Memorable Christmas Presents – Tudor Electric Football

Madden NFL is one of the most popular electronic football games debuted in 1988. According to EA Sports, this game “captures the emotion and intensity of the NFL like never before.” The game allows you to control your favorite teams and NFL superstars and lets you “feel what it’s like to play on Sundays. “ You are in control, you can choose the play, you can call an audible, you can pick the angle from which you watch the game, you can zoom in, you can zoom out. Then when the play is over you can watch a reply from a multitude of angles. In other words, it is just too complicated for an old guy like me.

However, I remember back when John Madden was an actual coach if the Oakland Raiders.  During that time the big item on my Christmas wish list was  a “state of the art” (for that time) football game – Tudor Electric Football. This modern marvel allowed you to play football on a metal field.  The game included plastic players that  were placed on the metal field in formations that allegedly looked “like a real football set-up.”  The “football” was a football-shaped piece of felt that retained the football shape for about two plays out of the box and thereafter looked like a piece of pocket lent.

Ideally there were two players.  Once all the players were set in their proper places on offense and defense the game was turned and then the real magic began.  The switch activated a small electric motor causing the field to vibrate which made the players, as described by the Tudor folks, “move around the field just like real football.” That might be true if real football players were all hooked up to jumper cables carrying 1000 kw. The play was over when a player was “tackled” which was defined as any part of his base being touched by any part of a base of any player on the other team.

Each player was attached to a base with little plastic prongs.  The prongs were there to allow you to guide how they moved, or so they said.  In reality mist players tended to just make odd little circles,  The play continued until the circle of the offensive player with the ball intersected with a circle of one of the defensive players. So, a great deal of time would be taken between each play as I would set-up all my players just the way I needed them for a great play – then as soon as I hit the switch, I would watch them all start jumping around in circles and falling over on their sides.

We would play this for awhile trying to get the game to have some abstract resemblance to “real football.” Then,as now, I would determine this high tech stuff was just too complicated for me.  The result would be something that just is totally shocking today.We would grab a real football shaped football and go to some real grass that was really outside with other real kids where we would try to “move around just like real football” and actually play football.


© 2019


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