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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Worst End to a Storied Career: Woody vs. Zidane

MZone reader Kyle sent us the following e-mail on Monday:

Watching the world cup game yesterday, I thought that the best comparison of a legendary sports figure going out so disgracefully would be TOSU's Woody Hayes decking the Clemson player in what would be his final game.
For those who haven't seen it, French soccer star Zinedine Zidane's head butt from Sunday's World Cup championship is below:

As for a video of the Woody punch against Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman...well, we have scoured this here Interweb and have found only a 65 pixel by 65 pixel picture from an si.com ranking of the 15 biggest blowups in sports history (Woody's act of sportsmanship ranked #5). So now we know for sure that Al Gore didn't invent the Internet. It had to have been a Buckeye, and I'm sure he's working hard at keeping the disparaging video off the information superhighway.

As for the comparison between Zidane and Woody, there are, undoubtedly, some similarities. Both men are historical figures in their respective sports and both went out in very ignominious fashion. However, when weighing the two against each other, Woody comes up at least three yards and a cloud of dust short.

  • Though Zidane's head butt was unforgiveable, it at least occurred on the field of play. Woody took his cheap shot from the sideline against a player who had no reason to expect such an action from a coach.
  • Zidane's record of sportsmanship was never an issue before the '06 championship game. He's considered one of the greatest players in World Cup history and is a hero in France. No one was really surprised that Woody stepped so far over the line in that Gator Bowl game. His career was pockmarked by numerous cases of poor sportsmanship, whether tearing up yard markers or kicking a cameraman during a game. He was an irascible, angry, immature, sore loser.
  • Zidane announced before the World Cup that this would be his swan song. France's last game could have been in the first round and he would have exited with dignity. But due to his fantastic play, France made a surprising run to the title game. He was so great that he was awarded the Golden Ball (I'm not making that up) as the tournament's outstanding player, despite not being on the winning team. Hayes was completing his fourth straight season with an increase in losses in 1978, and was tarnishing his record with every additional temper tantrum.
  • But the biggest difference of all can be heard on the YouTube clip above. My four years of high school French is a bit rusty, but I can make out the French announcer crying, "Mais pourquoi?" over and over. English translation: "But why?" Though this was their biggest athletic hero making a huge blunder, the French announcer was acknowledging the gaffe and not making excuses. How do the Tosu fans treat Woody's punch? As if it was no big deal, or, more likely, with a litany of excuses 100 yards long. They'll say how his blood sugar was out of whack that night. Or that he didn't really punch Bauman. After they finally accept it, they'll dismiss the punch as one minor blip in a stellar career, forgetting the near annual blowups. They'll point to how he was such a "great person" visiting kids in the hospital without telling anyone. How they know about those visits if Woody didn't tell anyone is beyond me. Besides a great person doesn't treat officials, the media, and, yes, opponents, as less than human. When they have nothing left, they'll point to his winning record and championships. Because, really, all they really want to remember about Woody is what he accomplished on the sideline. Unfortunately for Tosu fans, they also have to live with what he did on the sideline in Jacksonville on December 29, 1978. Because that sums up the man more than his wins and losses.

Ed. Note: Ok, even I have to admit that Benny's post here was biased...even for a Michigan site. I'm no defender of Woody but I notice that he left off a few key facts about Zidane that simply can't be overlooked for such a story as this.

First of all, Zidane's record of "sportsmanship" is abysmal. To quote an AP story I found on Yahoo today, "Zidane's red card was anything but unusual. He was sent off 14 times in his career at the club and international level. At the 1998 World Cup, he stomped on a Saudi Arabian opponent. Sitting out a two-match ban, he came back to score two goals against Brazil in the final. Five years ago with Juventus, he head-butted an opponent in a Champions League match against Hamburger SV after being tackled from behind."

Also, at this year's World Cup, Zidane sat out one match for getting two yellow cards in the first round.

Furthermore, fans in France are making excuses for his inexcusable action: the Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group SOS-Racism issued a statement Monday quoting "several very well informed sources from the world of football" as saying (the player Zidane head-butted) called Zidane a "dirty terrorist." And none other than French President Jacque Chirac called him "a genius of world football" in the aftermath.

Now, I could have corrected these errors and omissions, and rewritten this post. But it's very late at night and I'm tired, so instead I'll leave this up as is. Thus, feel free to publicly flog Benny in the comments section. And while you're at it, give us your thoughts on Woody vs. Zidane.

More importantly, does anybody out there have the Woody/Bauman clip or know where we can find it? It would be mucho appreciated.



Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

The parallels here are interesting...Woody Hayes won the Golden Douchebag award in 1978.

Travis G. said...

This may not be especially helpful, but there is a brief clip of Woody's punch in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTdk_cB_T3Y), around the 3:25 mark. It's very, very brief.

The video itself is incredibly well put together. Outstanding work.

Travis G. said...

I forgot to mention that there are also 4 Michigan moments in that video -- two very good, two very bad.

Mike said...

Both cases are inexcusable, however, I would have to rank the Woody Hayes incident as the worse action compared to Zidane. Hayes punched an opposing player for making a play. Zidane retaliated for a vicious personal attack (assuming that part is true). It's not like Zidane walked up and punched Materazzi in the face after he scored the winning goal, essentially what Woody did. Trash talking aside, the Zidane/Materazzi incident was "outside" of the game. It would have been nice to see Zidane take the high road.

Anonymous said...

travis g. thanks for the link...
CU with the catch and Weber with the TO with no TOs left
where the 2 lows

and the 2 highs
Michigan scoring in Hockey with the Lacross move
Howard striking the Heisman pose

Cool Hand Mike said...

In Woody's defense, I don't know anybody affiliated with Clemson who's not a dick.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some lip readers read the Italian's mouth and he was saying some disparaging comments about Zidane's mother.

Nobody, and I mean nobody trash talks my mamma and gets away with it!

Reed4AU said...

Woody's punch was a bit worse in the fact that in was unprovoked. Zizou's was certainly provoked, however it still doesn't justify what he did.

That said I would have dropkicked that docuhe Materazzi if he called me what he rumoured to have said: a terrorist, called my mother a whore after I found out that morning she's in the hospital, or called me a harki(Algerian traitor) when i'm proud of my heritage. That still doesn't justify it but I can understand.

Woody's punch shamed an entire shitty state, Zizou's action shamed an entire country so i'll give the more of a disgrace nod to Zizou.

I would have loved to see that last header form Zidane go in the corner to end his great career instead of what transpired. However, it felt kind of anti-American to cheer for the French. But even with that, I would have rather seen them win than those diving/cheating/match rigging/mafia douches from Italy.

Anonymous said...

Im sure Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Iran had to deal with being called terrorists, if that is what indeed happened to Zidane, and I don't recall any headbutts during their contests. After Buffon stopped his header, he turned into a ticking timebomb and clearly over-reacted. Thierry Henry had to deal with being called racial slurs all the time from fans and players alike and from what I know he's never responded in a physical manner other then scoring goals.

Woody still trumps him however, because Zidane was actually on the field playing. Woody is a freaking coach. Even Bob Knight resisted the urge to physically harm an opposing player (as for his own fans, thats a different story...) Zidane still got the Golden Ball, which is remarkable because they lost and Italy's Defenseman Fabia Cannavero was just as deserving, while Woody left on that very sour note and nothing else.

Reed4AU said...

Well those countries are full of terrorists, just kidding(but not really) but I would imagine they're used to hearing it. I saw an article in a british paper that said Marterazzi said "your mother is a terrorist whore." So perhaps Marterazzi combined a couple insults in to one.

When Zidane got ejected in 98' for stomping a terrorist from Oil Land the terrorist called Zizou a harki. It's also been suggested that's what Marterazzi said.

Although Cannavero had an amazing cup, my vote would've gone to Buffon although perhaps it was that nasty D that made him look so great. He didn't allow a single goal from another team other than that Zizou PK. Also that save in OT when he was caught flat footed saved the game. Of course it was right at him, but it still was a great save.

Team notes: the French are cowards, all teams with Oil are terrorists, the English are violent drunks, the Germans make good beer, the Italians cheat and are greasy, Brazil needs a new coach, the Mexicans underperform again and come back to take our jobs, the real Argentina just didn't show up when they needed to, the Czechs aren't the 2nd best team in the world, and finally the USA isn't the 5th or even the 15th best team in the world and as a whole CONCACAF sucks balls.

Player notes: Ronaldo got his record, but isn't in the top 15 best of all time(maybe top 25), Rooney is a whiny overrated bitch, Crouch is the biggest alien since Reggie Miller, Lampard can't shoot worth shit, Figo was awesome, Zizou was awesome(the headbutt thing sucked but it was a great headbutt), ALL Italian defenders are great, ALL other Italians are pussies who dive more than they play, Ronaldinho didn't show up, Henry is beyond great, Klose was a machine, Vieria was great, Crespo was great, and all US players suck balls compared to the rest of the world's talent.

Yost said...

I don't know what, if anything, was said but he still shouldn't have lost his cool on the field. I mean, c'mon, can you imagine if there was a fight everytime an NBA or NFL player got into a trash-talking bout w/ an opponent? There would be 10 fights a game.

Ultracocky Unoriginal Asswipe said...

So Marterazzi said "your mother is a terrorist whore." What UM fan wouldn't take exception to someone calling their mother a terrorist?

Anonymous said...

Too bad Llllloyd couldn't hold his team for another minute before they ran over Greg Bellisari's mother before THE GAME in '96. Really too bad we couldn't win that game!

There was a classless act, but we don't keep bringing it up like an old man punching a fully padded player. Yes it was wrong, and he was fired immediately after the game. I was glad he was fired, sad it had to end like that.

Zidane was worse simply because tha result was still in doubt. He put his team in a bad position thru his stupid reaction. I was glad the French lost, but I though Italy was the better team even though it didn't look like it in the second half.

Yost said...

Ah, yes, Anon, the "famous" Bellisari's Mom Incident. Such a big, big deal and so scandalous that...we've never heard of it.

No wonder you don't keep bringing it up, lol.

Anonymous said...

This is sort of unrelated, but I love how that guy tried sounding witty with the Oil Land comments. As if making terrorists jokes werent cliche enough, he completely generalizes an entire part of the world by saying they are all terrorists. Hold your head up high, Reed4au, hold it up high.

Reed4AU said...

Saudi Arabia = Oil Land, without oil it would be a desolate wasteland with no sourde of income other than that produced by the pilgrimages to Mecca. I said I was kidding(but not really) about all of the Saudis being terrorist. I realize they're not all evil brainwashed bastards and that only a small percentage are. However a large majority of Arab nations HATE America, except for our money, and they're taught to hate us in shcool. Did you see the new report on NBC the other night about the school books in Saudi Arabia. The the 10th grade school books teach that Jews are evil and the West are pigs.

I called Oil players terrorists the same way I call Englishmen violent drunks. Not all English are violent drunks and not all Italians are greasy match fixers. It's called sarcasm, so either recognize it or get a life.

OSU45 said...

Don't ever disrespect Woody. Woody, god rest his soul, was an inovator and a class act. Don't let him using Bo's face as a cum rag ruin his accomplishments. No coach, other than JT, conducted his business with more class. Michigan is a bitch made little brother of the Big11. Anyone catch the preseason rrankings? OSU #1!!!!Oh yeah NFL rookie jersey sales were released and AJ is #3! Vince Young was #1, huh, 2 guys made famous for skull raping Michigan.

ultracocky unoriginal asswipe said...

Is it true that Greg Bellisari was motivated to become an orthopaedic surgeon after his mother's knee was blown-out by that brutal act of negligence?

Hey, when will we ever get to discuss the worst behavior by a Michigan athlete so we can be amused by Michigan fans defending the indefensible?


Yost said...


You know, I must admit, I actually look forward to your drunken rants.

IC said...

Yost, I come not to flog Benny but to praise him.

Before doing so, however, I agree that Benny deserves a yellow card for not more effectively researching Zidane and for failing to point out the soccer star’s notable incidents of Woody-like behavior. Writing that Zidane’s "record of sportsmanship was never an issue before the '06 championship game" undercuts Benny's credibility, but his overall comparison is sharp and appropriate.

To summarize the similarities made by Benny: both Woody and Zidane were icons, not only of their generation but also in the history of their sport. The final image of each is one of impulsive violence that shamed their team, school/nation, and themselves, likely to forever tarnish their legendary status.

While Woody punching Charlie Bauman and Zidane head butting Materazzi are both unpardonable offenses, I think Woody's was worse, mainly because he was (ostensibly) a leader of men--the person who should set the example for his players of how to behave in competition. Woody's was also a total sucker-punch, old-fohgaly aimed at the face of an unsuspecting player whose horrible indiscretion was intercepting a Buckeye pass.

Though it is an opinion, it is not "Michigan bias" that leads me to say emphatically that Woody was a raging prick. Surely there are many people with no affiliation or affection for Michigan who would agree with this description. I said it before he punched Bauman, after he punched Bauman, when Michigan dominated tOSU, and over the past five years when tOSU has controlled the rivalry, and I state it again today--"Woody Hayes was a raging prick." He was also, as noted by “Can’t Spell Lloyd…” the very deserving recipient of the 1978 Golden Douchebag Award (now regularly referred to as "The Woody.")

Re. how each fan base reacted to the bad behavior of their beloved figures: Yes, something called "SOS-Racism" used the incident to bring attention to their mission by claiming that unnamed (and unsubstantiated) sources said that the Italian player uttered a racial taunt to Zidane, a Frenchman with Algerian ancestry. And French premier Jacque Chirac generally praised Zidane in a welcoming ceremony, providing further evidence that politicians are shameless weasels in other parts of the world as well.

But here’s a sampling of other, more mainstream reaction in France:
From an editorial in Le Monde (the leading French newspaper):
“A man of humble origins, who was only yesterday being praised to the skies by a whole country, has become, with a single gesture, a bad example to the thousands of city kids who dreamed of becoming ‘Zizou’.”

From Aime Jacquet, who coached Zidane on the 1998 French World Cup champion team:
“For God's sake, you just can't finish your career in that way!

From top French Sports periodical l’Equipe:
With its headline, "Eternal regrets," sporting daily l'Equipe was livid. Addressing Zidane directly, the editorial asked the man what he intended to say to the "tens of millions of children" watching the match, including four of his own, for whom he had become a role model. None of the world's other sporting greats would have broken such "elementary sporting rules,"

By contrast, the December 30, 1979 Columbus Dispatch noted under the headline, “Bauman’s neck attacks Woody’s fist”: “What we saw last night was worse than Pearl Harbor—an unprovoked and savage attack on our great coach by a Clemson 'defender.' While we do not call for the player’s murder or the razing of the entire state of South Carolina, we do believe that if either should happen, it is certainly understandable. Fuck Michigan.”

OK, I made that part up, but if you’ve ever had discussions with tOSU fans (even otherwise intelligent, decent people), you know what I mean. Though I assume and hope there are exceptions to the legions of Woody apologists, I have not met any.

OSU45 said...

I am not drunk yet. I will be later trying to get this story out of my head. Today in the dispatch there was a story about Joe Montana kids going to some good school. My mom terlls me she got banged by Joe in college. Fucking gross. I gotta move out of the. She got me the copy of the paper so I cold read about my boys but instead i get some nasty story. Anyway what the fuck, no articles about the buckeyes. They need to have more articles about key points of last years season. Fuck Indiana! I liked when we bitch slapped ND and fat charlie. Guess what? no buckeyes got arrested this week! Fist yourself!

harry hasselhoff said...

OSU45 - you are *the* man! The crazy, inbred ("inbread," sorry) man who may've been fathered by Joe Montana, lol.

Then again, probably not. Keep on rockin' bro.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand people disliking Woody. I look at it this way: he is like my ex-wife's lawyer. I dislike her (the lawyer) more than anyone I've ever known; her attitude is viscous, cruel and aggressive; and will do anything to win. I hate her so much. I wish she was on my side. Damn.

ultracocky unoriginal asswipe said...

Hey IC,

When you describe Woody as a "prick", I take it you are either musing wistfully about his perceived manhood, or you have known many generous, caring people like Woody and you consider "prick" a term of endearment.


IC said...


When I muse wistfully about someone's manhood, I watch that scene from "Remember the Titans", posted yesterday on MZone.

And, no, as I'm guessing you already understand, "prick" is not a term or endearment. It is applied to "caring" and "generous" people such as your beloved Woody, who--as grown men in positions of leadership--throw yard markers, go for two with a five-touchdown lead, and sucker-punch an unsuspecting opponent in the neck.

Reed4AU said...

In 1956, Hayes attacked a television cameraman following a defeat to the University of Iowa.

In 1959 Hayes took a swing at Los Angeles Examiner sportswriter Al Bine, but missed and struck the brother of sports editor Bob Shafer.

In 1971, he tore up sideline markers following what he thought was a missed defensive pass interference call against Michigan.

In 1977 a late fumble caused him to charge an ABC television cameraman who had recorded his frustration.

In 1973 right before theRose bowl he pushed a camera into the face of a news photographer, screaming, "That'll take care of you, you son of a bitch."

In 1976 after losing the Rose Bowl to UCLA he refused to let anyone talk to the media.

Then the Gator bowl incident.

That's classy and what I look for in head coach, righhhht.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Am I the only person who finds it ironic that an athlete for France—a nation stereotyped as overly capitulative—got red carded for being too combative? Who’d have thunk it?

I’m going to have to admit—at the risk of sounding like some sort of goon—that I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Zinedine Zidane. We probably will never know exactly what Marco Materazzi said to him, but it is clear that something was said. Zidane is also no angel, having responded violently—apparently a la Marcus Vick—in the past to comments insulting his ethnic heritage.

This doesn’t make him right and he should have been red carded, but I can’t help but make a distinction between someone who can’t control his temper when his family, race, or ethnicity is insulted and someone who simply hauls off and punches someone because they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. To me, the two incidents are vastly different.

I just can’t envision myself punching someone from an opposing team because they’re winning. I also can’t imagine myself using racial slurs or your mother, sister, aunt, wife, grandmother, insert female relative here is a whore type of comment as on field trash talking. I can see me lunging after someone and administering a beating to someone whose insults have gone too far and are touching on a sensitive issue with me.

Of course, I will freely admit to favoring the fight option when the flight or fight response is triggered. It takes an enormous amount of self restraint to not react physically to some of life’s insults and taunts and injustices. I just don’t have it and am amazed when someone like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, or the fictional Atticus Finch displays it. Maybe I’m too violent, but I don’t think violence is always wrong and I don’t think fighting never solves anything. Some folks deserve an ass kicking and sometimes fighting is the only way to resolve something.

I don’t think Zidane disgraced himself but he did let his team down. A much more effective response to whatever Materazzi said would have been to ignore him, stay in the game, and win it for France.

the butcher said...

Your Hayes/Bauman clip is right here:
The play begins around the 40 second mark, with Hayes' freakout a little after that. The video wasn't too hard to find--I got this link from the comments section of your "How to Piss Off a Buckeye" post...

Also, I'd like to add that I find it totally moronic how people desperately grope for excuses for the bad behavior of their favorite coaches and athletes. Who cares if Hayes once visited someone in the hospital? Hell, O.J. Simpson probably filmed a United Way commercial at some point. A PR stunt hospital visit doesn't change the fact that he had a history of physically assaulting random people at football games (aka, something that would land us in jail!). I've had Indiana fans tell me that Bob Knight is a great guy because he donated some money (out of his gigantic salary/endorsement package...) to the university's library. Apparently that means he's no longer a psychopathic asshole. And I'm sure Michigan fans have retarded story to cover for Chris Webber. Or, hell, just win a national championship and no one cares at all--eg, Jim Tressel the Human Sleazeball getting glowing coverage for his uber-corrupt program. Anyways, I'll stop now, as I really just wanted to post that video link...

OSU45 said...

Fist ourself! Don't you ever bring up JT and Woody in the same paragraph with Webber. I would personally like to have Shaq ram your ass while his dong is covered in BenGay. JT has never been found guilty of anything other than looking out for the best interests of his charges. Webber is a scum bag and took money, prolly to purchase that big rock for Yeast's mom. Crack rock that is. I don't need to pay for puss, I could bang a bitch raw dawg in the back of a chevelle. So, Butcher night night and keep the 5 hole tigght. If you want to step to my science come check out my post on the Scout Buckeye recruiting board. I have firmly estsablished my dominance by putting my nuts on the table and your wifes tits on the glass as I pound her anally from behind. Speaking of anal, that bitch made ex of mine isn't picking up the phone for a booty call. I pay the bitch child support. Oh well, looks like I will have to keep drinkin watchin the fiesta bowl tape. Oh yeah, fuck michigan and any crab infested hookers on the campus.

the butcher said...

god bless you and your first grade education for proving my point so efficiently. as for tressel, i'm sure clarett still sends him thank you cards for all the "help" and "support" tressel's semi-pro team gave him. you remember clarett, don't you? he's the guy that tressel rode (and paid) to a national championship... you can think of him as jim tressel's personal version of chris webber...

OSU45 said...

Say what you want but at the end of the day Webber was found to have been wrong in court, MC? Not so much. I don't like that piece of fecal matter, but he was never found guilty of taking benefits from a booster by the NCAA, the same NCAA that took down your final 4 banner b/c webber took money. I can see you are having trouble with the idea of fisting yourself, so take it easy and work a finger or two in there before you go ramming your hole hand up your sperm receptacle.

Yost said...


Thanks. I remember that but since it's part of a clip package, couldn't just get the Woody part. Need to talk to some of my tech-savy friends.

Yost said...


After watching again, now I remember the problem -- the Bee Gees music over the hit, lol.

sallypierre said...

he was justified!

maybe you can get ZZ to play for Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Good Video of Hayes at www.orangeandwhitevideo.com "70 s video"