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Helmets Off

Jan 17, 2018

Sports brings out a lot of passion.  This can lead to fights.  Scott remembers the old Detroit Pistons.  They had an "us against the world" mentality.  This brought out some really aggressive physicality in games.  There were no easy shots against the Pistons.

Now the Clippers are into this.  In the recent game between the LA Clippers and Houston Rockets, it got crazy. The Rockets went into the Clippers locker room after the game!  They were going to fight!

There is a lot of chest puffing and fake aggression in basketball generally, but it's rare to see it get to that point.  The consequences can be severe.  More and more guys are getting ejected for getting too intense and sometimes players are fined.  

Of all the leagues, the NFL is doing the best job at getting a handle on personal fouls.  The officials communicate a lot and instant replay is a great tool.  But some of the calls are really impactful to the outcome of the game.  That gets players pumped up.

Scott has the idea of the "black flag".  It's a flag that the coaches can use to challenge an official.  It's not to challenge a call, there's a red flag for that already.  You can challenge an official specifically and call them out for poor performance.

The league can look at it and decide whether to remove the official from the game.

All of us get to the point where we snap.  It can happen.  Scott has been there.  He knows what it feels like.  Scott was playing on Thanksgiving 1996 for Detroit Tigers.  Scott was required to stand by his locker and meet with the media.  That's a rule.  He showered and dressed and wanted to get home to his family.  The media never showed.  

He went to go find his family, but they're not there either.  He went looking for them up at the suite level of the Pontiac Silverdome.  There were still fans there leaving the game.  He knew they would probably say something to him.  Just before he gets to the door of his family's suite, he walked past four males. Just as they walked passed they said "Mitchell, you suck".  He ignored it and went in.  Still couldn't find his family.  

That's when it boiled over.  He decided he wouldn't let their comment stand.  So he went after the four guys and followed them into the bathroom.  

He goes in and can't see them.  So he says "does anyone in here have a problem with me?"  Four guys bust out of the stalls almost in sync.  They say "yeah, we have a problem with you".  

Scott tried to explain to him how difficult it is to play in the NFL and use logic.  He said "you could not last a play".  The guy replied, "for 5 million dollars per year I could last for one play".  Scott knew the conversation was going nowhere.

The guy said "you want to hit me, don't you?".  Scott said yeah, and the guy said "go ahead".

To this day, Scott doesn't know how this happened, but back behind those four guys appeared a janitor with his cleaning cart.  He said, "Scott, you need to walk away".  He came out of nowhere.