Violence in sports not new
Just the other day, one of the nationally syndicated reporters on television delivered a scathing report on the increase in violence in all of our sports.
I had to restrain a chuckle upon hearing it.
That’s because sports violence has been going on for a long time — long before this guy was even breathing the polluted air of Los Angeles.
If you don’t believe that, look at some of the clips from a half century ago.
Take the Juan Marichal-John Roseboro incident in 1962.
Having just been dusted off by Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale, Marichal got into an argument with LA catcher Roseboro.
Marical swung his bat at Roseboro and connected with Roseboro’s head. It was probably the most contact he had all day against Drysdale, who had a well-earned reputation for keeping batters loose at the plate.
Or some of the antics of Detroit Lions defensive back Dick “Night Train” Lane.
Lane didn’t earn his reputation by riding trains, either. He delivered some of the most hellacious hits on receivers that you’ll ever saw.
One of his specialties was a horse collar shot that was eventually outlawed by the league.
One of Lane’s special delivery hits left Green Bay Packers end Boyd Dowler dizzy for a month.
Or how about the hits the immortal Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings put on foes he felt had committed sins against him or his teammates?
Howe earned reputation for having the sharpest elbows in the old National Hockey League, which unlike today’s version wasn’t watered down.
I recall one night in 1965 at old Olympia Stadium when Howe took out a Chicago Blackhawk player with a shot to the chops. I don’t recall his name, and I doubt he remembered it after that play.
And violence wasn’t restricted to the big boys, either.
I remember one night in the early 1960s when Champion and Bergland High basketball teams got into an all-out brawl.
Now, Champion and Bergland were two of the very best teams in the state. Their rivalry was fierce, to say the least.
The referees suspended the game after fists flew between the two team, and some fans even got involved in the donnybrook. True story.
So, don’t tell me about the violence today. It’s nothing new.