America Was Introduced To A Sport Called Hurling, And A Giant Brawl Broke Out

Fenway Park is used for a variety of things during the Red Sox offseason, one of which this year is hosting a hurling match, which is an Irish sport combining elements of lacrosse, soccer and baseball.

Admittedly, I was completely unfamiliar with the sport of hurling before seeing this clip, but if a usual match has anything near the massive brawl that took place at the match at Fenway, I think I’d be willing to give it a shot.

The nearly 30,000 spectators that descended on Fenway Park to witness the exhibition match between two of Ireland’s top teams, Galway and Dublin were not only witness to an exciting match which Galway won 50-47, but also a gigantic brawl that seemed to escalate the further it went on (which is aided immensely by the addition of traditional Irish music by NESN in the above clip).

The Boston Globe gave a little additional context as to what led to the 21-player battle royale that erupted in the middle of the field.

…the other main highlight was a nasty, at-times vicious, melee that broke out midway through the second quarter after Dublin keeper Conor Dooley hit the ground with a knee injury. For the next two minutes, the 21 other players, virtually all with their hurleys in hand, mixed it up in a scene straight out of the NHL, circa early-’70s….. “At the end of the day,’’ said Dublin’s Johnny McCaffrey, reflecting on the mayhem, “you’re not going to give an inch.’’

“If I’d got the ball in the net,’’ added Galway midfielder Aidan Harte, disappointed he’d failed to put a shot by the fallen Dooley, “none of it probably would have happened in the first place. But it happens. It shows . . . two teams trying to win.’’

“Two teams trying to win” would be one way to describe it. Another would be “two groups of men armed with sticks trying to bludgeon each other for nearly a full minute,” but to each their own.

To further emphasize the difference between Irish and American sports, at the end of the video after a giant scrum, one Dublin player helps up one of the men he was just attacking and they both go on their merry way like nothing happened.

I think I like this sport already.

(Via the Boston Globe)