Brawl breaks out at Eskimos practice

A fight broke out at the Edmonton Eskimos practice Wednesday which saw Patrick Kabongo kick...

A fight broke out at the Edmonton Eskimos practice Wednesday which saw Patrick Kabongo kick teammate Walter Curry twice, once hitting him in the groin area. (TOM BRAID/EDMONTON SUN)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

One day after trading away their kicker, the Edmonton Eskimos may have found a surprise replacement.

During a heated altercation between teammates in Wednesday's practice at Commonwealth Stadium, offensive guard Patrick Kabongo attempted to kick defensive tackle Walter Curry in the groin twice.

One of the six-foot-seven, 315-pound O-lineman's massive cleats appeared to connect squarely on the sweet spot of the six-foot-three, 294-pound defender.

But neither combatant was shoveling excuses following the fight.

"It's just part of football, a little aggression came out," Curry said. "We're on a roller-coaster season, but we're just trying to get on the right page.

"Two big guys got heated and let out the anger then we went back to practice."

While, technically, kicking is indeed a part of football, this incident seemed to involve a different kind of foot and ball.

"He kicked me in the thigh. It wasn't the nuts or the groin, but it's almost like when you get in the street fight. Anything goes," Curry said. "It was a thing on the field and we're back teammates now. It was just a little hot second, we got into it like brothers and then you go back to being family."

But who started it?

"I think I did, I'm going to be the man and I'll say it," Curry said. "I think I pushed him after the play or he tried to block and I went and pushed him back harder or something."

Curry said he apologized to Kabongo and the rest of their teammates, although the evidence suggests Kabongo should be the one apologizing.

"Yeah, I know but I guess I was the fire-starter with it so I went and apologized afterwards," said Curry, who was thankful to take the blows in his thigh instead of — well.

"I need those," he smiled.

Kabongo, who is better known as a gentle giant who kick starts community programs rather than his own teammates, was pleading the fifth when asked what happened.

"I can't remember," Kabongo offered. "For me, it's in the past. Selective memory, it happens sometimes. You move on, that's it."

Kabongo was happy to hear Curry said his kicks didn't hit the mark.

"Oh, so I did not. Almost is not, so it's no big deal. You guys are going to make it a big deal though," Kabongo told reporters.

The fight was finally broken up after head coach Richie Hall got involved.

"Those were the heavyweights going at it. I'm a super-flyweight," said Hall, adding he's never witnessed a fight escalate to kicking before. "That's the first time, but when I saw it happen, I saw them tugging and everything, I just kind of stood over here. Then someone hit the ground, I started walking over there.

"I never picked up my pace, I just said, 'By the time I get there, hopefully it's taken care of because they're some big guys.' "

But Hall wasn't wholly unhappy with the attitude of his players.

"I like it because of intensity, but at the same time we've got to be smart," he said. "It kind of defeats the purpose if we have the intensity on a Wednesday in practice but don't have it on a Saturday during the game.

"I like that vigour in them."

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos