Kermit Washington, a Great Shot
July 9, 2009
There are cheap shots and there is terrible anticipation, and the two never intertwine. It’s only a cheap shot, or a sucker punch, if there is no reason for the victim to be defending himself in a given situation. In street fights and bar brawls, however, it’s usually the victim’s fault for being caught off guard—or “it’s the luck of the draw.” Of course, there are extenuating situations in which the victim has no possible chance of avoiding a blind-sided attack—but that is not terrible anticipation, rather a dangerous loss. And for the attacker, it may just be a prime sucker punch, one that should not be passed up. Still, fighting in almost all situations happens in stages and anyone who allows themselves involvement must embrace all possible consequences. Is it a sucker punch if a Nazi runs after a rabbi yelling, “Kill the Jew!” And right before the Jewish man reacts, the Nazi closes his eyes and gets hammered?
Anyone who has been in a fight of any sort should look up to one of the martyrs of fisticuffs, Kermit Washington. He was robbed of an NBA career just because he threw a good punch. What would happen if Rudy hadn’t even fallen? What about all the other punches ever thrown in the NBA? Just because Michael Jordan, Chris Childs, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’neal, among many others, have thrown such lousy shots they have been allowed to continue there careers? Kermit Washington, remember, did not throw a punch that was completely uncalled for. In the heat of the moment he threw a great punch, though not aesthetically pleasing to a boxer’s standards, that Tomjanovich could have been prepared for. If he were a better fighter he would have anticipated someone coming from the blind-side (he could have gotten into a better position). Ultimately, it was a good punch and the moral of non-combative sports is: If you hit like a bitch, you can’t lose your job. But In all fights—elementary to professional sports—the illegal action should be punished, not its effectiveness.