This year marked the first-ever Miami Beach Bowl, a profoundly mis-named college football game that actually takes place inside Marlins Park, about 10 miles away from its barrier island namesake.
Badly named or not, the bowl did live up to another famed Miami college football tradition, though. Last night's contest between BYU and Memphis ended with an all-out, helmet-swinging, face-bloodying brawl between the two teams.
Its a shame the first-ever bowl game at Marlins Park will be remembered for the melee, because it was actually a helluva game. Memphis came from behind with a bonkers 55-yard touchdown pass and then clinched the win with a clutch interception to finish off a 55-48 slugfest that included more than 900 yards of combined offense.
Memphis 55-BYU 48. These guys should try hitting each other during the game next time.— Gary Yates (@geyates) December 23, 2014
But the game had been chippy from the get-go, and the emotions boiled over after the thrilling finish. No one got quite as bananas as BYU's defensive back Kai Nacua, who landed a sucker punch for the ages:
Absolutely ridiculous. Can't believe the Memphis BYU brawl got this bad. https://t.co/bSwRZx8jLl— Kristen Keith (@trackris24) December 23, 2014
Both teams promised to crack down on players after the fight. Here's Memphis AD Tom Bowen to the Commercial-Appeal:
"We have not had the opportunity to review the multitude of videos from the unfortunate altercation that took place immediately after the game. In the next few days, Coach Fuente and I will review any and all video we can and will take appropriate disciplinary measures for those involved. I know we all regret that this incident detracted from an otherwise incredibly exciting and hard fought game. Hopefully, it will be a learning lesson for both teams."
But really, the teams were just living up to the spirit of college football in the Magic City. See you all at the Miami Beach Bowl, 2014.