Aussie Footballer Suspended After In-Game Punch

We have fond memories of watching Australian Rules Football during the early days of ESPN, checking out the afterschool action between teams with names like Footscray and Essendon. And it can be generally agreed that those blokes are a tough lot - running, passing, tackling, and all without the benefit of pads & helmets.

However, one Aussie footy player found out that such a violent game does have its limits of brute force.

Barry Hall punch Australian Football

THE MELBOURNE HERALD-SUN reports that Barry Hall has been suspended for seven weeks for placing a mid-game punch into an opponent’s puss.

(Video after the jump.)

The on-field slugging took place Saturday night, as Sydney’s Hall scuffled with Brent Staker of the West Coast Eagles. After some pushing & shoving, Hall finally threw a haymaker, which connected with Staker’s jaw & sent him to the ground.

But Barry did not escape the match unscathed. As the GEELONG ADVERTISER points out, Hall may have suffered a broken wrist - not from the punch, but for running into a fence later in the game.

The seven-week suspension means Hall will be out for seven games. How does Barry’s boxing moves compare with other in-game assaults?

Tennessee Titan Albert Haynesworth stomped on the head of a helmet-less Dallas Cowboy and was suspended for five games. L.A. Laker Kermit Washington punched Rudy Tomjanvoich in a 1977 NBA game, and almost killed the future Houston Rockets coach.

And who could forget former MLB-er Jose Offerman attacking a pitcher with his bat in a minor league game - and having the gall to plead not guilty?

So, there’s been much more worse sports attacks than Hall’s punch-up, but it still doesn’t excuse his actions. Maybe he felt the need to be rough since he plays for a team named the Swans.