"Hey, did you see that brawl between the Riders and Lions on Saturday night?"
That question will be asked over and over again this week from CFL fans across the country. It's a tell-all of who fought who, who got the most shots in an what effect it had on the game.
Now did Saturday's second quarter melee add excitement to the game, or take something away in terms of image?
Most people who know me know what I think - that fighting in football is stupid and that while guys should be allowed to get loose and play, they should never be allowed to get out of control. A fight in football definitely takes something away from the game.
But I also liked it!
Perhaps the neanderthal in me has come to the forefront and my educated, intelligent side is suppressed, but it was a bit of a rush to watch this.
As far as the combatants were concerned, Sherko Haji-Rasouli should be fined a significant amount of money for punching a player who could not punch back as his appendages were being pinned. On top of that, the blows with the knee were something you would see from a 2am street fight between drunks. What Sherko did was an embarrassment to himself and the Lions.
Rob Murphy was, well, Rob Murphy. He pinned down John Chick and had a moment to deliver a blow, but he didn't. I couldn't tell what Cory Rodgers was doing, although it sounded like he was the one who started all the stuff outside the norm of 'football violence.'
At the other end of the field, were the Riders innocent through all of this? Heck no! Grabbing the arms and hands to dislodge the ball after the play ends is illegal.
So far, there have been 10 ejections this season for unsportsmanlike conduct. For hardened football fans, that's not a big deal. They know the emotion of the game and know that emotion can sometimes overtake common sense. But when it comes to sending the right message to younger fans, it does send the wrong image.
Football is not about being a thug - it's about being a smart and polished athlete in a tough sport. The last social element you want on your team are the ones who have trouble dealing with society. I know for a fact that Lions offensive line coach Dan Dorazio is a teacher of technique and effort, not violence.
From a bigger picture, let's not blow this incident up too big. The league should assess the sitaution with the game tape they have, draw a conclusion and move on.
This is certainly a moment for CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon to get involved, especially after the A.J. Gass incident where his absence did little to create confidence in his leadership.
Now I'll admit, the brawl generated a lot of energy in me - but I was also unimpressed. Anyone can fight, but there are a select few who can actually play football.
Will it happen again? Of course.
But just take it for what it's worth, and move on. The integrity of the game is the first priority, even it it's tested now and then.