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40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

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40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby danwismar » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:19 pm

Tonights game is the 40th anniversary of OSU at Minnesota 1972, maybe the ugliest incident I've ever seen in sports...right up there with Kermit Washington's sucker punch of Rudy Tomjanovich...



I wrote this on the blog four years ago...

...It had been years since I had seen this, and it doesn't get any less ugly with the passage of time. It has been called a brawl, but that usually implies fighting by both sides. As you'll see, there isn't much of any swinging by OSU players.

For those who don't remember, or have never seen it, the action began with 36 seconds to go in the game and the Buckeyes wrapping up a huge upset victory over the Gophers, when Corky Taylor fouled Buckeye center Luke Witte hard as he went for a dunk, knocking him to the floor. A referee sensing Taylor might not be finished stands between Taylor and Witte for a moment, until Taylor goes to help Witte up. What follows is perhaps the dirtiest scene ever in college basketball.

A Buckeye player confronts Taylor after he puts Witte back down with a knee to the groin, and he is cold-cocked by Gopher (and longtime Cav) Jim Brewer and another Minnesota player, while Ron Behagen proceeds to stomp on the writhing Witte's head while he's lying in pain. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield is on that Gophers team, and gets his licks in, reportedly smashing OSU's Mark Wagar's head on the floor while several Minnesota fans held him down. Here's a look at Luke Witte's face after the beating.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multim ... ent.3.html

Three Buckeye players were hospitalized. Minnesota won the conference in spite of losing Behagen and Taylor for the season to suspensions.

Gopher Coach Bill Musselman has been blamed for the incident by many observers over the years for having his players and the fans whipped into a frenzy for the big game. His reported motto, ""Defeat is worse than death because you have to live with defeat", seems to have helped fuel the outburst. And as bad as it is, the video doesn't even show much of what went on, including Minnesota fans storming the court to join the beating that was in progress. It took Ohio State basketball years to recover. This rivals Kermit Washington's roundhouse right to the face of Rudy Tomjanovich as the worst thing I've ever seen happen on a basketball court.
"I believe it is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting." H.L. Mencken

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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby Cease » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:00 am

Saw the tweet, thanks for remembering/posting this. Never seen it before. Embarrassing, dark moment in time.
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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby googleeph2 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:00 pm

Mentioned it here too-
http://www.theclevelandfan.com/clevelan ... chive/4193

Accounts were that Witte elbowed a Minn player going in to halftime.
Is there disagreement here on that? Regardless, the Minn players were disgusting.

Although is it me, or does that knee to the groin not look that lethal on that video?
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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby danwismar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:37 pm

googleeph2 wrote:Although is it me, or does that knee to the groin not look that lethal on that video?


I thought the same thing, but really, when you think about it, how hard does a knee to the nuts have to be to drop a man to the floor?
"I believe it is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting." H.L. Mencken

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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:23 pm

danwismar wrote:
googleeph2 wrote:Although is it me, or does that knee to the groin not look that lethal on that video?


I thought the same thing, but really, when you think about it, how hard does a knee to the nuts have to be to drop a man to the floor?


Shit... I've fallen to the floor after a pen rolled off the desk into my lap.

Not to mention any father with kids has been zipper punched by a 25lb sub-human toddler and brought to his knees more than once.

Doesn't take much at all.
"Great minds think alike. The opposite is also true."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us."


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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby furls » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:26 pm

In all honesty, I didn't think that Kermit Washington punch was that bad. I mean he knocked Rudy T the fuck out, but when I look at that video I see a guy that sees another guy running right into a fight and he threw a punch. He connected the fuck out of it, but IMO it was nowhere near as bad as kicking the shit out of a guy that is lying on the ground.

I threw a punch like the Washington punch once upon a time. The felony charge was dropped to aggravated assault and I was allowed to go on with my life. Had I been convicted of the felony, I never would have been allowed in the Marines and god only knows what downward spiral I would have been on. Don't get me wrong, I would be pissed if he hit my son like that and we all have to live with the consequences of our actions, but there is a big difference between skull stomping a downed man and punching a guy in the face during a brawl.
Coming from a Wolverine, we're the football equivalent of a formerly abused wife of a meth addict who just remarried the safe nice guy. We're just glad we have someone who's aware that it's a rivalry and that tackling on defense is integral. Baby steps.

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Re: 40 years ago - Ohio State-Minnesota -1972

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:00 am

Furls- yep.

And on getting tagged in the crotch, of course I know where you're coming from, Peeker. 2 grown teenagers. And my wife of 20+yrs still does not understand the power she yields when she is messing with me. Still thinks it is really funny that I am liable to call an anticipation foul like some basketball ref. hahaa

But imo that Behagen bastard's head stomping >>>>> Kermit W. >>> Corky taylor's punch/foul on Witte > Taylor's knee.
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