Keller @ Large: When ‘Toughness’ Means ‘Recklessly Idiotic’

BOSTON (CBS) – If you haven’t yet seen the dangerous, ridiculous fight that broke out on the floor at the end of Saturday’s Cincinnati-Xavier college basketball game, take a look.

Or better yet, if you have an impressionable youngster in your life, watch it with them.

It’s a teachable moment about how not to act, and what the opposite of toughness looks like.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Here’s the backdrop – Xavier vs. Cincinnati is a big crosstown sports rivalry in that city, and apparently, Xavier’s star player, Tu Holloway, was angered by pregame comments a Cincinnati player made unwisely disparaging his athletic ability.

So with seconds to go in an easy win for Xavier, Holloway started taunting the Cincinnati bench.

Next thing you know, there’s an all-out brawl going on, including a sucker punch thrown by a Cincinnati player that could easily have blinded its unsuspecting target.

That’s all bad enough, but what made this even worse than the usual stupid sports fight were the post-game comments, including this gem from Holloway:

“We’re grown men over here, we got a whole bunch of gangsters, not thugs, but tough guys on the court. That’s our motto, zip ‘em up and that’s what we did.”

Get it?

Zip ‘em up, like in a body bag?

Luckily, there is adult supervision on hand.

The furious Cincinnati coach stripped the uniforms off his players who participated in the fight and called the episode “a complete embarrassment. Toughness is doing the right thing. If my players don’t act the right way, they will never play another game at Cincinnati.”

I can only hope that the worst offenders in this do suffer severe consequences, like losing the scholarships they are privileged to have, that others with less athletic skill would love to have.

For a senior in college like Holloway to call himself and his teammates “gangsters” as a point of pride is foolish and immature beyond belief.

So kids, take note – in this case, “toughness” is a euphemism for “recklessly idiotic.”

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • Ron

    Well Said

  • FireGuyFrank

    Amen. Both schools should be fined, too. If a coach won’t kick players off the team, the NCAA needs to do it — including forfeiting games. I know, I know, that’s punishing too many people, but these “reckless idiotic” twerps need to learn that their actions can have far reaching consequences.

    Is it me, or do these teams in Cincinnati have a bunch of players like that? I’m thinking of the NFL Bengals.

    • gramps

      There’s a reasonable chance that if the players on both teams had played in High School under current ‘MIAA’ rules, the ‘brawl’ wouldn’t have happened….


  • tsal

    Frank good point about the Bengals. Roll model perhaps?

    A young man had a touchdown taken away last week because he held his hand up in excitement for what couldn’t have been more than two seconds. Yet there was no immediate punishment by officials, coaches – anyone – at the Cincinnati and Xavier game. Ridiculous doesn’t begin to describe the lack of common sense.

  • Denise

    Well the all out brawl was a team thing – not an individual thing! come on…

    I’m glad to hear that one of the coaches had some common sense and hopefully he doesn’t have to bend to the pressures of the school and parents and let those kids back on the team – and lets hope the other team does the same!

    it’s a shame that kids today have so little respect for themselves and others!

    • tsal

      You are of course correct about it taking two to fight. However, at the top of the list of those receiving very firm punishments should be Halloway – IMHO he should be off the team. Others also but he’s first.

  • justme

    Halloway was suspended one game. That should teach him a lesson.

    • tsal

      pathetic isn’t it – he should have been suspended for what he said for far more than that let alone what he did.

      • justme

        agree 100% with you.

      • justme

        i agree with you 100%


  • mikey

    All too common these days. Disgraceful.

  • mikey


  • Italo

    I’d like to see these swift light bulbs get showered, shave and groom themselves, cut the hair, drop the 1970’s girl knee socks, and suit up and try to last in a business office for seventeen minutes. Bet they couldn’t do it, ever. They’d better keep practicing their being able to dribble while speaking in complete sentences.

  • Yikes

    we idolize our sports heros and entertainers, so they think they can act however they want

  • John Joseph Grimes

    Much of college and professional sport has become an entity that is not only becoming boring but also performed by people with whom I share nothing more than a trial by jury.

  • sick of it


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