Here\’s the story that has all my friends abuzz today:

Pardeeville man cited for forcing son to wear Packers jersey

Portage – A 36-year-old man tied up his young son with tape for an hour after the boy refused to wear a Green Bay Packers jersey during the team\’s game on Saturday, local authorities said.Mathew Kowald, 36, was cited for disorderly conduct in connection with the incident with his 7-year-old son at their home in Pardeeville, Lt. Wayne Smith of the Columbia County Sheriff\’s Department said. Pardeeville is about 30 miles north of Madison.

Kowald was arrested on Monday after the boy\’s mother, Kowald\’s wife, told authorities about the incident. Kowald was taken to the county jail and held until Wednesday, when he pleaded no contest, paid a fine of $186 and was released. Kowald\’s wife filed a restraining order on Wednesday, so Kowald will not be able to have contact with his family, Smith said. Smith said other domestic issues have surfaced, though he wouldn\’t elaborate.

The boy refused to wear the jersey on Saturday, when the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks in a playoff game, Smith said. The father was accused of restraining the boy for an hour with tape and also taped a jersey onto him during that time.

As one of my Viking fans friends put it, \”the difference between \’Packer Nation\’ and \’al-Qaeda\’ appears minimal.\”

Does the blame lie with the father? Of course it does – if he had raised this child correctly, there wouldn\’t have been any need to force the kid to wear the jersey. He would have worn it willingly. But bad parenting probably led this kid to be a Viking fan, as is usually the case.

But now he\’s doing the kid a favor – the dad is offering up a little abuse now, to spare the kid from the lifetime of disappointment and depression he will likely suffer as a Viking fan. That\’s just good parenting.

Kidding aside, you know it\’s Wisconsin when the Sheriff\’s spokesman goes out of his way to point out that there\’s still a chance the kid may have been a Packer fan:

The boy\’s refusal to wear the jersey may have just been rebellion, he said. \”We\’ve been unable to uncover any evidence to suggest that this boy was not a Packers fan,\” Smith said.

Because you KNOW that 95% of Packer fans\’ first reaction to reading the story was to shrug and say \”well, I\’m not condoning taping him up, but… he really should be rooting for the Pack.\”