Miami-FIU II: Booth Fumble

Note from RSJ: Just hours after this item was originally posted on Monday, CSS analyst Lamar Thomas was fired. You can hear his “analysis” here: http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnradio/audiochoose?id=2627920

“In no way do I condone fighting,” says Lamar Thomas, a former Miami football player and current television analyst for Comcast Sports Southeast, a regional network.

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You wouldn’t have known it for listening to Thomas on Saturday evening as players from the Hurricanes and cross-town “rival” Florida International embroiled in a slug-fest (See Below: “Expel Them All”) that became the most embarrassing episode in sports since the NBA’s Debacle in Detroit two years ago. The melee erupted following an extra-point attempt and quickly escalated into an all-out free-for-all that saw players from both teams punching and kicking each other. Some players swung helmets as weapons. Thirty-one players have been suspended thus far. And public apologies have been flying like birds South for the winter.

But Thomas’ on-air troubling remarks during the fight might be cause for disciplinary actions, as well.

“Now, that’s what I’m talking about,” Thomas said as the players raged about, his voice rising with each moment. “You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don’t come into the [Orange Bowl] playing that stuff. You’re across the ocean over there. You’re across the city. You can’t come over to our place talking noise like that. You’ll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing.”

He added, shouting: “I say, why don’t they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don’t come into the OB, baby. We’ve had a down couple years but you don’t come in here talking smack. Not in our house.”

Thomas, a former wide receiver and 1993 third-round draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, spun damage control on Monday during “The Dan Patrick Show” on ESPN Radio.

Thomas, Back in the Day

“Anybody who knows me knows I played the game of football with my heart on my sleeve,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately for me during the fight I got a little hyped up. In no way do I condone fighting.”

Thomas is likely to be disciplined for his outburst, rightly so. Some reports have speculated that he might be fired.

“We will take appropriate disciplinary action,” CSS general manager Mark Fuhrman says.

The network will replay the game Wednesday, but will omit Thomas’ wrong-headed tirade.

Miami and Florida International are 9 miles apart in Miami-Dade County. One commentator called the game a contest between Miami and “Miami Wannabees.” It was the first meeting between the two programs; the Hurricanes won 35-0.

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