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An Ode to Electric Football

For all photos, you can click to enlarge

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry by Dennis Check, who’s been dong a bit of reminiscing about his favorite childhood football game. ”” PL]

By Dennis Check

A recent visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton with my kids brought back memories of two of my childhood obsessions: the Minnesota Vikings and electric football. Seeing the busts and memorabilia from the dozen or so Vikes in the Hall reminded me of the several Christmas mornings that brought electric football from Tudor.

Accumulating more teams than the usual Super Bowl teams that came with the game was a big deal. After we pored over the Tudor catalog, and made the big decision over “home” vs. “away” colors, the arrival of a new team in the mail was always a time of high excitement. The paint jobs on the product were sometimes a little sketchy, though, and the worst was when you ordered a team that had white pants or shirts””in most cases you got the bare plastic white (or in the case of a team like the Steelers, plastic yellow), not white paint. Unacceptable.

One of the neighborhood kids named Pat Reedy took matters into his own 12-year-old hands by custom-painting many teams for his buddies, adding accurate colors, proper stripes, and painted numbers. Incredibly, he also painted players’ names on their backs (keep in mind that the backs in question were about a quarter-inch wide), and corrected the player’s race depending on whom he was representing:

I have to think one of Pat’s crowning achievements was my ’73 Vikes offense, which included Mick Tinglehoff at center. I remember Pat asking me if painting “T’hoff” would be acceptable, given the length of the name and his tiny canvas. But even as he asked the question, he knew the answer:

This particular Vikes offense featured two future Hall of Famers — Ron Yary and Fran Tarkenton — but I remember just as vividly Chuck Foreman and Dave Osborn at running back, Stu Voigt at tight end, Grady Alderman, John Gilliam, Milt Sunde, and on and on”¦all immortalized in plastic. I rarely remember where I leave my car keys, but I can still recite each starter on both sides of the ball from this team:

Amongst our group, striving for realism went beyond improving the unis. We rejected the awkward white plastic QB/kicker, instead using hand-thrown passes and, later, drinking straws, propelling the little felt footballs blowgun-style. Many a game was played on a a field covered in spray-can faux snow (especially when the Vikes played), which added the benefit of being able to “track” an especially good play. We even experimented with home-made fields (of the proper scale), with vibration provided by HO-scale slot cars with squared-off tires.

Good times. Without sounding like “old-guy,” I have to think that was the video game of the day. Certainly less sophisticated than Madden, but still a lot of fun. I still have my last board, with an awesome cardboard stadium backdrop featuring some vintage helmet designs, because I can’t bring myself to sell it:

I don’t know what happened to Pat and the rest of the gang, but I became an architect partly due to my fascination with models, miniatures, and good old ingenuity fired by stuff like this.

Anybody wanna play? I’ve got the (home) Vikes.


Paul here. Good stuff, Dennis — thanks.

Shortly after sending me that entry, Dennis sent this follow-up note:

When I first wrote to you, it inspired me to do a little research on electric football. I learned that there’s a recently published book called The Unforgettable Buzz: The History of Electric Football and Tudor Games, which my wife bought me for Christmas. Although 600-some pages on electric football might seem like a seriously “niche” read, it turned out to be a fascinating book, especially for someone who grew up with the game.

The book very effectively weaves together the story of the Tudor Metal Products Company, their competitors, the rise of professional football and subsequent AFL/NFL merger, the emerging medium of television, toy manufacturing and retailing in general, historic events, and how the orbits of all of these things interrelated.

Also included is some great narrative about stuff only Uni Watch readers could love, such as the relative merits of the paint jobs on Hong Kong-produced players vs. Haitian White Shoe players and the like. Great stuff.

That book sounds tremendous. Looks like it was published over the summer — how were we all unaware of it?

+ + + + +

A little experiment: Today is Tuesday, so normally you’d be seeing Collector’s Corner here, followed by the Ticker. But today we’re going to try something different: The Ticker will be published a few hours after this main entry (it’s now up), and Collector’s Corner a few hours after that (it’s now up).

Are we doing this to increase pageviews? Yeah, that’s part of it. But we’re also trying to keep the site feeling more dynamic for more of the day. As it stands now, we get a lot of traffic and comments in the morning and early afternoon (Eastern time) and very little after that. I want to see what it’s like to be posting content at a time other than first thing in the morning.

I know some of you won’t like this, and I’m not sure I like it myself. (To put it in perspective, when we changed the Ticker to the sport-by-sport format, I described that as an experiment too, but I was much more sold on that change, right from the beginning, than I am on this one.) But we’re going to try it today. Feedback welcome.

See you in a few hours with the Ticker (today’s installment of which was written by intern Garrett McGrath) and a few hours after that with Collector’s Corner. ”” Paul

Comments (110)

    Wow, cool piece on Electric Football. The little blurb about Mick Tinglehoff brought back memories. I was assigned to put together a board to tally results of the ’68 presidential election. “NIXON” was no problem but, because of the heavy font I used, I had to abbreviate the Dem to “HUMP”. Needless to say, the teacher was not amused.

    The teacher should have praised you for your perspicacious reading of the election! It was a Tuesday, and very much not Hump Day. (However, you can read the trends in much of the state polling that’s available as pointing to Hump closing the gap, such that if the election had been held after that week’s hump day, he would have had a fighting chance of beating Nixon after all. Poor Hubert.)

    I think making the page more dynamic as the day progresses is a fantastic idea. It allows the addition of content which might not have made it in for a day. If you get something small at 10 or 11 am, you can post it then as opposed to waiting until the next morning. You make the choice on the things to hold back or get out midday. Flexibility generally improves things.

    I am not a fan of the change.

    I prefer to check the page once a day and not have to check back later in the day.

    Will look now but is there an analytics page for us to look at?

    I prefer to check the page once a day and not have to check back later in the day.

    And you can still do that. You can check in every day during the afternoon and catch up on everything from that day. Or you can check in during the morning and catch up on anything you missed from the day before.

    “Well, posting stuff later in the day means I probably won’t be here to comment on it, so it’s got that going for it.”

    Aha! I knew there was conspiracy behind this!

    When I was at my previous job and could check in throughout the day, I would have loved the staggered posting. At the new gig where it’s less practical to look in after 8 am Mountain, it’s not as appealing to me.

    “When I was at my previous job and could check in throughout the day, I would have loved the staggered posting. At the new gig where it’s less practical to look in after 8 am Mountain, it’s not as appealing to me.”

    Ditto that for me, Gregg. I try to read through the day’s full entry before 8 AM, then maybe circle back a couple times later on to check the comments. Reading and responding to comments takes just a few minutes. Having an entire new section of content to read would take quite a bit more time, which becomes increasingly impractical as my workday progresses.

    Just to add to yesterday’s color vs color match-up for the SB; in case of heavy snow, is it possible that Seattle asks to wear the home unis?

    No joke: I think the neon green trim could be a real plus for them in the snow. Although Denver’s orange will probably have a similar effect.

    I was thinking about that – blaze orange against the snow would look pretty good, and if there is a uniform advantage to be found in any of the combos, that would seem to be it.

    I check out the site (and leave dumb comments) throughout the day, so the change shoudl not effect my readership too much. Could be an interesting change.

    I for one am against the change, 1) it has become part of my morning routine 2) the morning is only time I have to check the site during the day and now won’t be able to get my fix until this evening 3) change is scary

    Count me among the others looking down their noses a bit at the timing. UniWatch, for me at least, kind of fills a role that the morning paper had abandoned in that I feel like it’s a nice, comprehensive update to start my day, reviewing the events of the day before.

    After the morning, the day is about work, and if I read it a day late, I feel like I’m getting old news.

    Understand what you’re trying to do, but if I had a vote, it would be to keep it as it was.

    Agree 100% with the ‘morning paper’ feel.

    Right now I have my bagel, a cup of tea and 1/2 a Uni Watch entry. It doesn’t pass the good or stupid test. If you have the content ready, post it. If you don’t (like a ESPN link) then it should be made available later in the day.

    I hate when people move my cheese… ;) I wonder how many people get that.

    As for the change – it means multiple sets of comments to look through. While admittedly I don’t always look through the comments due to how busy my day is. While that could be a benefit of looking through fewer comments more related to what I wanted to look at – I fear I may miss something I wanted to see if people just happen to comment to one post about another post.

    “I hate when people move my cheese… ;) I wonder how many people get that.”


    Dr. Johnson, I presume?

    I had the same set/field/stadium as shown in the lede photo! First down “chains” and all. As I recall the number decals they provided did not stick very well, i.e. at all!!

    I had the ‘Edskins and the Cowboys that came with my Tudor game. Was that just a coincidence since we were living in the DC area? Or did they purposefully include teams regionally??

    Didn’t have a Broncos option in Denver at retail when I was that age, had to mail in separately. I remember seeing Cowboys, Chiefs, Colts, Pack, Vikes. One odd kid had the Browns. I had the SB I matchup, which seemed to be the most common.

    There may have been others too, but those were the ones I remember.

    i don’t recall the box being marked with the teams included or anything, but it may have been and my folks bought it because of teh teams.


    Wow.. I didn’t know that they were sold in stores (I think my parents bought mine at Montgomery Ward or J.C. Penny)other than the Super Bowl matchup… I remember mine had Cowboys and Steelers and the kid down the street’s was two years older — he had Vikings and Raiders.

    I do seem to remember there was a catalog that came with it, you could order any team set in color or white… and I seem to remember that it was poring over that catalog that – at the age of seven or so – I realized that the Dolphins and Cowboys at the time were the two teams that were the anomaly in the league that they wore white at home, and as a result the seldom seem Dolphins’ Aqua and the Cowboys’ Blue sets were the two teams I wanted to order.

    I think I rarely actually played the game… the whole foam football thing was impossible to complete a forward pass with, and there would always be defensive linemen running in circles… after a little while the gameplay seemed pointless.

    But that wasn’t the point, it was neat to just line the players up and play with them like playing with G.I. Joe soldiers or something. I think I wanted to get sets of all of the teams (of course, home and away).. because I wanted to stage famous plays (set up the 49ers and Cowboys and do Dwight Clark’s catch, etc.) My parents never did get me any additional teams, though. I had to make do with just the Steelers and Cowboys.

    At least your version came with real teams. When I got mine as a kid in the mid-80s it was just a solid red team and a solid white team. I had to have my parents order a few real teams (Raiders, Broncos, 49ers, Packers), and then painted the blanks myself (Cowboys, Chiefs). Of course, then I got an NES and Tecmo Super Bowl and didn’t really touch the electric football again.

    Will the Ticker and Collector’s Corner be posted as new entrys? Or will this current entry just be revised?

    What I mean is, will there be 3 separate posts today, each with their own comments section, or will all 3 installments be posted right here, with only 1 comment section?

    Ooh, good question. I wouldn’t like 3 separate entries with 3 separate comment sections. THAT would be work.

    I read every day but rarely comment. My primary uni interest is college football, which is usually only found in the ticker. Uniwatch is part of my first thing in the morning internet routine. If this “experiment” continues, I’ll probably stop visiting this site entirely because I’m not going to check back throughout the day. You may increase page views by doing this, but you’ll lose at least one reader, for whatever that’s worth.

    The ‘Lectric Football Game was too noisy for my “always on her last nerve” mother… there were six of us so there was probably some truth to that.

    I was given this game anyone remember it? If so, I am still waiting to figger out how to play it, the good news was that the QB/Kicker was actually pretty strong of leg and spent many hours defeating all comers in field goal kicking on the fake plastic field.


    I was just thinking the same thing. Otherwise the “headlines” could be old news by the time they are read.

    We wouldn’t want U-W to be the next “morning paper” that doesn’t get read.

    I don’t know what to think of the change just yet, but my usual reading habits are to skip the content/features immediately and then read the ticker first for my “uni-news.” If I liked the content as I scrolled quickly through it, then I go back and read that later. Long story short, the ticker coming in early morning would be great followed by content throughout the day that I can read on the pot.

    Exactly the perspective I was going to go with. The ticker is the roast beef. If the bread is there, great, but please, please don’t serve me bread, lettuce, and tomato now, and ask me to wait a couple hours before I get my meat. That’s just torture.

    tl;dr: We wants our meat!

    To which I agree. A further benefit: since each entry will be its own piece, with the newest stacking on top of the page, a ticker-first schedule will, over the course of the day, anchor the ticker to the bottom of that day’s content, with later features above, preserving something of the current format.

    I think the ticker is maybe the mayo… The main meat would be the daily lede. Some days it’s roast beef, some days sliced turkey, and some days it’s pastrami, and I hate pastrami.

    …and of course that would mean the UWFFL is the little jalapenos or whatever that is only found on the weekends, and most people take them off and throw away anyway.

    And here I thought more people would read the experiment as “No Skins Watch Till Afternoon” and rejoice. Personally, I don’t like the change, but then again I don’t like any change ever, until I get used to it, and then it becomes the baseline that I don’t want changed. For example, I’ve been going to this one chili joint for 22 years now, and I’ve only ever ordered the one thing, because it was delicious the first time I was there and why take a risk when you’ve already found something you love?

    But as both a reader and someone with a bit of editorial experience, I prefer the new time-shifting experiment to the previous ticker categorization experiment, which I still haven’t come to like. One bit of advice based on experience: When posting a regular feature, it needs to come at or very near a predictable time every day. New feature content can be posted whenever, but recurring features should recur predictably. I’d be inclined to post the ticker first in the day, followed by feature content a little later in the morning and early afternoon.

    For people complaining that they won’t see the ticker in the morning when they read UW, there’s a easy solution. Just wait until the ticker is up, then check UW.

    Any Mid-Atlantic UW readers up for a Tudor electric football get-together – one-off party, tournament, regular league, whatever?

    I just read that there was another bombing in Beirut earlier today. After seeing that it would seem a bit trivial for me to complain about having to check back to read the Uni Watch ticker.

    My only comment is that i hope you tweet out when the page is updated. I do not mind visiting multiple times, but would quickly get annoyed if i had to guess qhen the updates hit and keep coming back to same content.

    I will not be updating this page. Rather, the Ticker will be its own post, Collector’s Corner will be its own post, etc. All will be tweeted.

    I’m just wondering…. what difference does the number of pageviews make if it’s still the same people? Right now, I read the main entry in the morning, then I refresh the comment section multiple times for replies. Now I’m going to have to reload the main page a few times, or read everything the next morning. How exactly does that help anything?

    I presume that each page contains its own count. So if Paul posts everything at once, my five visits here count as one unique visitor and five hits. If he posts the same content over three separate entries, and I divide the same clicks amongst them, then it’s still five hits for the site as a whole but three unique visitors (one for each page). Is that it?

    People haven’t even experienced the change and the sky is already falling in their parts. Amazing.

    I’m too undisciplined to have a routine, so I read what I read whenever I remember to get over to Uni Watch. That’s usually first thing in the morning, although one less site to visit in the morning might get me moving out of the house faster.

    Not a fan of the experimental format at all. I sometimes come back a few times a day in order to read/write comments. Reading more entries as well mucks up the whole process. It’ll shift the readers focus all over the place.

    I’d prefer the one a day format posted in the morning but that’s probably because in used to a fresh version being up for me to view first thing in the morning. I’ll likely just shift to reading at the end of the day if the change sticks.

    I absolutely love the chalky, textured-looking field lines of Dennis’ old Tudor field. And the yard numbers! Score another win for midcentury product design vs contemporary over-slickness.

    re: electric football….

    Every play it seems there was at least one guy that would get stuck “blocking” the side wall. we used to say he was talking to his girlfriend in the crowd!

    Also, sometimes it was just good fun to turn up that mo-fo all the way and see who the last man standing was!!

    So the new and next generation can find love for the old electronc football, they still make them! I have not bought one yet as I don’t like the ugly, generic-looking plastic figures, but there are companies out there keeping the buzz alive.

    Not going to lie, my initial reaction is “Noooooo!” because, like many have voiced, I’ve gotten accustomed to seeing the ticker in the morning. Some points others have made are my biggest concerns as well, separate entries may mess up the comment dialogue, I’ll be in withdrawal without my morning ticker, and personally, as a non-Twitter-er, I won’t know when things are posted throughout the day.

    Change really is uncomfortable, Paul!

    While I always enjoyed the visual appeal of Electronic Football, I found the game itself to be too random…virtually unplayable. Table Hockey on the other hand totally rocked, especially the earlier versions with metal players! As a kid, I found one at a tag sale that was just like this one (wish I still had it): link

    I had a table hockey game as a kid too. Saw it for sale really cheap but my parents wouldn’t get it. A week later, while looking for something in a closet, I saw it and knew it was for Christmas. Unfortunately, this happened in February, and I couldn’t say a word or my parents would take it back–they didn’t mess around. Longest ten months of my life, but when I finally got it, it was so worth it.

    At the recent US Lacrosse Convention, many vendors had great displays. One owf which was Zima Gear, which does helmet decals.

    Check out this fun mockup of the old Bucco Bruce:

    I’m guessing the vast majority of the readership is from North America however I am from the UK therefore already have to wait until early afternoon for any new Uni Watch content. My initial view is that spreading updates throughout the day won’t work for me as my window of opportunity to check in is made even smaller. However I’m not one for knee-jerk reactions so will gladly give it a go for a bit.

    i once, years ago, did a display of electric football players that i painted in home and away uniforms. i am inspired to do it again, but that means buying a whole bunch of unpainted figurines from Tudor since i would have to include alternates and

    I am generally in the one-a-day camp when it comes to Uni Watch, only occasionally checking the comments if there is an item of particular interest. I imagine that I can read back an entry or two each morning, and just be a half day behind the content.

    Personally I’m a fan of breaking up the daily posts – allows me to more easily read the parts that are most interesting to me, and gives me an excuse to check uni watch throughout the day.

    Count me in the camp of the once-a-day crowd. By the time I get done my day, I won’t be as likely to read UW. Whereas I make it a point to check it at work before lunch. Please don’t mess with a good thing. Does the timing of your posts matter enough to make this kind of change? Isn’t it more important that you get posts at all, whenever they occur? Just my 2¢.

    I really don’t understand why everyone hates the Seahawks because of the green. I mean, their uniform has a ton of reasons to hate it – the number font, the gray things on the shoulders, the niketriangle on the sleeve, the non-standard stripes, the textured thing on the helmet you can’t see from a distance, the monoblue…

    But what’s so terrible about a bright color? How dare they stand out a little, right?

    I agree with The. But the green kind of stands as a symbol of the whole recent trend in *F*S uniform design, where * seems most often to be either black, gray, or a neon color that’s not otherwise part of a team’s identity but, gosh, just happens to be the featured accent color of the uni supplier’s non-league-branded consumer products. Amazing coincidence! Anyway, it’s the one instance in the NFL that sorta kinda feels like an example of that benighted (mostly collegiate) trend.

    Now, it’s not really an example, since the Seahawks actually made the neon green a team color. But it looks like an example of the phenomenon, which is why I suppose it rubs many folks the wrong way. (Rubbed me the wrong way at first, too, until I thought about it a bit.)

    My personal preference is once a day

    But I think the most compelling argument above is for readers in Europe: if you roll out content here “Dr Pepper” style at 8, 12, and 3 that’s hitting Europe 5-6 hours later in the day (depending on the exact location of the reader and time zone difference). New content for them conceivably hits around 9 at night. Do you have any idea what your European readership numbers are, Paul?

    Count me in with the “morning paper” crowd. If you must split the posts, the ticker should be first since that is the true “news” section of the post. Otherwise reading it late will feel like reading old news.

    Trying to be constructive, I opened the main page before you added the ticker and read through the lede. By the time I clicked the comments, you had added the comment that the ticker was up.

    Even though I knew you have said three separate entries, my initial reaction was to refresh the page and scroll up to browse the ticker. Then I realized had to go back out to the main page. It’s not that it’s a lot of effort to do, but it didn’t feel natural for this site. Maybe linking to today’s ticker in comments would have helped, but I’m not sure.

    It’s your project, Paul, and you’re obviously free to do what you feel will work best…but that’s my feedback.

    I just don’t have the opportunity to get cozy and fill my head with the rich content over the course of a day.

    I get a twenty minute window, before work, in which to relax and enjoy the site and, sometimes, add a comment.

    Night is usually reserved for other things.

    Thank you for the piece on Electric Football. This weekend, Electric Football enthusiasts will gather at the Embassy Suites hotel at the Philadelphia airport to play, watch and fellowship with other aficionados including the authors of “The Incredible Buzz.” The event is being hosted by the new owner of Tudor Games. Hope many of you near the Philly/NJ area stop by. Ray F

    So between Tudor and APBA, is Pennsylvania like ground zero for awesome vintage sports gaming?

    My .02 regarding the tweak to the site today… the time I looked at the site today, all I saw was the ticker stuff with only 3 comments, so it took a bit to figure out there was a link with the main lede.

    Loved the tweak to group ticker stuff by theme/subject, but not a fan of this one. If I wasn’t such a regular reader, I would have just assumed there was no main story and missed out on alot of content, not to mention the comments.

    Paul – didn’t know you were into electric football. I got The Unforgettable Buzz on day 1 when it was published. Great BIG book of memories. Follow them on Facebook as they posts old ads almost on a daily basis. As mentioned above, a convention is coming up in the next few weeks.

    I know it’s your decision Paul but can you possibly put a vote up to see what everyone thinks about the new format? I’d say 80% or more aren’t fans….

    Why the push to increase pageviews, Paul? I’m curious as to why that is the goal.

    Normally, that has to do with some sort of advertising revenue. I’m not saying that’s your situation, but why the focus on pageviews rather than unique readers?

    I like the new format, and I also think it’s not the best thing for a website to become the equivalent of the “morning newspaper.” It’s great to have the returning pageviews one day to the next, but if it’s only once a day, that’s not ideal.

    Fond memories of the Electric Football. Many hours were spent growing up playing with the one I got for Christmas one year way too long ago to remember. Mine had the Raiders and Redskins but I always wanted to order all of the teams and set up regular season games and playoffs & everything else.
    Ironically I just had a dream the other night that I found another game but I was horrified because the only options available were the home Colts vs road Broncos or the home Panthers vs road Colts. Since I HATE all white on the road and both options had that I wanted to buy both games and keep the home Colts and Panthers to play color vs color because, yes, I hate white on the road that much.

    Anyone see the current cover story on ESPN / TMQ talking about the “Gods smiling down” on the #1 seed vs #1 seed matchup… uses electric football characters in the image. I guess they read this article this morning.

    Image was only available in Flash so I can’t link to it.

    Just went to the main ESPN site and there it was. Love the colors they chose. Hope those are the colors for the game – c’mon NFL, break your rules.

    I know its not my site and its totally your decision Paul, but I’ll throw in a quick vote for not digging the new format of split entries.

    But whatever, I’m still a fan and will still visit every day.

    Keep up the great work!

    Matters not to me when the posts are made on the site, this is a once a day read for me now and will continue to be. The only comments I read are found by keyword search on a topic. By early evening, what is here when I arrive is what I get.

    However, on content, the way it is now, if the headline doesn’t grab me, I’m skipping the entire section. Before today, I had to scan a lot more of the content to be sure I didn’t miss something I wanted. This makes it easier to skip much of the content and read just the part that engages my interest the most often, however large or small a portion that turns out to be. I like the Ticker in sections for the same reason, but I doubt the page read counters are going to get from me what they may think they are paying for. I miss A LOT more ads this new way. Yea for me!

    It seems I’m alone in the ‘don’t give a shit’ department but I get a lot of opportunities to read throughout the day and would be happy to read a day behind (indeed sometimes I already do) to get the full fix. I’m happy either way I’m reading the site I love!

    My opinion of the change, don’t really care for the change I check in in the afternoon or evening here on the west coast. Same content no problem but I also like to read through the comments, rarely have one of my own, but now with three different comment sections it becomes a bit awkward to read one, check comments, page back, read another, check comments, page back, well you get it. Love the site, enjoy most of the comments, and will be checking in daily whatever you decide.

    As someone who reads the site at 11 p.m. or 4 a.m. Pacific depending on work and sleep cycles, I will say that it’s of far more utility to me in one swing.

    It’s also better to have one post if you’re looking to make a one-stop shop in the comments. I don’t have the time to check back in three or four times most days, so I’m stuck with adding one thing once. Sometimes.

    OK, it’s the end of the day (actually the next morning) and i can officially say I do not like the format change. I didn’t think I’d mind it but I do. I REALLY dislike the separation of comment sections–especially when each is isolated (not visible) when another is open. I have to re-open UW just to get to the sections again, and then re-open that section’s comments. It’s a pain in the neck and clumsy to say the least.

    My opinion. Others may love it. not me.

    Great timing on the electric football story. I just dug mine of of the basement to give to my 10-year-old.

    For some reason, living in Minneapolis, I got the AFC version with the Raiders (dark) and Jets (white) teams. I broke the bank and ordered myself a set of Vikings players in their purple jerseys, but for some unknown reason never invested an additional $1.75 to get the Bears or Packers to oppose them. This always left me with a weird Vikings vs. Jets pairing, which always felt wrong then and still does today when I opened the box for the first time in a few decades.

    Yes, I could have recreated the later Raiders vs. Vikings Super Bowl, but there was no way I was breaking protocol and having dark vs. dark game. As a pre-teen UniWatcher that was just NOT happening.

    My game is old enough that the pro goalpost, yellow with the single center support, had the hole in the field placed for the goal line, not the back of the end zone. You can see my father’s handiwork where he drilled new holes to move them back when the rules were changed shortly afterwards.

    My set also came with the white, H shaped “college” goal posts with holes at both the front and back of the end zone.

    I was never a fan of the Quarterbacks passing abilities and their kicking was even worse. So, I devised a system of multiple attempts based on distance for the passing – the farther your pass the more tries you got to make a completion – and let the “kickers” throw the ball through the uprights for field goal attempts, especially in light of one of my kickers being defective as a kicker at all, and the other not able to get any altitude on his dribbling squibs down the field…

    My game also came with a stadium/scoreboard, which has all the stability of a house of cards in a tornado. I never did get it to stand up for my son to demonstrate it’s majesty of old.

    As for the ten year old, I think it held his interest for about an hour until it was back to his Madden video game. “It just took too much time to set up the players” was the anticipated response.

    Now why didn’t I ever buy the Bears to go with the Vikings? Was I really not able to scrape up a $1.75?

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