International Incident! Georgetown Basketball Loses a Brawl to the Chinese (w/VIDEO)
I've said many times that the greatest sports memories that we have tend to fall into that (relatively) carefree part of our lives from teenage years through mid to late 20s, before the burden of life and lack of free time infringe upon our ability to enjoy/consume the genre.
China, be glad Michael Graham wasn't there.
So with that theory of mine rehashed, this week has been a nice trip down memory lane and a return to my halcyon sports fan years back in the mid '80s. First, we have the University of Miami with roughly their entire two-deep from the last decade getting paid big money by a convicted felon. That was nice.
And now we have the Georgetown Hoyas making news by starting a fight! (I stress the word starting because you'll see how it finished.)
In case you haven't heard the story, here's a recap (courtesy of AP):
A wild brawl broke out between Georgetown and a Chinese men's basketball team Thursday night, putting an immediate end to a supposed goodwill game that coincided with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the country.
The benches cleared and fights erupted all over the court with about 9 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The rest of the exhibition between Georgetown and the Bayi Rockets was called off.
Biden did not attend the game.
And in case you haven't seen it yet, here's a handheld video of the incident:
A few observations from a very disheartened fan of the "Hoya Paranoia" Georgetown teams of the 1980's:
1. We don't have the backstory to what led up to this video, but based on what we can (barely) see, it appears that the Chinese were playing a bit chippy and physical and the Georgetown player took exception and threw the first semi-swing. Unlike NBA brawls, the first punch was not followed by the requisite "five to seven seconds of both guys telling each other they're gonna kick the other guy's ass" before punch number two. The Chinese don't play. They immediately launched into a Four Horsemen-style beatdown on the Hoya who threw the first punch.
2. The next part of the video I blame on you, David Stern. The Chinese bench emptied in about two seconds while the Hoya reserves all seemingly stood off to the side. The whole NBA "if anyone comes off the bench they will be suspended" thing has turned into an American weakness which the Chinese exploited. Good for them. A curse upon David Stern for putting our boys in harm's way to the tune of a 15-on-5 bumrush.
3. At about the 20-second mark, a second brawl (and by brawl I mean "another Georgetown guy getting his ass kicked by four Chinese guys") breaks out on the baseline, and apparently feeling threatened by ONLY outnumbering the Georgetown players by a 3-to-1 margin, the Chinese start randomly throwing chairs into the mosh pit of players without any regard for whom they hit. It seriously looks like an old ECW card at the Bingo Hall in Philadelphia:
I need Joey Styles's commentary on the Georgetown-Bayi clip.
4. I wasn't surprised by how sparse the crowd was, but all the empty seats did make me think about the Patrick Ewing-led Hoyas of the mid '80s. If this game took place in 1985, there would not have been an empty seat in the place, it probably would have been televised, and the brawl would have led the nightly news. Ewing and company were that prominent. Which brings me to my final point....
5. If this game took place in 1985, there would have been 15 bloody, mangled Chinese basketball players scattered unconscious on the floor with Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, David Wingate and Michael Graham all standing over them with their hands raised amidst a shower of jettisoned half full beers and sodas and debris.
I guess if the '80s are going to be reprised in full then it's on you now, Miami. Hoya Paranoia is officially dead. It died in China.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio (Sirius 94, XM 208) and on 1560 The Game, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.