The Huntsville roster could be short a couple of names tonight when the Havoc arrives to take on the Cottonmouths. Huge brawl last night between the Havoc and Mississippi Surge. Have seen a few brawls in 9 years of covering the Snakes, but none like this one.
It was massive. It was ugly. It was dangerous. After watching the video several times, which I can't get to post, for some reason...UGH, here's what I saw:
A fight begins right in front of the bench between Huntsville's Corey Fulton and a Surge player. The door to the bench opens and Fulton steps in. This is an important point. He wasn't dragged in. He continued the fight on the bench. Take a guess what happens...
Fulton is immediately swallowed up by a mass of Surge players. Next logical step: The Huntsville cavalry comes into the bench to rescue its player. This is scary because you have all these bodies whaling away on each other in an enclosed space with emotions flying all...along with bodies.
Before too long, nearly every person in uniform on both benches is hollering, punching or both. A real free-for-all. Then, somehow, it gets worse.
As things are settling down, after several MINUTES, a Surge player starts throwing punches and it all starts up again. But the absolute worst, in my humble opinion, was Branden Kosolofsky of the Surge. He picked up a stick in the heat of battle. BIG no-no. Kosolofsky speared a guy with the stick and then dropped it.
Then there's a Surge player getting his head slammed into the ice repeatedly by Huntsville's Bryant Doerrsem, well away from the brawl on the bench.
The whole thing was disturbing on many levels. Fans from both teams are, of course, pointing fingers at the other team. Believe me, there is plenty of blame to go around. They're accusing referee Pete MacDougall of calling too few penalties throughout the game, allowing it to get out of hand and emotions to build.
All I know for certain is this: I sat in on the officials training meetings this summer and their number one concern going into this season was player safety. It's going to be up to Jim Combs and Doug Price to send a message with significant suspensions so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again.
I know fans like fights. A good fight is entertaining and definitely part of the game. But this was downright dangerous. When you pick up a stick in anger, it takes dangerous to a whole other level. Expect the league's message to Kosolofsky to be pointed and the consequences of his actions severe.