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January 09, 2006 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-09

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 9, 2006 - 3B

*The scare in A2
all the great spo
e spit on someone? He cocked
his head back and actually let
saliva fly into the face of a fel-
low football player?
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
In the middle of the biggest game of
the last six years for every Washington
sports fan - Saturday's playoff game
against Tampa Bay - the Redskins' star
safety, Sean Taylor, got himself ejected
because of a stray loogie. IAN
He could have cost his team the
game (the Bucs did have two deep shots HERBERT
at the endzone after he was gone), but The SportsMonday
he wanted the satisfaction of spitting Column
on Michael Pittman, God's proof that
steroids must work if you want biceps bigger than to actually
Shaq. And I'm not just talking about Shaq's biceps; I when they
think Pittman's arms might be bigger than the actual a chuckle.
400-pound center. 2. Zimm
Had the 'Skins lost the first playoff game they best baseba
played in the last six years, that play - which might 150-year-ol
keep Taylor out of next week's game - would have really in it.
gone down as one of the biggest bonehead plays in kees and th
recent memory. Talk about adrenaline getting the teams destr
best of a person. sion to the n
Taylor is the same guy who allegedly pulled a The highlig
gun on some guy who stole his ATV, so he's not the bald dome
perfect example of restraint. him to the g
But this isn't a just a Sean Taylor issue. It's a man if evert
sports thing. Pittman swung back at Taylor, and, first-base lin
had the ref not been right there, things could have tremors in V
escalated. There's always the annual college football 1. Michi
bowl fight. This year it was Miami and Louisiana all: punches
State in a 40-3 blowout; a few years ago, it was downs. Wh
Hawaii and Houston in an overtime thriller. While ing to a 4-0
I'm writing this column, the Steelers and Bengals and goalie B
look as if they are seconds away from blows. career shut
Even Clinton Portis's mother punched an Eagles bore. But w
fan after being doused with beer last week. And have realize
when I was a young teen, I was ejected from a soc- ice, sans goa
cer game for socking a guy who was pushing my point, five V
buttons. The best pa
I'm not prepared to write about whether fighting continued t
is right or wrong - necessary or not. It happens, it up. Since
and that's that. What J am prepared to do is bring break up on
back memories of some of the best fights in recent made it ove
memory. I could list the Rumble in the Jungle and he and his
the Thrilla in Manilla, but that doesn't seem fair. ground -
I'll limit it to fights that took place in "non-fight- Chucky-es
ing" sports - and, yes, I'm including hockey in the he stepped
group of "non-fighting" sports. Are ther
5. Washington vs. Tomjanovich: A memory letics - wh
that is one of the most haunting pieces of footage in even little le
sports. The Rockets' Rudy Tomjanovich runs over to include a
to break up a fight between a teammate and Kermit Clemson no
Washington, and he gets greeted by a straight right seemed too
from Washington. Ali would have been proud, but out the upp
no one was - not even Washington, who almost
killed Tomjanovich that night. . - Ian
4. Artest vs. Detroit: Over-hyped and over- the w
played. Ron Artest will always be blamed because News af
of his trip into the stands of the Palace. Artest got in into th
his shots, but he didn't even throw the best punch. the annu
Fellow Pacer Stephen Jackson wailed on a fan with list, you

: best of
rts fghts
a hay-maker while defending his
teammate, and Jermaine O'Neal cold-
clocked a Ben Wallace look-alike (or
maybe just a guy in a replica jersey)
who was on the court.
3. Vernon vs. Roy: The best fights
usually come in hockey, and the best
of the best are often between either
the Red Wings and the Avalanche or
between goalies. With Mike Vernon
skating down the ice ready to maul
Patrick Roy, this one had both. I don't
know what it is about goalies fight-
ing - maybe it's those ridiculous
pads or the implication that they are
soft or that it takes them half a year
make it down the ice for the fight - but
start throwing punches, it's always worth
ner vs. Pedro: The microcosm of the.
ll brawl of this short millennium, the
d bench coach Don Zimmer was never
For someone who hates both the Yan-
e Red Sox, the possibility of the two
oying each other (and leaving the divi-
mighty Orioles) was as exciting as it gets.
;ht was ace Pedro Martinez grabbing the
of the little Yankee man and throwing
ground. It seemed as if Zimmer, a round
there was, rolled all the way down the
ine, and when he hit the ground, I felt the
Washington.
gan vs. Fairbanks: This fight had it
s and facemasks, body slams and beat
ile the Michigan hockey team was cruis-
win over Alaska-Fairbanks Friday night
Billy Sauer was cruising toward his first
out, it looked as if the game would end a
ith 50 seconds left, the two teams must
ed the fans' boredom. Everyone on the
alies, went after each over, and, at one
Wolverines crowded into the penalty box.
rt about this fight was that the players
o go at it while the refs were breaking
they all paired off, the refs could only
Le fight at a time. By the time they
er to freshman Jack Johnson's bout,
opponent were already rolling on the
faces beet red. Johnson had a huge,
mue smile plastered across his face as
into the box. He loved it.
e more? Almost certainly. Fights in ath-
hether it's the pros, college or apparently
eague - seem to be inevitable. I wanted
shot at Woody Hayes for Hayes vs.
se guard Charlie Bauman, but that just
easy. And I didn't really feel like pulling
ercut.
n Herbert also remembers a brawl between
riters of The Michigan Daily and The State
fter the Daily tried to plant a Michigan flag
e Spartan 'S'following a 10-3 thrashing in
tal football game. If you want to add to the
can reach him at iherbert@u'mich.edu.

Clement-faithful propel late push

By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
With the shot clock winding down in the second half, Michigan
sophomore Janelle Cooper launched a jumper from the foul line,
and the ball fell through the net just as the buzzer sounded. With
that pass from sophomore Krista Clement, the Wolverines were
within six points of No. 14 Purdue with just seven minutes left to
play.
The noise level in Crisler Arena was gradually rising, and Mich-
igan coach Cheryl Burnett wanted to make sure the fans were as
into the game as she was. Jumping up and down while waving her
arms in the air, Burnett brought the crowd to its feet, and she con-
tinued to yell from the sideline. Section by section the fans began
to rise, the noise echoing through Crisler and converging back on
the court where the players began to take note of the much-needed
fan excitement. With that extra push, the Wolverines rallied back
and brought the score to 45-43 with 74 seconds left.
"I've never heard the crowd that loud before;' said Michigan
sophomore Katie Dierdorf, whose team allowed Purdue to go
on a six-point run to end the game. "To hear all of those people
behind you getting an extra adrenaline boost is amazing. You may
be tired, but you forget about it when you hear everyone yelling for
you, and it's really great."
In addition to the usual mix of fans that sparsely fill Crisler's
lower rim, a special cheering section had formed directly behind
the Wolverines' bench. On "Krista Clement Day" Clement had
her own support team, comprised of hometown fans from St.
Ignace, a town in the Upper Peninsula more than four hours from
Ann Arbor.
Under the organization Clement's old basketball coach, Deanna
Kreski, 50-plus fans came to cheer Clement on, yelling through-
out the afternoon as the former Miss Michigan Basketball went
on to have three assists and grab two steals. The Clement-faithful
didn't seem to mind that the Wolverines had lost the contest. They
lingered around waiting for autographs and then later group pic-
tures. Clement signed countless posters for aspiring Wolverines
and the people that watched her grow up.
"I just think it's a great opportunity; a lot of our kids haven't
been to Crisler," said Kreski, who is also a middle school social
worker. "I just thought what better day to bring them down than
"Krista Clement Day" and then to come down and have them play
a No. 14 Purdue team and have it be a close game. I think it gave
them such a thrill to see Krista on the court."
Even before the Wolverines brought the game within a basket,
dozens of St. Ignacians were already on their feet - and had been
since Clement entered the game with 16 minutes to play in the
first half. Waving their inflatable maize thunder sticks, the group
yelled as Clement dove for numerous loose balls and hit the lay-in
that brought Michigan to within two points.
"(Young St. Ignace basketball players) do look up to Krista,"
said Krista's father, Scott Clement. "It was my eighth grade girl's
basketball team that was in the stands, and I told them to support
her like they were on the bench. They did a nice job, and it's just
exciting for me. And it's a lucky thing to be a parent and to be a
part of it."
The excitement in Crisler yesterday seemed to be a sign that
the program's dismal attendance might be on the upswing thanks
to the recent trend of down-to-the-wire games. After little crowd
involvement when the Wolverines came within nine points of
Iowa earlier this week, the Michigan faithful rose to the occasion
and supported their team Sunday afternoon, showing that there
is potential to make Crisler Arena a difficult venue for visiting
team to play.
"It's really exciting, it's good for our program to see (an increase
in attendance)," Clement said. "We have really been working to
try and get the attendance up and fans want to see teams win and
teams compete, and I think they got to enjoy the game today"

RODRIGO GAYA/Daily
Clement has been a role model for all the young girls in her hometown of St. Ignace.
PURDUE
Continued from page 1B
In Thursday's loss to Iowa, Michigan trimmed a 12-point Hawkeye lead in
the final minute of the first half to three just over three minutes into the second
half.
But the Hawkeyes pulled away down the stretch to extend their lead to 14.
"The difference (between the Iowa and Purdue games) was making defensive
stops," freshman Carly Benson said. "Communication is something that we were
struggling with earlier. Now things are clicking, and we are coming together."
During Purdue's seven-minute field goal drought, Michigan forced the Boil-
ermakers into off-balanced shots and limited second-chance opportunities.
It appeared that Michigan was going to upend the Boilermakers, but Purdue's
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton dominated. In the final three minutes, the sophomore
scored six of her eight points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out one assist.
"She decided to take her game to a different level," Purdue coach Kristy Curry
said. "That was All-American stuff in the final three or four minutes"
With her team ahead by two with 2:12 remaining, Wisdom-Hylton hit
two foul shots to extend the lead to four. After Michigan sophomore Krista
Clement hit a leaning lay-up with the shot clock winding down, Wisdom-
Hylton hit a jumper from the left wing.
On Michigan's ensuing possession, Clement passed to sophomore Katie
Dierdorf - who led Michigan with 10 points - but she couldn't hold onto the
ball. Multiple players jumped on the floor to cause a held ball with the posses-
sion arrow in Purdue's favor.
Wisdom-Hylton found her teammate under the hoop for a lay-up that put
Purdue up by six. The forward later sealed the game with two free throws.

SI

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