The late game itself wasn't all that compelling, but the postgame really sparked some converstaions all over the place today. In case you missed it, Broncos' LB Byron Hout smacked Ducks' RB LeGarrette Blount on the shoulder after the game and said something to him. Blount, who was held to -5 yards on 8 carries, didn't take to kindly to Hout's words and went all Mickey O'Neil on him and landed a haymaker for the one-punch knockout. Blount then channelled his inner-Ron Artest and tried going after some fans in the stands, but was restrained by coaches and security personnel.
Blount definitely deserves a suspension, at least a one game, probably longer. Some may scoff at a one game suspension for landing a haymaker on an unsuspecting opponent, but let's flash back to 2006, when UM and FIU broke out into a brawl on the field. 31 players were suspended: 13 from UM and 18 from FIU. Of those 31, most received an initial one-game suspension. Then FIU dismissed two of the players from the team and suspended all 16 remaining players indefinitely. UM suspended 12 of its players for one game, and suspended Anthony Reddick indefinitely for using his helmet as a weapon during the brawl. That suspension wound up being four games.
So how long should Blount be suspended for? If it was only the one punch, I would say one game, minimum. But he also tried going after fans after that, so he should get a few games. Also keep in mind that he didn't try to use anything (like a helmet) as a weapon to cause even more damage to Hout, only his fist. So he probably shouldn't be kicked off the team or receive an indefinite suspension. I think a fair sentence for Blount would land him anywhere from three games to maybe half the season. Anything less would be too light, and I think an indefinite suspension would be a bit harsh. Either way, I doubt we will see Oregon launchin a Joey Harrington-esque Heisman campaign for Blount anytime in the near future.
Regardless, there is no place in athletics for what Blount did Thursday night, and trust me, I've been a part of something like that before. When I was in my sophomore year of high school, a brawl broke out after we finished one of our basketball games. It was hectic, and many punches were landed by both sides. It took a while to be broken up. In the end, none of us were suspended because the administration, "didn't see anyone actually land a hit," which was total b.s. Even though the other team started the melee, it was still something that none of my team was proud to have partaken in, nor should it have happened in the setting of a sporting event.
UPDATE: So it was announced Friday afternoon that Blount has been suspended for the season, but will remain with the team. Like I said, I think that's a bit harsh, and as NickJ from Souvenir City pointed out, "if it weren't the first game of the season on National TV and the media hadn't jumped all over it would have been 1 game."