Definitions

miggle

Electric football

Electric football is a tabletop American football game played on a metal vibrating field.

History

In 1947, Tudor Games created electric ball, using a vibrating car race game made by Tudor as the base for the game technology. Electric football was an immediate hit. More than 40 million of the games have been sold since its creation, and new editions are sold each year.

While video games of football have supplanted electric football in popularity, electric football has also benefitted from technological progress. Players became more realistic in sculpting, and Miggle sells pre-painted players from 18 college teams, including home and away jerseys. Leagues, clubs and tournaments continue to play the game. The Electric Football League, headquartered in Highland Park, Illinois, held its 12th annual Official Electric Football Super Bowl & Convention in January 2006.

The game

The game is played on a metal field, with plastic players placed on the field in formations, just as in real football. The ball is a football-shaped small piece of foam or felt. When the players are set up, a switch is activated that turns on a small electric motor which causes the field to vibrate, and moves the players around the field.

Each player is attached to a base, with prongs on the bottom that allow the player to move. Rookie bases are not adjustable and the player hopefully runs forward. Pro bases have a dial that you can turn to have players turn to the right or left.

A special player called the Triple Threat Quarterback (TTQ) allows players to pass, punt or kick field goals. The ball has a slit that lets the game player place it on the TTQ's arm. The arm is pulled back and released to pass the ball. For kicking the ball is placed on a tee on the TTQ and a plastic leg is flicked to kick the ball.

In Popular Culture

  • In the film Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, the two main characters, in a parody of The Seventh Seal, challenge Death to a series of games in order to escape Hell. One of the games Death loses is electric football.
  • In an episode of the animated comedy series The Critic, a clip from a Ken Burns documentary about electric football shows an elderly man saying that "electric football is a metaphor for America: always shaking, always noisy, never really knowing where it's going" before suddenly changing his mind, saying, "Wait a minute. America's nothing like electric football. It's just a stupid game that doesn't even work!" and yelling at the cameraman to get out.
  • In The Simpsons' episode "Bart Star", while coaching his son's peewee football team, Homer Simpson uses an electric football table, even instructing one player to "spin around in a circle". In "Marge Be Not Proud", comforting his son when his parents refuse to buy him a present, Homer offers these dubious words of advice:

"I know what you're saying, Bart. When I was young, I wanted an electric football machine more than anything else in the world, and my parents bought it for me, and it was the happiest day of my life. Well, goodnight!"

  • In Bill Bryson's "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir," the author describes electric football as "The worst toy of the decade [the 1950s], possibly the worst toy ever built...it took forever to set up each play because the men were so fiddly and kept falling over, and because you argued continuously with your opponent about what formations were legal and who got to position the final man...it hardly mattered how they were set up because electric football players never went in the direction intended. In practice what happened was that half the players instantly fell over and lay twitching violently as if suffering from some extreme gastric disorder, while the others streamed off in as many different directions as there were upright players before eventually clumping together in a corner, where they pushed against the unyielding sides like victims of a nightclub fire at a locked exit. The one exception to this was the running back who just trembled in place for five or six minutes, then slowly turned and went on an unopposed glide toward the wrong end zone until knocked over with a finger on the two-yard line by his distressed manager, occasioning more bickering." (hardcover version, page 113)

Sources

  • Miniature Football Coaches Association Unifying the miniature football hobbyist by promoting miniature electric football, educating the public and providing a unified association which recognizes and supports the diverse coaches and leagues.
  • Miniature Football Coaches Association Forum A forum dedicated to the discussion of all aspects of miniature electric football. This site is made possible by The Miniature Football Coaches Association.

External links

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