The dozens of hard-core soccer fans in the U.S. are continually mystified by the sport’s lack of acceptance here. So confounded are they by our steadfast refusal to give a damn about The Beautiful Game that they see our indifference as evidence of a deep-seated American moral failing. Five billion people can’t be wrong, right? The problems with soccer for Yanks, though, are fairly obvious. There are too many players running around on too big a field resulting in too little scoring. Then there are the cultural issues: the acceptance of nil-nil outcomes; the clock that counts up; the end of the game that isn’t necessarily the end of the game; the transparently phony injuries. And in the rare instances where someone actually does manage to put ball in net, the histrionic shirt-removing celebrations are embarrassingly over the top. But at long last, someone may have found a way to make soccer more popular here – add more guns . . .
Stun guns, that is. A few guys looking for that next big rush have invented something they call Ultimate Tak Ball that combines a beachball-sized soccer ball and stun guns. Played on an indoor soccer field (read: hockey rink), it looks more like a combination of rugby and Australian rules football. With electric shocks.
As chicagotribune.com reports, the extreme dudes who are into UTB were in Bangkok recentlhy playing an exhibition match and looking to expand the sport’s following.
Each game consists of three periods that last 7 minutes each, with two teams of four players each. Any player in possession of the 61-centimetre (24-inch) ball is open to unlimited shocking by the players on the opposite team.
The game was thought up by friends Leif Kellenberger, Eric Prum and Erik Wunsch, who were trying to come up with the extreme of extreme sports when the idea of stun guns popped up.
There’s even a new UTB league with four teams in LA, Philly, Toronto and San Diego. From their web site, it seems they’re looking to add as many as eight more teams so anyone interested with a spare two or three thousand dollars in their checking account can probably fulfill a lifetime dream of owning a pro sports franchise.
Next up: making curling the next hot thing in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re thinking rubber bullets.