on the plane, Will gets on with this huge shiner."
That happened because Perdue set an illegal screen on Jordan during practice. Gotta love the competitive spirit I guess?
11 Cullen Jenkins vs. Damontre Moore
Odell Beckham Jr thought he was being a nice guy when he decided to buy his teammates some BEATS headphones. Cullen Jenkins, a good player, decided to take several pairs of the expensive headphones, and Damontre Moore took umbrage to that. Moore ended up getting into a fight with Jenkins over the headphones, and subsequently Moore was shortly thereafter cut from the team.
You would think guys making millions of dollars would not fight over a couple hundred dollars worth of headphones, but the NFL is not filled with normal people.
10 Kendrick Perkins vs. Joakim Noah
Kendrick Perkins has always been known as an informer, and a bully type. After a game against the Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah came into the Thunder locker room to say hi to some old friends. Perkins did not take too kindly to Noah's presence in the locker room. Perkins got into Noah's face and told him to "get the f*** out of here" or he would remove him.
Noah, never being one to back down, had some choice words of his own for Perkins and teammates had to come separate the two centers. Noah later called Perkins a "fake tough guy."
9 Matt Barnes vs. John Henson
During a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, John Henson had two consecutive blocks on Matt Barnes, and both times Henson let Barnes know what he thought about it. In the act of his celebrations, Henson fired up an already short tempered Matt Barnes. The two got into a little scuffle on the court and both were issued technical fouls; with Henson being ejected for his second tech of the game.
Barnes continued to shout obscenities about Henson's actions, until Barnes was ejected as well. Barnes was not done, however. Barnes went right to the Bucks locker room to find Henson. Needless to say, it did not end well for either player.
8 Hal McRae vs. Everything
In 1993 McRae was fed up with reporters who kept asking "stupid f***ing questions", so he lost it! McRae attacked anything that was not nailed down, most famously throwing his landline phone against the wall like an Olympic thrower.
The phone hit the wall and exploded, and one of the pieces shot back and hit a reporter in the eye. McRae was somehow able to keep his job for another year after the incident, but the meltdown will forever be remembered.
7 Chicago Blackhawks vs. Each Other
In 2015 the Chicago Blackhawks had a reported fist fight among one another - the report claims that the fight was over "untidy personal lives." There is speculation that the report is referring to Patrick Kane's personal life, but that has never been confirmed.
The irony of this fight is that the Blackhawks as a team only had 13 major penalties against them at the time of the fight. Another funny thing about this team, was that they went on to win the Stanley Cup, so the fight may have just galvanized the team, and propelled them to become champions.
6 Torii Hunter vs. Albert Pujols
In 2013 the Angels were a team with high expectations, as they had signed a few All-Stars, including Torii Hunter, and Albert Pujols. The Angels did not live up to expectations however, and frustration began to boil over.
After a 13-2 loss, the Angels had a players only meeting where Pujols verbally went after one of the starting pitchers. Hunter did not like what Pujols had to say, and he shouted at Pujols to "get his facts straight." Pujols responded to Hunter, telling him to "shut up!" Hunter then charged Pujols and had to be restrained by teammates before he knocked out the most expensive player in baseball.
5 Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon
Bryce Harper was a 21-year-old superstar on the rise and Papelbon was a 34-year-old veteran on his way out. Harper did not particularly appreciate the way Papelbon had drilled an opposing player, knowing he would likely be drilled in the next game, so Harper said something about it to the media; Papelbon did not like that too much.
The next game Harper hit a lazy fly ball to right field and didn't exactly sprint to first base, and Papelbon let him know about it. When Harper got back to the dugout, Papelbon was ready to start a fight and Harper was not opposed to it. The two got into it and had to be separated by teammates.
4 Ik Enemkpali vs. Geno Smith
During training camp in 2015 the Jets made some headlines. The team was having a regular day of practice, when Ik Enemkpali and starting quarterback Geno Smith got into a little discussion. Enemkpali claimed that Smith owed him about $600. Geno denied the claim, but Ik was determined to get the money from him one way of another.
During the practice Enemkpali sucker punched Smith in the face, breaking the quarterback's jaw and sidelining him for six weeks. Enemkpali was soon released from the team as you would expect, and Smith has had an up and down career since the incident.
3 Lou Piniella vs. Rob Dibble
Mixing two hot heads in a locker room is never a good idea. In 1992 Dibble had just come off shoulder surgery, and his spot in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen had been taken over by Norm Charleton. Dibble was not pleased with coach Piniella's decision and he repeatedly let the media know about it.
Piniella was fed up, once he heard that Dibble was making waves again he told the media that Dibble was a liar, and Piniella left his coaches office looking for Dibble. Piniella found Dibble, and the two got into a fight right in front of the cameras. Piniella left the Reds a month later and became the manager of the Seattle Mariners.
2 Latrell Sprewell vs. P.J. Carlesimo
In 1997 Carlesimo was coaching the Golden State Warriors, and his star player was Latrell Sprewell. During practice one day, Carlesimo was instructing Spree to "put a little mustard" on his passes. Sprewell did not appreciate the criticism from the coach, and Sprewell wrapped his hands around coaches neck and chocked him for about ten seconds.
Funny thing about Sprewell, is that he could have made this list twice, as he also once in 1995, fought with teammate Jerome Kersey. After the fight he returned to practice carrying a two-by-four, and reportedly threatened to return with a gun. Spree was suspended a full season for his acts towards coach Carlesimo.
1 Javaris Crittenton vs. Gilbert Arenas
The 2009 Washington Wizards were an interesting band of misfits. The team was traveling home on a private jet after a game in Phoenix, when Arenas and Crittenton got into an argument over a card game. The argument lasted the entire time the plane was landing, and even as the players got into their cars to head home.
Both players made threats about bring guns to practice the following day, and sure enough they did. During practice the next day, Arenas told Crittenton to come pick which gun he wanted to be shot with. Crittenton responded by pulling out his own firearm, loaded and cocked, ready for firing, and pointed it straight at Arenas.
Luckily veteran Caron Butler was present to deescalate the situation. Both Arenas and Crittenton were suspended for a season for these acts. Crittenton is currently serving a 23 year prison term for voluntary manslaughter with a weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm. Sounds like professional locker rooms can be a dangerous place.