Jack McCallum's article on Electric Football made me vibrate with laughter. I thought I was the only one who ever enjoyed watching "Mean Joe" Reds and Yellows immobilize their own teammates or run perfect circular patterns. I also feel better knowing that someone else spent halftime searching for that little felt football after springman hurled it into the night.
Glens Falls, N.Y.
Jack McCallum reminded me of some of the stunts I pulled when I played Electric Football. Not only did I keep individual player stats, but I even went so far as to play night games by turning out all the lights and illuminating the field with a desk lamp. My parents thought I had really gone crazy when, to add realism for imaginary Vikings and Bills home games, I sprinkled the field with flour to represent snow.
The neighborhood I lived in had a league of its own, and whenever the playing field had a breakdown, we would just draw a gridiron on top of the washing machine and turn it on.
My experience with Electric Football goes back a bit further, to the early 1950s, when the players were metal instead of today's plastic. One team was blue, the other gray, but the results were the same.
I saved the men from that early set, and they provided the basis for an interesting comparison when I purchased a more modern version of the game. What would be the result, I wondered, of a match between the modern stars (plastic) and the oldtimers (metal)?
Since the metal players were heavier than the plastic ones, the oldtimers formed an impenetrable flying wedge, which resulted in a touchdown on every play. The oldtimers' "steel curtain" defense made the Pittsburgh Steelers version look like papier-m�ch�.
Newport News, Va.