2020 had to end somehow – why not a big fight at the end of the Armed Forces Bowl between Mississippi State and Tulsa?
Tensions were already high before the game on Thursday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas when a pre-game argument broke out. Then a large hit on a late onside kick attempt added fuel to the fire. By the time the final whistle sounded, a violent brawl had broken out on the sidelines, and Mississippi's 28:26 victory was quickly forgotten.
Here's a look at the fighting that took place. Social media reports suggest it took a few minutes for everything to resolve.
Here's another view that takes the action a little further than the first video.
MORE: Predictions for College Football Playoffs
When the cameras focused on the teams along the sidelines, it wasn't clear what had brought them close. At the end of the shot, Aaron Brule (No. 3) from the US state of Mississippi can be seen striking a blow that causes Tulsa's Tieneal Martin (No. 7) to reload a few shots back at him. From there it is difficult to see the action as punches are thrown and players are pushed up and down the sidelines.
A third angle shows another Mississippi state player joining the fight despite appearing to be inactive for the game.
There was also this:
It is not obvious what would produce such bad blood on a larger scale between these schools as they have no built-in rivalry whatsoever. According to Tulsa Athletics, this was the first time they met in a soccer game.
Whatever the reason, the sparks seemed to fly before the game. It's not uncommon for soccer teams to band together like this before a game, but apparently Thursday afternoon would be different.
If one has emerged from the fighting, it's unlikely that Tulsa will soon be planning Mississippi State in football or vice versa. It's probably safer that way.