Dark Side Of…

We all love our respective sports so much. We noticed the glamour of them, the highlights of them. But there are some dark moments that should be noted.

Steve Bartman (above) deflected the ball that could have led to Chicago winning over Moises Alou (below).

Steve Bartman (above) deflected the ball that could have led to Chicago winning over Moises Alou (below).

Maddox Greenberg, Staff Writer

Warning: The following may be hard to read and hard to see as it goes to great depths of how much sports can be dark at times.  Viewer and reader discretion is advised.


After watching the Dark Side of… series on Vice, including shows like Dark Side of the Ring and Dark Side of Football, it got me thinking about other sports that show their dark side.  The Dark Side of the Ring goes through the darkest moments in professional wrestling when former wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and son, then killed himself; and when Bruiser Brodie was killed by another wrestler after a disagreement backstage.  Dark Side of Football talks about the Raiders and Bill Romanowski, the dirtiest man on Earth, and the pressure athletes face by fighting through injuries to keep their job.  Here are some potential new series for Dark Side of… with some first episode stories.


Dark Side of Baseball.  Some stories the show could start with include the steroid crisis and the controversial homerun race between St. Louis Cardinals’ Mark McGwire and Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa.  However, the most important, darkest involves the Cubs and the curse of the Great Bambi—sorry, meant Great Bambino.  Fan Steve Bartman faced harsh criticism and hatred—and I mean HATRED—from fellow Cubs fans.  In the 2003 National League Championship Series to determine who will got to the World Series, fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball from Moises Alou.  This led to a Florida Marlins victory.  If Bartman hadn’t deflected the ball, it would be a two-run out, potentially leading to Chicago winning the NLCS for the first time since 1945 and possibly breaking the Bambino curse.  Bartman dealt with so much, from fans throwing garbage at him and cussing him out to death threats.  He has forever been in hiding, sad to say.  There is a bright side, though.  In 2016, 13 years after the incident, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908 against the Cleveland Indians.  They even gave Bartman a championship ring.


Here is the clip of the incident that got Bartman famous for the wrong reasons:



Dark Side of Basketball.  A dark side includes one of the most infamous and shocking moments in sports and NBA history: the Malice at the Palace.  In 2004, at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the hometown Pistons hosted divisional rivals the Pacers in what was to be a great game.  But at one point, with 45.9 seconds left in the game, Pistons center Ben Wallace and Pacers small forward Ron Artest got into a scuffle.  Artest calmed down, laying on the commentator’s table.  A fan threw a cup of beer at a fuming Artest.  So much so, Artest ran up the stands and attacked the—get this—wrong fan! The actual fan was wearing a blue shirt and white baseball cap.  This resulted in several Pacers and Pistons players running into the stands and fighting multiple fans.  It took a while to get things settled.  Eventually, after the players and fans left the arena floor, the game was called off by the refs with 45.9 seconds left.  The score was 97-82 Pacers.  The result was Artest and Wallace were suspended with seven other players for 146 total games.  These players also lost $11 million in salary, five were charged with assault and one year probation and community services.  The fans involved were banned for life in Pistons games.  This incident did have a positive aspect: it increased security and limited alcohol.


Now here is the Malice at the Palace:



Dark Side of Hockey.  The Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident of 2004 would be a great first episode.  Hockey is known for its fights.  But this one stood out.  To summarize the incident, Avalanche’s Moore fought Canucks’ Matt Cooke.  Later, in the third period, Bertuzzi tried to start a fight with Moore, but failed.  When it backfired, Bertuzzi went after Moore.  He punched him in the back of the head, leaving Moore unconscious.  This caused several more players fighting each other.  Bertuzzi then landed on top of Moore and drove him face-first into the ice.  Moore was unconscious and motionless before carried by stretcher.  Moore’s career ended and Bertuzzi faced criminal assault charges and civil lawsuit versus Bertuzzi and the Canucks.  Two others were charged too, Canucks Sean Proneer and Avalanche Andrei Nikolishin since they landed on top of Bertuzzi, who was on top of Moore.  Moore had several facial damages.  This was a dark day for hockey.


Here is the incident:





Dark Side of the Olympics.  We all know and love to watch the Olympics.  We know the Olympics has had its rough patches, like with the Team USA Women’s Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and his sexual misconduct and assault cases of about 70 women.  But there is one truly dark moment in 1972.  During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, 11 members of the Israeli delegation (5 athletes, 2 refs, and 4 coaches) were held hostage and murdered by 8 members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.  They called themselves Black September.  This has to be the darkest day in world sports history.


Here is the news coverage of the incident:



These incidents were overshadowed by the highlights of their respected sports, but it did happen.  Now, would you want to watch these series?