For those of you who happened to be watching ESPN2 last night around 5:15 PM, you likely witnessed one of the rarer scenes in sports. It happened during the middle of the USC-Oklahoma basketball game, as part of the Pac-10/Big-12 Hardwood Challenge.
The play was dirty, and gave a whole new meaning to “hardwood challenge.” USC forward Leonard Washington (for those of you who are fans of “Chappelle’s Show,” the answer is yes, that is the same name as Chappelle’s Trading Spouses character) took his game to another level last night by striking Oklahoma superstar forward Blake Griffin in the groin region. That’s the politically correct definition of where Griffin was struck, however “groin region” can encompass a fairly large area. The inner thigh, for example, is part of the “groin region.” Some would say that the lower pelvis is also a part of the “groin region.” So to be more specific, Griffin got hit in the gonads, the balls, the nuts, the testicles.
It was the literal definition of a low blow. Washington, upon official review of the video evidence, was charged with a flagrant foul and ejected on the spot. Perhaps a female officiating crew would not have sent the freshman to the showers, but the all-male triumvirate of referees seemingly felt Griffin’s pain and sent the Trojan culprit to the locker room.
ESPN 2, for its part, chose to replay the savage belt shot about 50 times over the course of the rest of the game. Every time Griffin scored from there on out was an opportunity to display the super slo-mo version of Washington’s love tap. The announcers derided the play, but inside had to be jumping for joy at the chance to exploit a soon-to-be Not-Top-Ten video sensation.
Announcer 1: And there’s Blake Griffin with another two points, and if you happen to just be joining us we’re going to show you something you don’t often see in sports. Earlier this evening, Griffin was the victim of a well-placed Leonard Washington slap. Let’s have a look.
Announcer 2: Ok, now you see Griffin right there, he’s backpedaling…and now here comes Washington…and riiiiight….THERE! Right in the balls, Steve, did you see that! That was amazing! Let’s watch it again in slow motion! Can we get a spotshadow on Griffin’s junk this time? Somebody get me a telestrator, quick!
I’ll admit I laughed once or twice after they went nuts about Griffin’s, well, nuts. It was a painful experience but ESPN has a knack for making things humorous. Here’s the video, enjoy.