St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times


Rant: Shaq's attack on par with that of Bertuzzi

Published March 14, 2004

Which is worse, approaching an opponent from behind and throwing a sneak-attack (gloved) punch to the side of his head, or a 340-pounder slamming a post-dunk elbow into an opponent's noggin?

Both earn first-ballot selection to the Hall of Infamy. But most folks, gauging by media and public outrage toward the Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi for his sucker punch of the Avalanche's Steve Moore, think his was a far more egregious violation than Shaquille O'Neal's atomic elbow to the head of the Jazz's Andrei Kirilenko.

The Shaq attack became an issue when referee Bob Delaney correctly called O'Neal's second technical foul - he got one earlier for flinging both arms at Kirilenko's face after a shot attempt. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Delaney was prejudiced against Shaq. Dr. Phil, as usual, was the prejudiced one. Shaq's elbow was as purposeful, malicious and dangerous as Bertuzzi's roundhouse. It just was disguised better.

The outrage about Bertuzzi mushroomed because of the somewhat-fluky, very serious injury Moore sustained. Otherwise, it would have been washed away, after a brief uproar and suspension, as NHL-style cowboy justice.

Shaq's act was just as bad, just as likely to inflict major trauma as Bertuzzi's blow. Yet it was old news in a few days, which is wrong. It is the act, not the result, that deserves the punishment.

Rave: BCS take note: This is how to determine a champion

It will be Saint Joseph's vs. Kentucky for the national title. They're playing in three weeks. In the Tostitos/FedEx/Nokia national title game.

It's done. The Hawks and Wildcats ended the regular season No.1 and No.2 in the BCS and thus were appointed to the national championship game. Let the hype begin. If this were college football, that sham might have been foisted upon us. But thankfully, this is college basketball.

Instead, we have March Madness.

Instead we get thrilling conference tournaments preceding the magical NCAA Tournament. Instead, we get a playoff-style format that ensures teams earn berths in the national title game by winning elimination games on the court, not by popularity contest (the polls) or computer formulas.

Instead of a designated national title game with a smattering of other games played at random leading up to it - Gonzaga vs. Mississippi State in the Continental Tire Classic! - we get survive and advance. We get upsets and buzzer-beaters and tension covered in excitement wrapped in drama. We get conference champs such as Central Florida and East Tennessee State getting a shot at glory.

We also might get Saint Joseph's and Kentucky in the title game. If so, we'll know they earned it, the right way.

[Last modified March 14, 2004, 01:05:29]

Arena League

  • A change in his game plan

  • Boxing
  • Wright defeats Mosley in decisive upset
  • Santos lives his dream of boxing through Wright
  • Mesi just does get by Jirov

  • College basketball
  • UF in final for 4th time
  • Working while they whistle
  • 'Hey ref, you're blind!'
  • Cardinal beats nemesis for Pac-10 title
  • Cincinnati delivers the final blow
  • Texas beats Kansas to make final
  • Wisconsin makes first title game
  • Duke has no trouble exacting revenge
  • Record 2nd half lifts Terrapins
  • UK (yawn) rolls into SEC final
  • Can't call FAMU loser anymore
  • Dude, where's my team?

  • College football
  • Spring college football glance

  • Colleges
  • Gators extend win streak to 13

  • Golf
  • Hamilton atop wild, windy Honda

  • Horse racing
  • A winding life again leads back to Tampa
  • Friends Lake sprints into the Derby picture

  • Iditarod
  • Leader not taking spot for granted in last miles

  • In brief
  • More die as result of Syrian soccer rioting

  • Motorsports
  • Five drivers to watch
  • NASCAR fills up on scrappy teams
  • Reutimann continues rapid rise in trucks

  • NBA
  • Concentration is McGrady's foe
  • Seattle's 3-point barrage decimates lowly Orlando

  • NFL
  • CB Law wants to sever ties with Patriots

  • NHL
  • Esche, Flyers get over hump against Devils
  • Slapshots

  • Opinion
  • Rant: Shaq's attack on par with that of Bertuzzi

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • State might add teeth to gill netting penalties

  • Preps
  • Confident Blue Jackets nab first title
  • Coyle's run a high point for Knights
  • Jacksonville Raines rallies, then repeats
  • Orlando Edgewater ends title drought
  • Palm Harbor U. takes 5th place in Invitational
  • Riverview snaps skid vs. error-prone Newsome
  • Suber gets moving for East Bay
  • Third-inning play boosts the Cougars
  • Wait is finally over for Coach Wells

  • Running
  • Largo man surprises himself and wins 5K

  • Spring Training 2004
  • If no trade, week excuse
  • Thome braces for the impact
  • Clemens can't beat Marlins as Astro either

  • Your turn
  • Letters to the Editor: Lynch a victim of Gruden

  • Spring Training 2004 Rays
  • A lot on plate in front of him

  • Spring Training 2004 Rays
  • Hey, Abbott nearing No.5 spot
  • Bucs
  • Garner: Gruden can work it out
  • Lightning
  • Letdown comes hard
  • Dings emphasize need for depth

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111