Armed Forces Brawl

Written by Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00
Armed Forces Brawl Image Credit: tunneysideofsports.com

After further review… If you have followed the trend of  TunneySide of Sports, you have undoubtedly noticed that “conversations” between opponents is not recommended – as my father would advise, sometimes admonish. The tag-along of those conversations often rolled into “trash talk” which would more than often lead to pushing and shoving and soon a fight would break out.

That is what I saw happen at the end of that Armed Forces Bowl game.

Perhaps that game on December 30, 2020, should be called the Armed Forces Brawl since the game between Tulsa University and Mississippi State University ended in a full-blown brawl! It is reported that trash talk between players of both teams started before the game and continued throughout. The Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Tulsa Hurricanes  28-26. I guess the names Bulldogs and Golden Hurricanes (formerly Tornadoes) were appropriate monikers in such a brawl. However, it’s been my experience that this is not the way college football was designed.

As I watched the replay of that brawl, I saw, perhaps, 75 – 100 players throwing punches, kicking and pushing their opponents – after the game was over. These combatants were on the field and sidelines. Among that melee were 8-10 shirtless men who had obviously come onto the field from the stands. Coaches and some officials were attempting to stop the fisticuffs but not being very effective. Having refereed games where this occurred, you just have to let it play itself out. Did it ever occur to players how little damage can be done with helmets on?

Trash talk is not uncommon in all sports. The basis, if there is one, is that trash talk diverts the opponents’ focus from their real purpose – thus causing a distraction. Having played the game of golf for some 20 years, I found that some golfers love trash talking. It may surprise you, but it’s fairly common knowledge among professional golfers that Tiger is a big trash-talker.

Yes, that Tiger – as in Tiger Woods. I watched a recent father-son tournament with Tiger and his son Charlie where it was reported on-air that Tiger is teaching Charlie to trash talk as he does. It’s hard to believe that a father would teach his 6-year-old son to do that. Trash talking will not help you drive the ball further down the fairway or sink a 12-foot putt.

Will you maintain some civility and respect for your opponents?

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Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

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