Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, March 26, 2007

Has It Really Been 10 Years?

Wow, I was asleep at the wheel today. (In a figurative sense, that is. Not a literal, Tony La Russa sense.) Until getting my daily dose of The Wayne Fontes Experience, I didn't realize today was the 10-year anniversary of The Fight. (Clearly, I didn't read any newspapers - or their blogs - today.) How in the hell could I forget? I should never, ever be that busy.

I don't know if that's what it's typically referred to among Detroit fans. You might have to be more specific than that. (The Brawl refers to something else entirely.) But if you include the names of the two combatants, Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux, you should promptly get a smile of recognition. It was one of the most infamously memorable nights in Detroit sports history.

It's sort of a cop-out, which I apologize for, but I wrote about this almost two years ago on my personal blog, Fried Rice Thoughts. So I think I'll just cut-and-paste what I wrote back then, because it's pretty much what I would say now. (Besides, if the Free Press can rerun articles on this, why can't I?) The post was my Top 10 most memorable sports moments, and the McCarty-Lemieux heavyweight bout was #3 on the list.

3. Darren McCarty pummels Claude Lemieux - March 26, 1997: I don't generally care for fighting in hockey. But occasionally, it serves a sadistically delicious purpose. To me, that was never truer than when Detroit's McCarty sought out Colorado's Lemieux, who seriously injured Kris Draper by shoving his face into the boards during their 1996 playoff series. The next time these teams played, before the puck even dropped to start the game, McCarty attacked Lemieux, and began beating him like a chef pounding a veal cutlet. Lemieux turtled into a protective shell for self-preservation, and was essentially never heard from again. If raw meat had been in front of me while watching this, I would've eaten it, wiped the blood from my chin, rewound the tape and watched the whole thing all over again.

I also wrote a little bit more about it when Brendan Shanahan left the Red Wings for the New York Rangers.

I'm not sure I've ever felt more bloodthirsty while watching a sporting event, yet also feeling strangely touched over a guy defending his teammate's honor. It was another three months before the Wings officially became NHL champions, but I'm sure many fans would agree that they won the Stanley Cup that night.

Man, I miss Darren McCarty...

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