1. Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
> Year: 2020
A massive brawl broke out right as Kansas completed a dominating win over rivals Kansas State. As the Jayhawks dribbled out the clock, Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and went up for a lay in, only to be blocked by Silvio De Sousa and fall to the ground. After De Sousa stood over his opponent to taunt him, players from both sides came pouring onto the floor and a fracas ensued. Punches were thrown, and fans sitting nearby scrambled out of the way. De Sousa even raised a chair over his head before a coach took it out of his hands. All but five players on each team were ejected. De Sousa was suspended for a dozen games and three other players were suspended for a combined 13 games.
2. Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
> Year: 2016
The bad blood between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers began when the teams faced off in the 2015 playoffs. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista flipped his bat after hitting what would be the decisive home run in the series. When the teams played the next season, the Rangers clearly had not forgotten the bat flip.
Pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch. Bautista responded by sliding well past second base when trying to break up a double play, almost hitting second baseman Rougned Odor. These slides can be dangerous to the fielder. Odor pushed Bautista, then punched him in the face. Both benches cleared and 14 players and coaches were punished over the scrap.
3. Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
> Year: 2017
The Broncos and Raiders have been rivals for years, but a personal dislike between Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree embroiled both teams into a fistfight in 2017. Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off his neck in a 2016 game, then tried the same move the next season. By the second time, Crabtree was fed up and grabbed a hold of Talib and shoved him into the sidelines, barreling into NFL personnel. Other Denver and Oakland players got involved as well, pushing and punching each other. Talib, Crabtree, and Raider Gabe Jackson were tossed from the game, and both Talib and Crabtree earned two-game suspensions.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders
> Year: 2011
The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders played a testy game on Feb. 2, 2011. Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot delivered a concussing blow on New York’s Blake Comeau, and the game ended in a goalie fight that left Isles’ goalie Rick DiPietro with broken facial bones. When they met again nine days later, both teams were still ready to rumble. There were fights in every period, including several all-out scrums between multiple players. When the game was finally over, referees handed out 346 penalty minutes and eight ejections. New York won the game 9-3.
5. Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
> Year: 1998
In the late 1990s, the Knicks and Heat developed a disdain for one another, repeatedly facing off in the playoffs. These physically punishing series were centered around New York’s Larry Johnson and Miami’s Alonzo Mourning. They were once teammates but had a falling out while playing together in Charlotte. As an especially physical game was seconds from ending, Mourning and Johnson got tangled up and started swinging wildly at one another. None of the punches landed, but both teams faced huge suspensions that marred the series. That fight is remembered to this day for Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy’s desperate attempt to stop the fight by grabbing onto Mourning’s leg. Mourning, Johnson, and New York’s Chris Mills were all suspended for the following game.