The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 7, 2013

Mike Pound: Football fans go too far with Taser

After I read a story about a man who Tasered his wife as part of a bet on a football game, I had only one question: Which one of them is a member of Congress?

According to an Associated Press story, the couple from Tinley Park, Ill., were in a bar on Monday night watching the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears on TV.

If you know anything about football, you probably know that the Packers and Bears represent one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in all of professional football. I really don’t have an opinion on the Bears-Packers deal, although I once bet against the Packers. It was in 1967, when the Packers played the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl. We were living on the island of Okinawa, and my older brother Pat suggested that I bet him on the outcome of the game, which was going to be on TV the next day. What I didn’t know was that the actual game had already been played. What was going to be on our TV was a recording of the game. Needless to say, I lost the bet.

I’ve had a bit of a grudge against the Packers ever since, but it’s possible that I should be blaming my brother and not the Packers.

Most people who follow sports do so with a certain level of common sense; other people do so with a certain sense of insanity. They dress up in crazy costumes. They paint their faces. They give their kids names like Steeler, Dolphin or Celtic. They get married inside stadiums and have an entire team photo tattooed on their face.

Or, in the case of the couple from Illinois, they make a football bet that involves the use of a Taser.

According to the AP, the husband, who is a Bears fan, and his wife, who is a Packers fan, agreed that the fan of the winning team would get to Taser the fan of the losing team.

I need to stop right here and ask a key question: What sort of crazy football fan (and I think we can agree these people are crazy) marries a fan of the team’s bitter rival? Look, being married is hard enough without bringing all sorts of extra baggage into the arrangement.

The wife later told police that when she agreed to the bet, she never thought her husband would follow through with it. But, after the Bears beat the Packers, follow through with it he did.

Here, by far, is the most important line in the AP story — the line that probably puts the whole incident into perspective: “After the Bears beat the Packers 27-20, (the husband) and his wife, who police say had both been drinking ...”

I don’t know how many stories with unhappy endings begin with the phrase, “Well, we had been drinking ...”

The AP story went on to say that the couple “went outside to an alley next to the bar to smoke cigarettes.” While they were smoking, the husband Tasered his wife twice in the buttocks while she filmed it with her cellphone.

A couple of more questions:

What was the husband doing with a Taser in the first place?

How do you film yourself being Tasered without dropping your cellphone?

Police told the AP that the wife was laughing while her husband Tasered her the first two times, but when he Tasered her a third time on the thigh, “she apparently considered that over the line.”

A fight ensued, and police were called.

Well, now we know what is considered over the line among polite folks these days.

“Bobby Joe, you can Taser me twice, but if you do it a third time, I’m calling the cops.”

The good news is that a certain congressional race in Illinois just got interesting.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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