Bread City Basketball


MINNESOTA vs. OHIO BRAWL, 1972

As our team sat in the dark, dingy locker room … I emerged from a near-comatose state and jumped up, wanting to finish the game. I have no memory of anything that occured from halftime to the next morning … What happens to the human psyche when a person suffers traumatic harm? What does a person do with the deluge of emotions that infiltrates his mind and changes from minute to minute? One minute I felt that everything would be fine, that healing was happening. The next minute all I could think about was hatred and retribution … Emotionally and philosophically, I was in a crisis. Ron Behagan, Clyde Turner, Corky Taylor, and Coach Bill Musselman had become objects of what philosophers Jeffrie G. Murphy and Jean Hampton call ‘moral hatred.’ … After college, I played for a few years with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA, but I never played with the same intensity of enjoyment that I had before the Minnesota game.

– Luke Witte’s post-brawl account is excerpted from an essay on forgiveness in Basketball and Philosophy. Sports Illustrated called the fight “the most vicious attack in college basketball lore.” This was Witte’s face. He is now a pastor.

Advertisements