GARDEN GROVE, CALIFORNIA – Ned Cockburn says he’s always been an obsessed NFL fanatic. A grown man who is crazy about the game, spending what he calls an “unhealthy” amount of time in front of the television watching NFL games, highlights, replays and analysis. Yesterday Ned shot sixteen of his neighbors because he was no longer able to endure the torture of waiting for the Super Bowl to begin.
With six days still left before the opening kick-off of Super Bowl XLVII, Ned instinctively knew he wasn’t going to make it. He called his brother in Evansville, Indiana and asked him to talk about previous Super Bowl stats with him. His brother told him that he was too busy with an intervention with their alcoholic mother Bernice, to participate. In a panic, Ned looked up the number of an old high school buddy that he used to watch football games with, Bob Ryan of Indianapolis. Bob hadn’t heard from Ned for over twenty years. He told Ned that he would love to talk about the big game but he had several “real friends that cared about him” who wanted to talk about the Super Bowl with him.
“I told him in no uncertain terms that I was not interested in his friendship anymore,” Bob Ryan said. “Twenty years? He moves to California and he’s too busy to call for twenty years?” Bob sighed heavily. “Huh-uh, not on my watch buddy.”
When Bob hung up Ned still had six days left before kick-off. He was alone. His wife had left him on Christmas day, he’d been fired from his job at the plant and both of his children had died years before from drug and alcohol problems. He said that when he looked at the wall calender that his heart sank.
Ned told police that he got his rifle from the bedroom closet. He pulled out a box of bullets and loaded up. He said that his hands were shaking, not from what he was about to do, but because he was so tense from waiting for the Super Bowl to start.
“After I loaded the gun I was trembling like my mother does after a month long bender. I walked outside, yelled Lock and Load! and started shooting. Every time I pulled the trigger I thought of my favorite football heroes. It really helped ease the tension I was feeling.”
He recalled his experience.
“A woman got out of her car with groceries and I took aim and said, This is for you Johnny Unitas! and squeezed the trigger. I looked over and saw a kid rolling down the street on a skateboard…This is for you Gayle Sayers! A woman was pushing another woman in a wheel chair… This is for you Payton and Eli Manning! Little Donny Watts was making funny faces in a sandbox…. This is for you Johnny Knox!”
In all, Ned shot sixteen neighbors ranging from five year old Donny Watts to ninety-two year old Billy-Joe Dale. Sixteen victims, fifty-six spent shells. And to the happy surprise of police investigators, nobody was seriously injured.
“We don’t know yet if Ned meant to just graze his victims or if he was so uptight about waiting for the game to start that his aim was off. But we’re very happy to be able to report that all of his victims will live to enjoy happy and fulfilled lives.”
Ned was placed in lock-up in a cell with fifty-two other inmates. Although the cell does have a television that will air the big game on Sunday, guards say Ned will most likely spend the entire four hours being sodomized by gang members, career criminals and jail personnel.