Oddly Enough

When Teammates Attack

RSS / / 04 December 2008 / 3 Comments

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Admit it. There's someone you work with that you really hate. You're not a violent person, but you know that there's nothing more you'd enjoy than to land a punch on them.

Athletes are no different. Sports teams have to spend huge amounts of time with one another and people are bound to have their disagreements.

Sometimes it gets really out of hand. All that built up tension comes to a head and there's just one inevitable conclusion. I'm talking about the moment... When teammates attack.

5. Probert v Primeau - Hockey

Standing 6ft 3" tall and weighing 225lb, Bob Probert was one of the biggest players in the NHL and was known as 'the league heavyweight champion'. Probert fought a total of 283 NHL fights and considered it his job to protect his team-mates.

But Probert obviously didn't feel very protective towards his fellow Detroit Red Wings player, Keith Primeau. The two came to blows during a training session and had to be pulled apart by their colleagues.

Rumour had it that Primeau had been whinging about a goal not being credited to him. During the training session, Probert was said to have arranged for an announcement to be made over the loud speaker system, crediting the goal to Primeau. Not seeing the funny side of this jibe, Primeau had heated words with Probert and before long the fists were flying.

Keith Primeau was one of the few people able to stand toe to toe with Probert. At 6ft 5" tall and weighing 230lb, Primeau was even bigger than his opponent. No stranger to getting physical himself, Primeau once even got into an in-game fight against his own brother, Wayne Primeau.

4. Bowyer v Dyer - Soccer

Unlike most of these rank amateurs who confine their in-fighting to the training ground, extra marks must go to the former Newcastle midfielders Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer, for indulging in a brawl during a Premier League match.

Both players had been involved in their share of controversies. Dyer was the star of a leaked sex video, in which he featured alongside fellow England stars Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. Bowyer once tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test, was fined for throwing chairs around in a McDonalds restaurant after being refused service of a cheeseburger and was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent and affray after an incident outside a nightclub.

The two bad-boys came to blows while Newcastle were losing 3-0 at home to Aston Villa. They were separated by the Villa player Gareth Barry and were then both sent off by the referee, leaving Newcastle with only 9 players. Bowyer and Dyer appeared together in an after match press conference, in which they pointedly apologised to everyone but each other.

Bowyer pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour at a Newcastle Magistrates' Court, admitting to sparking the brawl because Dyer did not pass him the ball. He was fined 600 pounds by the court and forced to pay costs. The Football Association banned him for 3 games and fined him 30,000 pounds. Newcastle United fined Bowyer 6 weeks wages (thought to be around 200,000 pounds).

Bowyer and Dyer both left Newcastle and are now team-mates at West Ham United. So far, things have remained amicable...

3. Westbrook v Davis - Football

Not all team-mates can be friends and it was said that the Washington Redskins' Michael Westbrook and Stephen Davis, had never seen eye to eye.

A war of words was raging between the two players, but Davis took things too far in a training ground incident in 1997, when he allegedly implied that Westbrook was homosexual.

Westbrook attacked Davis, while their stunned team-mates looked on. The Redskins fined Westbrook, who apologised to Davis and the team. Westbrook later complained that Davis' accusation had made people believe that he was gay, commenting "For about three years, I wanted to lock myself in the house and never come out."

Is he sure it's his house he wants to lock himself in and not his closet?

2. Primeau v McAllister - Hockey

Full kudos must go to Keith Primeau for being so unpopular with his team-mates, that he's made it onto this list twice. Some years after he'd battled it out with his Detroit Red Wings team-mate Bob Probert, the man-mountain that was Keith Primeau had become captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Primeau was not the sort of captain who would try to motivate his team with an arm round the shoulder and some avuncular advice. No, Primeau was more the sort of captain that would beat some sense into his team.

This was exactly what he did to Chris McAllister, when the two clashed in training. Primeau managed to break McAllister's nose during the fight. If this is the sort of thing that he does to a team-mate, I'd hate to see what Keith Primeau would do to an enemy.

1. Berkovic v Hartson - Soccer

As mismatches go, they don't get much bigger than this. Israeli international Eyal Berkovic stood 5ft 7" tall and weighed 140 lbs. That makes him a welterweight in boxing terms.

His West Ham colleague John Hartson stood 6ft 1" tall and weighed in at 202 lbs. That would put the Welsh international in the heavyweight bracket.

The two clashed in a training ground incident. After a strong challenge from Hartson had left Berkovic writhing around on the ground, the gentle giant tried to help up his stricken team-mate. Berkovic reacted by throwing a frankly pathetic punch, that struck Hartson on the leg (not the ideal target if you want to inflict maximum damage).

Hartson looked down upon Berkovic, like an overweight cat weighing up a door mouse, before kicking the aggressive Israeli attacker in the face. Berkovic later remarked, "If my head had been a ball, it would have been in the top corner of the net." Considering that it was Hartson that kicked him, his head would probably have gone wide, but we get Berkovic's point.

Hartson was fined 20,000 pounds and received a three match ban. Shortly after the incident, Berkovic joined Glasgow Celtic, presumably thinking that Scotland was far away from London, to be out of the range of Hartson's boot.

Unfortunately for Berkovic, Hartson was himself transferred to Celtic in 2001. Berkovic left Celtic 6 months later.

Comments (3)

  1. nickg | 10 December 2008

    Har har! Thats entertainment

  2. hammerz | 11 December 2008

    why is it always my team :(

  3. Benjamin Flesch | 11 December 2008


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