Sometimes it is not a ‘treat’ to watch sports
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Blood was spurting everywhere; some fans seated in the front row fainted. Television cameras veered away from Malarchuk bleeding.
October usually is the month when professional sports leagues in North America have started their seasons: the NHL, NBA, and NFL are playing games to the delight of sports fans and the MLB and MLS are in playoff mode. However, the year 2020 has changed our world significantly and professional sports are not immune. Many professional leagues have altered their regular schedules by revising them to be shorter or shortened and played in isolated bubbles. But perhaps in some strange way, the pandemic appears to be very appropriate and “normal” for the tradition of Halloween.
Many sports events have occurred during Halloween, and there have been some “spooky” and “scary” moments in the sports world. Here is a look back at some of the weirdest and strangest moments (albeit some did not occur on Halloween but they are very appropriate for the occasion).
Horror on the ice
In March 1989, Clint Malarchuk, goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres, was involved in one of the scariest incidents in NHL history. In a game at the Buffalo Auditorium (no longer exists), Malarchuk was involved in a collision with St. Louis Blues defenseman, Steve Tuttle. Tuttle accidentally skated over Malarchuk’s neck, partially severing his jugular vein. Blood was spurting everywhere; some fans seated in the front row fainted. Television cameras veered away from Malarchuk bleeding. Fortunately, Malarchuk survived the incident, mainly due to the Sabres’ trainer Jim Pizzutelli, a Vietnam War veteran—who was able to reduce the bleeding.
Vampire on the soccer pitch
International Uruguayan soccer player, Luis Suarez, is known for scoring with his feet. But during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, his teeth took precedent over his feet when he got the munchies of the human kind—and bit an opposing player. During a group match between Uruguay and Italy, Suarez and Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini collided, with Suarez then biting Chiellini—leaving marks. Oddly, the bite marks were clearly visible, yet FIFA took two days to make a decision about the incident. FIFA would ban Suarez for nine international matches (included the remainder of the World Cup). Safe to say, Suarez probably was not invited to any team dinners—even if there was food!
Canucks in 1984 were scary to watch
The Vancouver Canucks in the 1980s were a struggling team, and loyal fans had difficulty watching them lose game after game. The Pacific Coliseum was usually half-empty for Canuck home games as the team kept losing. It seemed fitting that on Halloween night in 1984, the Canucks gave their fans another “huge scare” by dropping a 10-3 decision to the Los Angeles Kings.
Night of Mr. November
The World Series in 2001 played a game on Halloween. Okay, nothing scary happened here! But it was game four between the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees. The game continued past midnight, making it the first time baseball was ever played in November during the playoffs. Notably, Yankee star shortstop, Derek Jeter, hit a walk-off home run to earn the title of “Mr. November.”
Don’t need Batman!
On October 31, 2009, during an NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs, Halloween was prevalent in the air. A bat flew just above the court during the first quarter. The game had to be halted in order to attempt to catch the bat. Spurs player, Manu Ginobili, did not need to wear a Batman costume because he turned into Batman on his own—swatting and striking down the annoying little creature to save the day and game!