Seattle Sailors coach Stewart “Popeye” Corrigan is has become notorious around the league for his explosive temper and over-the-top outbursts. Earlier this season, Corrigan was fined and suspended for firing a projectile and directing an ethnic slur at a referee while protesting a call. This time, though, Corrigan went even further, directing his anger – and his fists – at an opposing player.
The fracas occurred during Seattle’s Friday game against the Dakota Rapids. D Marty Trammell was in the lineup for Dakota and he played his typically physical game, which seemed to rub Corrigan and the Sailors the wrong way. The burly defensive got into a couple of fights during the game. In the first period, he faced off with former teammate Trevor Green, who has been a vocal critic of violence in the game. Green later claimed that Trammell had targeted him due to lingering resentment over his comments.
“I mean, the guy outweighs me by 100 pounds,” said Green. “What kind of fair fight is that?”
After several hard checks that weren’t called, much to the dismay of the Seattle bench, Trammell laid a devastating hit on D Joey “Pig Iron” Morris. The Sailors defender bounced up and began shoving Trammell, who dropped the gloves and threw hands. The referees wound up separating the two after a bit, with head linesman Ken Glidden pulling Trammell past the Seattle bench.
As Trammell and Glidden skated past, Corrigan yelled and cursed at Trammell. The Dakota defender broke free of Glidden’s grasp, pointing and shouting back at the Sailors coach. At that point, Corrigan snapped, grabbed Trammell’s jersey, and threw a couple wild haymakers. Trammell threw his hands up in shock, and several Seattle players quickly subdued their coach. Referee Brandon Winters immediately ejected Corrigan from the game.
After the game, Corrigan sounded a defiant note. “Trammell was steamrolling our guys out there, and someone had to stand up and say enough,” the coach said. He then added with a laugh, “I have to say, my boxing form could use a little work. I’ve seen the tape, and it kind of looked like my old bar fighting days, only this time I was sober.”
The league acted swiftly and decisively, suspending Corrigan for 5 games. “There’s no excuse for a coach to take a swing at a player,” said Commissioner Perry Mitchell. “None. We cannot condone this kind of behavior.”
In his first press conference after being suspended, Corrigan was more contrite. “I know that I went over the line,” the coach said. “I’m a passionate guy, and I can get caught up in the moment. I was really upset with Trammell and the fact that we weren’t getting whistles, but I let Angry Stewie take over. I know I’m not helping our team any if I’m not on the bench.”
Assistant coach Mark Morganhurst will coach the Sailors during Corrigan’s suspension.