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When it comes to sports, competitiveness sometimes gets the best of players and fans. 

Over the years, many fights have broken out among players, sometimes coaches, and occasionally even spectators have gotten involved.

Some historical brawls have long been remembered by sports fans. Here are just a few of the many fights that are known as some of the biggest brawls in sports history.

The 2004 fight between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, which included fans, is widely considered to be one of the worst in history. (Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images/File)

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  1. Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers
  2. Miami Hurricanes vs. Florida International University (FIU)
  3. Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
  4. Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators

1. Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers

The 2004 fight during an NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers is remembered as “The Malice at the Palace.” 

There were just seconds left of the game when the fight began, but the conditions got so hostile that the game was never finished. 

The fighting all began with a foul. After the players started battling it out on the court, it wasn’t long before the fight escalated up to the stands as spectators began throwing drinks and trash at players.

Fans launched drinks and trash at players during the 2004 game. (Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Players entered the stands, causing physical altercations between players and spectators. 

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As the Pacers made their way back to the locker room, they had to cover their heads to be shielded from the liquid and trash being thrown their way.

Several fans were banned from Pistons games for life because of the incident, according to Bleacher Report. Nine players were suspended without pay for a total of 146 games, according to the source. There were five players charged with assault. 

2. Miami Hurricanes vs. Florida International University (FIU) Golden Panthers

This college-level brawl got ugly fast. 

Panthers player James Bryant scored a touchdown and bowed in front of Miami fans. He received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

After the Panthers successfully kicked the extra point, both teams started going at it.

In videos displaying the 2006 brawl, you can see players being aggressively thrown to the ground, a body slam, a kick to the head and even a helmet being used as a weapon. There were 13 players ejected from the game, eight from FIU and five from Miami. Miami went on to win the game, 35-0.

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The following day, there were 13 players from the Hurricanes and 18 players from the Golden Panthers suspended for a game, according to the New York Times.

3. Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers

Hockey is known to be an aggressive sport, with fans pretty much expecting to see some altercations at each game. In 1979, things went too far.

The fight occurred after the Bruins had defeated the Rangers, 4-3. 

After scuffles between the players, a spectator reportedly hit Bruins player Stan Johnson with a program and took his stick. This sent Bruins’ Terry O’Reilly into the stands with many other teammates following after him.

Many Bruins players ended up in the stands during the 1979 brawl. (B Bennett/Getty Images)

Fights quickly started breaking out between spectators and Bruins players at Madison Square Garden.

After an investigation, there were three suspensions: O’Reilly faced an eight-game suspension, and Peter McNab and Mike Milbury received a six-game suspension, according to the New York Times.

4. Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators

Another one of the biggest fights in sports took place during a hockey game.

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This one was in 2004 during a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators. The penalty minutes handed out after the altercation is the league record, with 419 minutes.

The series of fights during this game was sparked when Donald Brashear (Flyers) and Rob Ray (Senators) began to fight.

After that, multiple brawls ensued, including one between each team’s goalie. There was blood drawn and fights happening all over the ice between the players.



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