Sometimes fandom can get out of hand. Displays of one’s allegiance to a sports team can come in direct conflict with others and, on rare occasions, it can turn violent.
There have been numerous incidents in and around stadiums where fans of opposing teams clash, but a story this week out of rural Wisconsin has taken the border battle rivalry to new extremes.
A 36-year-old resident of Stoughton, Wis., a town with a population of 13,000, attempted to save an inflatable Minnesota Vikings display from being cut up and ended up being stabbed seven times by the assailant, according to Channel 3 out of Madison, Wis.
Dave Moschel was settling in Sunday evening to watch the Green Bay Packers play the New York Giants when he noticed a 21-year old man attempting to vandalize his 10-foot inflatable Viking in his front yard.
The assailant was armed with a box cutter and, when Moschel confronted him, he turned the box cutter on Moschel, stabbing him seven times in the head and face. Moschel was taken to a hospital, where he received numerous stitches to his forehead and under his left eye.
Moschel had significant lacerations from the incident and the alleged assailant, Jacob Justice, was arrested on charges of suspicion of reckless endangerment and criminal damage to property.
As bizarre and dangerous as the story was, it turns out it could have been much more serious and potentially lethal.
Moschel has a permit to conceal and carry and a handgun, a right he takes very seriously. But, because he was at home at the time, he didn’t have his handgun holstered and went out to accost Justice unarmed.
He told Channel 3 News out of Madison that had he been armed at the time, the situation could have easily escalated and had a much different outcome.
“Luckily, I didn’t have my concealed carry (gun) on me at the time,” Moschel said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time I leave the house, I never leave without it. And this is the one time I did. I’m kind of glad I did, because he would have been dead and I would have had to live with that.”
There are several aspects of fan allegiance that bring out the best and worst of people. The rivalry between the Vikings and Packers creates some unfortunate consequences on their respective fan bases, but it should be viewed as good news that nobody was killed – which seemed like a possibility given the circumstances.
- It took for them to be the last unbeaten team, but the Vikings have finally reached No. 1 on the Associated Press power rankings.
- The Vikings also moved to No. 1 on ESPN’s power rankings.
- The Washington Post does its own power rankings, but it has the Vikings remaining at No. 2. Denver dropped out of the No. 1 spot and New England checker-jumped the Vikings due to the return of Tom Brady and his win over Cleveland.