Imagine you hold 300,000 volts in your hand. What would you do?
Instantly fry a thousand eggs? Short-circuit Seattle? Zap the guy standing next to you?
If you chose option “C” (and I sincerely hope you didn’t), then you should contact a man named Eric Prum. He helped found a “sport” called Ultimate Tazer Ball, where, yes, you try to prevent the other team from scoring by tazing its players.
The game appears to be Hertzian handball — part sport, part police academy. Played in an arena akin to a hockey rink, attackers try to force a beach ball painted like a soccer ball into a goal. On defense, you could try some organizational strategy to contain a shifty winger. Or you could run straight up to him and poke him with a high-voltage cow prod.
UTB’s rules sanction this. The field even has designated “shock zones” around each goal. Games consist of three seven-minute periods. Teams field three “athletes”.
The game also has referees. Not happy with a call? You know what to do.
Is this what we’ve come to? Is cocaine so passe that now we need modern gladiators to entertain ourselves? Here I was thinking UFC constituted contemporary bread and circus.
The current bloodlust began, I suppose, with the creation of the XFL in 2001. Then things escalated to Zimmer v. Pedro in 2003. Not content with the aging downing the aged, America clamored for a more youthful, viral battle. Heeding the call, Kimbo Slice rose and fell, a faster flash in the pan than, say, 300,000 volts. Back to the concussed NFL America returned.
So I thought James Harrison was the end of the road. And then Mr. Prum tottered along.
He helped found a league with four teams including the Philadelphia Killawatts. (To be fair, the stun guns deliver far less than the amperage required to kill someone. But that really is too good a pun to pass up.)
In an effort to market the game internationally, he placed a franchise in Toronto. This seems like a good idea —Maple Leafs sweater not keeping you warm on a frigid February morning? Three hundred thousand volts will leave you with smoke pouring from both ears — except for the fact that the team can never host a home game, let alone practice. Stun guns are considered weapons in Canada. Oops.
To avoid such trivialities as felonies, the league is taking its show to Bangkok. Maybe hardcore fans will see some real action there.
“There’s no risk of a heart attack or someone’s brain exploding,” Prum assured the Toronto National Post.
Well, shucks. You had almost piqued Caligula’s interest. (Incidentally, run 300,000 volts through that man’s chest and he just might come back to give you some interesting ideas about how to make the game a little more shocking.)
Of course, the game is not for the faint of heart — especially not the faint of heart.
“It hurts man, it doesn’t feel good,” said Killawatts star Jason Bornstein, who UTB’s website hails as one of the top five players in the league (high praise considering the league at this point consists of 12 athletes). “That’s why the cops use them.”
So let’s go back to that choice. Personally, I’d take the eggs. But it’s up to you. You hold the power in your hand. Literally. Just don’t taze me, bro.