Monday, June 22, 2015

I’m not old enough to land deep within the “boomer” parameters, but close enough to catch the tail end of some of the childhood remembrances. Like many pre-teen boys, I was a sports fanatic. Football, basketball, and baseball. When it was too dark or cold or rainy to go outside to play the sport of the season, I would turn to sports board games. There were a few that were popular at the time and, at my pleading, my parents were good enough to buy them for me. Video games like Madden Football didn’t exist in those days. Television was for watching TV, the phone was for phone calls, and there were no household computers around. Imagination required. All of these games are designed for two people to play as opponents, but on the occasions when a friend either wasn’t available or was unwelcomed by my parents (odd hours, school night, etc…), I’d play the games by myself.
I’ve included YouTube links and photos because it’s difficult to describe these games with words. I tried my best to do so anyway.

When I saw the advertisement for this game I had to have it. It appeared to be very similar to Tudor Electric Football but implemented the one thing that was missing from Tudor’s game. This game was TACKLE football. It is in fact, tackle; but after that, the game was pretty boring. It comes with a rather large plastic sheet with a football field printed on it and 22 generically colored plastic football players – 11 red guys and 11 yellow guys – in various football poses designed to represent a position. Five of the players on each side were blockers. They didn’t actually block, though. They had three little holes on their bottom bases that fit on a plastic grid full of pegs on each side which was to be placed at the line of scrimmage. The linemen were simply locked onto the grid via the holes on both sides of the ball. The reason there were three holes was so two of the offensive lineman could be adjusted far enough apart to create a running lane for the running back. And that was all you could do with the linemen. They didn’t move, even when the play started. In fact only three of the players ever moved. The running back was mounted on a motorized apparatus that had to be wound up. The defense had two “blitzers” that were mounted on skates. A play consisted of turning on the motorized running back with the hard Styrofoam football tucked in his arm, and aiming him towards the running lane while the defensive blitzers were shoved as hard as possible towards the running back. Crash!! Sometimes the runner would break the tackle, other times not. All of the other players just stood there, which on defense served at least some purpose because they could get in the way of the running back. But aside from the running back, the rest of the offensive players were worthless. If you wanted to pass, the game came with one extra-large player who served as both the QB and the kicker for both teams. He had a hand that the football could be placed in on an arm that was pointing straight over his head. The arm could be cocked back and let loose to fling the football towards the motorized back who was streaking downfield. The QB threw ok, but I don’t remember attempting too many passes. In fact, I don’t remember playing the game much at all. There just wasn’t much to it with only three moving pieces that could only go straight ahead. Even the players’ generic colors were boring. I ended up painting them the colors of NFL teams with leftover paint I used on my Aurora monster models.
The only thing that was cool about this game was the skills of the QB/Kicker. The dude could kick a field goal from about 60 yards out. Maybe further. The ball was to be mounted in front of his kicking foot which was spring loaded. Just pull his leg back and let loose. As I said, the field was rather large so most of the time I spent on this game was lining up the kicker at various angles and distances and sending field goals toward a pretty cool set of goal posts. One of the players was designed with arms raised to block kicks so I’d stack him on top of other players in order to make a blocked kick possible.

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